Harrowing video has emerged of a California DUI suspect who died after screaming “I can’t breathe!” whereas being held down by cops – lower than two months earlier than George Floyd uttered the identical haunting phrases to police in Minneapolis.
Edward Bronstein, 38, was taken into custody on suspicion of driving below the affect by California Freeway Patrol Officer Dusty Osmanson after a site visitors cease on the 5 Freeway on March 31, 2020, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The suspect was taken to the CHP’s Altadena station, the place officers tried forcibly to attract his blood to measure his alcohol stage, however he reportedly refused.
The 16-minute video captured by a sergeant exhibits Bronstein kneeling on the bottom whereas an officer presses his fingers onto his shoulders whereas one other officer, who’s off-camera, orders him to adjust to a court-ordered blood draw.
“You’re bringing the battle to this, not us,” one of many cops says.
“I’m not bringing the battle in any respect,” Bronstein replies.
An officer then warns him that if he refuses to conform “you’re going face-down on the mat — and we going to maintain on going.”
After being held to the bottom, Bronstein shouts, “I’ll do it willingly! I’ll do it willingly!”
A number of extra officers pin him down with their our bodies as he shouts in misery – earlier than lastly saying, “I can’t breathe!”
After Bronstein stops transferring, one other minute elapses earlier than the officers notice he’s not responding and attempt to revive him. As he lies face down, certainly one of them slaps him on the pinnacle earlier than he’s lastly turned over.
An officer then asks for CPR to be given — however greater than 11 minutes elapse after Bronstein’s final screams earlier than they start to manage it.
Bronstein’s household has filed a federal lawsuit towards 9 officers and a sergeant, alleging extreme drive and a violation of civil rights. The household additionally is asking for the cops to be criminally charged by the LA County district lawyer.
The officers are Carlos Villanueva, Christopher Sanchez-Romero, Darren Parsons, Diego Romero, Dusty Osmanson, Eric Voss, Justin Silva, Dionisio Fiorella and Marciel Terry. Additionally named is Sgt. Michael Little.
The coroner’s workplace attributed Bronstein’s dying to “acute methamphetamine intoxication throughout restraint by legislation enforcement,” although it declared the trigger as “undetermined,” the paper mentioned.
The chilling video was launched Tuesday after a federal choose’s order to make it public.
“The state of California didn’t need us to launch this video,” mentioned the household’s civil rights lawyer, Luis Carrillo.
“Thank God that the choose agreed with us, and that’s why now you can see this video … It’s horrible, however it’s the solely means his household can get some justice,” he added.
CHP officers declined to touch upon the case to the LA Occasions, citing the pending litigation.
Carrillo mentioned the video was not a part of the standard CHP protocol, whose officers don’t put on physique cameras, although the company’s automobiles do have sprint cams.
“I think they shot this for coaching functions after which realized later they needed to reveal its existence,” he instructed the newspaper.
Michael Carrillo, who’s representing the Bronstein household along with his father, mentioned that when the cops heard Bronstein say, “I can’t breathe,” they need to have stopped.
“Not one officer took the motion to drag the others off of him, pull him to the facet, do one thing to offer him air,” he instructed the LA Occasions. “After they lastly flip him over, he’s lifeless.”
The household says Bronstein was fearful of needles and imagine that’s why he was initially reluctant to adjust to the officers as they sought to attract his blood.
“No person deserves to die this manner. He was handled like trash, like his life was not deserving,” his daughter Brianna Palomino mentioned throughout a information convention saying the discharge of the footage, the LA Occasions reported.
His dying got here two months earlier than that of Floyd, who was killed in Could 2020 by a Minneapolis cop who knelt on his neck and compressed his airway.
Floyd’s dying sparked nationwide requires police reform.
“When the nation was in an uproar over the George Floyd tragedy, we had no thought this had additionally occurred to Mr. Bronstein,” Luis Carrillo mentioned.
In September 2021, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a legislation barring police from utilizing sure face-down holds which have led to a number of unintentional deaths.
The legislation was aimed toward increasing on the state’s ban on chokeholds within the wake of Floyd’s homicide.
With Submit wires