Video Shows Arrested Man Saying ‘I Can’t Breathe’ Before He Dies

Black man in custody pleaded “I can’t breathe” 3:18

(WABNEWS) — A federal judge has released video taken by the California Highway Patrol showing the death of Edward Bronstein, a 38-year-old man who was in their custody following a March 2020 traffic stop in the county. of the Angels.

Bronstein is heard repeatedly telling officers, “I can’t breathe,” while pinned to the ground.

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Those three words would rock the world’s conscience less than two months later when George Floyd repeated them before his death while pinned down by Minneapolis police.

Edward Bronstein, 38, died in police custody in California after saying he couldn’t breathe while pinned down during a traffic stop in March 2020.

Floyd’s death in May 2020 sparked national and global protests against police brutality and racial injustices, prompting a nationwide review of how black people are treated by law enforcement. The officer who killed Floyd, Derek Chauvin, was convicted of manslaughter in April 2021.

The California Highway Patrol video was released for use in a federal wrongful death lawsuit brought by Bronstein’s family against the state of California, the California Highway Patrol and individual officers who were on the scene when Bronstein died. . No officers have been charged in connection with Bronstein’s death.

The decision to release the video on Tuesday was made because “the public’s interest in the conduct of its law enforcement officers outweighs other interests and any risk of private harm,” U.S. Judge John McDermott said in his order.

The lawsuit, filed in the Central District of California, alleges that officers used “excessive and objectively unreasonable” force against Bronstein, who was “unarmed, restrained, and surrounded by uniformed law enforcement officers.” That excessive force “was also the result of negligent employment, negligent retention, and negligent supervision” of officers by the California Highway Patrol, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory damages and requests a jury trial.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office tells WABNEWS it is reviewing the case and the California Highway Patrol declined to comment, citing ongoing litigation.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office did not respond to WABNEWS’s request for comment.

Luis Carillo, an attorney representing Bronstein’s family, told WABNEWS in a statement that the officers who restrained him had “no reverence for human life.”

“EVEN after he said he would ‘willingly’ obey the officers THEY STILL BRUTALIZED HIM ANYWAY,” Carillo said. “NO ONE should die this way. The family will always grieve the loss of Edward’s love.”

They release video of Hispanic who died after being arrested 3:53 Bronstein said he could not breathe several times, the video shows

Following the morning traffic stop on March 31, 2020, the lawsuit alleges that Bronstein was detained and taken to the California Highway Patrol station in Altadena, where officers attempted to take a blood sample in the area. of station garages.

At the beginning of the nearly 18-minute video, two officers place Bronstein on their knees while handcuffing him from behind. At least five uniformed men are visible during various parts of the video.

Bronstein expresses several times that he will comply and questions why the cops are taking his blood sample.

“Sit down and offer your arm. This is her last chance. Otherwise, she is going to fall face down on the canvas and we are going to move on, ”an agent is heard saying.

Bronstein agrees, but expresses some hesitation in asking for “a minute,” and is heard saying “I can’t do this” as officers almost immediately tackle him facedown to the mat. Bronstein is seen screaming and crying as he is held down by five uniformed officers. An officer is seen appearing to place his knee on Bronstein’s neck, and Bronstein is heard repeatedly telling the officers, “I’ll be happy to do that.”

Less than a minute later, Bronstein says a combination of “I can’t breathe” and “let me breathe” at least 12 times in a span of 30 seconds.

Several uniformed men tell him to stop moving and an off-camera voice is heard saying: “The more you move, the worse it’s going to be, brother.”

Bronstein then yells, “Put your leg down! I can’t breathe!” He gradually stops talking and can only be heard making grunts. Approximately three minutes into the video, Bronstein appears to stop moving.

For several minutes, officers and what appears to be a medical professional are seen on video continuing to check Bronstein for vital signs as they continue to take his blood sample.

More than 12 minutes into the video, an off-camera voice tells officers to “take the handcuffs off him.” At the 14-minute mark, officers at the scene are still checking Bronstein for vital signs.

“Is that a pulse?… Is he breathing?… If he has a pulse and he’s not breathing, he still needs rescue,” the same voice is heard saying off-camera.

During the last three minutes of the video, the medical professional and agents are seen administering medical aid to Bronstein, who appears unresponsive.

The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s office later determined that Bronstein died of “acute methamphetamine intoxication during restraint by police.” He listed the manner of death as “undetermined.”

A trial date in the federal lawsuit is set for Dec. 13, court documents show.

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