Families of 3 East Bay men killed by police honor their sons' memories

Three separate events were held Tuesday for young men of color who were all killed by police in the East Bay.

Steven Taylor's family sued the city of San Leandro after the 33-year-old Black man was killed in a Walmart in February 2020. The federal suit names the city and the two officers who killed him while he was wielding a bat in the store, saying his death was preventable.

Prosecutors say Officer Jason Fletcher Tased Taylor and then shot him when he refused to put down the bat. 

Taylor's mother, Sharon Taylor, said at a news conference that she is looking forward to justice being served. 

"We're looking forward to things beginning to change in the city of san Leandro," she said. "We're looking forward to things happening for the mentally ill, the homeless, the crisis that's going on in this city."

In a statement, the city of San Leandro said it will defend itself against the lawsuit.

Later on Tuesday evening, family and friends remembered Mario Gonzalez, who died at the hands of Alameda police last April.

Flowers, candles and music filled an Alameda park for him.

The Alameda County coroner's office ruled that Gonzalez died from methamphetamine, combined with the stress of being restrained by police. 

Although it was ruled a homicide by the coroner, the District Attorney found the three officers were lawful and objectively reasonable when they arrested him and they were not charged with his death.

Earlier in the day, Walnut Creek dedicated a park to people whose death was due to mental illness.

They held a ribbon cutting yesterday for the  "Remembrance Park," which is in the Parkmead neighborhood.

The effort was led by the family of Miles Hall. 

The 23-year-old was fatally shot by Walnut Creek police in 2019 during a mental health crisis.

His mother, Taun Hall, was touched that so many people came out to remember him and "understanding that this could have happened to any of your family members."

The mayor said he he hopes the park will become a place of reflection and healing.