As the first phase of the trial got underway inside, community activists were holding a news conference outside. The press conference was held by an organization called Millions More Movement Ministry of Justice. They say a conviction in this particular case would send a very clear message to law enforcement agencies across the county, across the state and across the nation.
"We have an opportunity to send a clear clarion message to law enforcement that you cannot break the law that you claim to uphold just as you cannot clean a dirty floor with a dirty mop. You cannot clean up dirty city streets with dirty cops," said Deric Muhammad, spokesperson for the victim's family.
The news conference was held in front of the courtroom where jury selection is ongoing in the case of the two officers who are charged with criminally negligent homicide for the death of Gonzales. Gonzales died last July about five hours after he was arrested by the Pasadena officers.
An autopsy revealed he had internal injuries, including cuts to his lungs and fractured ribs. Last month, the two Pasadena police officers turned down plea deals.
The trial is expected to last through the end of the week.