By Nélida Tello
Tribune of the People received a copy of Alexander Gonzales Jr.’s custodial death report which exposes inconsistencies in the police narrative about Gonzales’s encounter with plainclothes officer Gabriel Gutierrez, who shot at Gonzales on January 5, starting a sequence of police aggression that would lead to Gonzales’s death and the endangerment of his partner and infant son.
The report states that Gonzales did not discharge a firearm before or during the police encounter and makes no mention of a firearm being recovered from Gonzales’s vehicle, while it makes claims of Gonzales displaying a firearm. Public information reports received by Tribune confirm that officer Gabriel Gutierrez works the Henry Division of the Austin Police Department (APD), the same division where Gonzales was murdered by Officer Luis Serrato.
The death report states that Gonzales resisted “being handcuffed or arrested,” despite bystander video of the police shooting showing officers handcuff Gonzalez after he was already presumed dead. The report also makes no mention of Gonzales cutting off plainclothes officer Gutierrez, which has been the narrative pushed by APD and ruling class media.
Public information records between 2018 and 2019 report Gutierrez’s primary position as Regional Patrol Officer with additional duties as Field Training Officer. No public information is available on Gutierrez after 2019.
Gutierrez is the son of recently retired Corpus Christi Assistant Chief Mark Gutierrez, who served 28 years in the Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD) before retiring in 2019.
While with the CCPD, Gutierrez supervised the Gang Unit, was Captain of the Traffic Division, and Commander of the Operations Bureau before becoming Assistant Chief. As Assistant Chief he worked in the Operations, Administration, and Investigations Bureaus.
Parallels can be drawn between APD protecting the identity of Gutierrez and APD protecting Logan Bucknam, the son of a Maine police chief, who barreled his vehicle into a crowd of protestors at APD headquarters last summer and brandished a handgun when confronted. APD protected Buckman in a police garage after he had attempted to run protestors over.
The Gonzales family is demanding that the officers involved in the police killing of Alex be charged for his murder. The people of Austin do not have faith in APD, which has resulted in the demand raised by the community that APD Chief of Police Brian Manley and City Manager Spencer Cronk be fired for their responsibility in police shootings and killings.
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