'I can't breathe': Video shows death of Edward Bronstein in CHP custody
LOS ANGELES - The video is difficult to watch, let alone listen to.
A man is screaming repeatedly, "I can't breathe" while California Highway Patrol officers out of the Altadena station are forcing a blood draw from him.
On the ground is Edward Bronstein, who was arrested on suspicion of DUI back in March 2020.
He was brought to the station, where it seems he refused a breathalyzer or blood draw.
California allows officers to get a warrant and force the blood draw if they arrest the suspect for DUI, and you can hear the officers telling Bronstein just that.
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At the beginning of the video, as they sit him on a mat on the floor, "This is your last chance" says one of them, after which they push and pin him onto the mat.
Bronstein quickly begins to say he’ll submit, that he means it this time, but you hear one officer say it’s too late.
It’s not too long before you hear screams of "I can’t breathe," which stop about 2 minutes into the tape. The officers draw blood for a while, a couple of times asking if he is ok. There is no audible response from Bronstein, as they ask repeatedly, even as they continue to draw blood.
One of the officers asks the other if he is getting a pulse. Still, they wait till they finish the draw, they actually turn him over, and continue asking if he is ok.
They eventually take out a mask with a handheld pump and place it on him, trying to force some air into his lungs.
By then "he was dead," says Michael Carrillo, who represents the family.
Attorneys insist that the moment Bronstein agreed to submit, the Sergeant overseeing this (and taping the incident on a camera) should have stopped the whole thing and let him sit up.
Another question from family, why didn’t the officers turn him on his side, when he stopped responding? That would have helped open his airway.
It took two years for the video to be released, and it only happened after a judge overruled California’s Attorney General, who wanted it sealed pending the investigation.
To our inquiries about the officers, CHP officials respond that they can’t comment on pending litigation.
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