Patrick Gonzales is a Sergeant with the Oakland Police Department. He has been with the department for approximately 15 years.
History of Violence
In 2000, Sergeant (then Officer) Gonzales was accused of publicly strip searching and cavity searching a man, before physically abusing him. The Oakland Citizens Police Review Board (CPRB), voted to not sustain this claim of misconduct.
In 2001, Sergeant (then Officer) Gonzales was again accused of misconduct, this time pistol whipping and kicking a suspect after a drug bust. The CPRB again sided with the officer and did not sustain this claim of misconduct.
In 2002, Sgt (then Officer) Gonzales had his first "officer involved shooting:" along with Officer Rudy Villegas, he shot a suspect who pointed a gun at the officers. He was cleared of misconduct by the Alameda County District Attorney and the police department (investigations by homicide and internal affairs.)
In 2003, the department was involved in heavy use of force at a peace protest at the Port of Oakland that eventually led to their Crowd Control Policy and payout of over $2million. Sergeant (then Officer) Gonzales was seen on video firing lead fill beanbags directly at protesters.
In 2006, (then Officer) Gonzales was involved in another officer involved shooting when he shot Ameir Rollins who was holding a gun and is now paralyzed. The city settled for $100,000.
In 2007, Sgt Gonzales was involved in his next officer involved shooting, this time a fatal one. After beating and tazing Gary King, Jr., who may or may not have been the murder suspect he was looking for, he shot him twice, in the back5, killing him on the scene. Gonzales claimed King was reaching for a gun in his waistband, witnesses and family members claim he wasn't and that the gun was planted. Although the city claimed all wrongdoing, the city settled in 2009 for $1.5million. Howard Jordan, Assistant Chief at the time, claimed that ""He fired in defense of his life at an armed and dangerous subject.'"6
On March 21st, 2009, four Oakland police officers were shot, and OPD has been criticized for the handling of the incident.2 Two officers were initially shot, leading to a large manhunt. When they found the suspect, Lovelle Mixon, hiding in his sister's apartment, Sgt Gonzales led the entry team. The entry was not thoroughly planned, and two more officers were shot. Gonzales took medical leave after the incident and then returned to the department in 2010. Gonzales drove himself to the hospital after being grazed by a bullet, and was also perhaps dealing with emotional stress.4
Sergeant Gonzales has been named in multiple other lawsuits alleging wrongful death, excessive force, illegal searches and racial profiling. The city has paid out $3.6 million in these lawsuits.
Sergeant Gonzales was held up as an example of police accountability gone wrong, and the problems with the Copley Act in an article by Ali Winston.
Career and Salary Information
In 2006, Sgt Gonzales was promoted, named to a "Crime Reduction Team," made a firearms instructor and made the SWAT team.
In 2012, Gonzales was honored by the department for his handling of the Oikos Mass Murder.3
In salary data released from the fiscal year 2007, Sergeant Gonzales was one of the highest paid employees in the city making a $213,980 including $102,000 in overtime. In 2011, his total compensation had risen to $258,656.
1. Much of this information is summarized from Winston, Ali. "Deadly Secrets: How California Law Shields Oakland Police Violence." Colorlines: Aug 17, 2011.
3. Harris, Harry. "Oakland Police Department honors more than three dozen officers and civilians." Oakland Tribune: Dec 11, 2012.
4. "Oakland, Recovery Will Take Time for Fifth Officer Sgt Pat Gonzales After Being Shot." Fugitive.com: Mar 29, 2009.
5. Lee, Henry. "Family disputes Oakland police version of fatal shooting." SFGate: Sep 24, 2007.
6. Lee, Henry.