The district attorney of Los Angeles County announced on Wednesday that seven California Highway Patrol officers and a nurse have been prosecuted in connection with the death of a man in 2020 who had been held down and complained he couldn’t breathe.
According to District Attorney George Gascón, the CHP sergeant and six officers involved in the death of Edward Bronstein, who had been stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence, have been charged with one count each of involuntary manslaughter and assault under the colour of authority.
An RN has been accused of committing involuntary manslaughter. According to authorities, Bronstein was restrained after first refusing a blood draw.
Among those suspected are RN Arbi Baghalian, Sgt. Michael Little, and police officers Dionisio Fiorella, Dustin Osmanson, Darren Parsons, Diego Romero, Justin Silva, and Marciel Terry.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced on Wednesday that seven CHP officers and a registered nurse would be charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of an alleged DUI driver in Altadena nearly three years ago.
Officers Dionisio Fiorella, 39, Michael Little, 57, Dustin Osmanson, 41, Darren Parsons, 48, Diego Romero, 35, Justin Silva, 30, and Marciel Terry, 32, and RN Arbi Baghalian, 42, have all been charged with assault.
Prosecutors claim that Osmanson and Terry stopped Bronstein on the 5 Freeway in Burbank around 05:00 on March 31, 2020, on suspicion of DUI.
Officers secured a warrant to draw Bronstein, 38, and transported him to a CHP maintenance yard in Altadena.
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Edward Bronstein, a 38-year-old Burbank resident, was arrested for DUI on the 5 Freeway on March 31, 2020. He was taken to the Altadena CHP station, where he allegedly refused a blood test.
To persuade him to cooperate, officers allegedly used force. An attorney for Bronstein’s family claims that during the prolonged battle, Bronstein cried out multiple times, “I can’t breathe,” but that no officers intervened. The family is suing the CHP for wrongful death.
“The officers had a legal duty to Mr Bronstein,” former Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón stated. They had taken possession of him. We see their refusal to act as criminally negligent because it contributed to his death.
Gascón played video of the incident at a recent press conference, stating that the clip was “extremely graphic.”
An 18-minute video recorded by a CHP sergeant shows an officer warning Bronstein that he would be going “face down on the mat and we’re going to keep going” if he did not consent to having his blood drawn following the motorway stop in Burbank on suspicion of driving under the influence. The district attorney noted this fact.
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Officials On The Case
The District Attorney’s Office claims that once Bronstein stopped breathing, it took police officers 10 minutes to start CPR. Officials say he never regained consciousness after being injured and pronounced him dead.
According to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office, Bronstein died of “acute methamphetamine intoxication during restraint by law enforcement.” They also found traces of marijuana and alcohol in his system. Bronstein’s family counsel Luis Carrillo claimed that his client died of asphyxia while being restrained.
Nearly two years after Bronstein’s murder, the video of the incident was made public.
Carrillo stated at the time, “The state of California did not want us to release this video.” “Thank God the judge saw things our way and ordered us to give you this footage. It’s terrible, but someone has to be held accountable.
Video Evidence Against CHP Officers
On March 31, 2020, an incident was recorded on a CHP supervisor’s cell phone video.
The coroner’s office determined that Bronstein died from “acute methamphetamine intoxication during restraint by law enforcement.”
The district attorney’s office aired a video of Bronstein saying “I can’t breathe!” at a press conference on Wednesday. Saying, “I can’t breathe!” repeatedly.
The parents and two of Bronstein’s children are represented by an attorney who applauded the district attorney’s decision to press charges against their client.
The accountability for these police is a positive development, as Luis Carrillo put it. Without any regard for human life, they took his.
Bronstein complained to Carrillo 14 times that he was having trouble breathing, he said.
On Wednesday, CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee expressed his sorrow to the media and the public for the loss of Bronstein.
According to Duryee’s statement, “our agency’s top priority is protecting the safety and well-being of all Californians,” and he is “saddened” by Bronstein’s death while in the agency’s care. We treat every death in prison as a terrible tragedy. I understand that the legal system must now take over, and I respect that.
After their initial court appearance on Wednesday, a California Highway Patrol sergeant and six CHP officers were allowed to remain free on their own recognisance on charges related to the death of a Burbank man who was restrained after refusing to have his blood drawn following a traffic stop on the Golden State (5) Freeway.
Sgt. Michael Little (age 57), Dionisio Fiorella (age 39), Dustin Osmanson (age 41), Darren Parsons (age 48), Diego Romero (age 35), Justin Silva (age 30) and Marciel Terry (age 32) will be arraigned on one count of involuntary manslaughter and one count of assault under the colour of authority on May 15 in a courtroom in downtown Los Angeles.
Edward Bronstein, 38, was killed on March 31, 2020, and surveillance footage shows him repeatedly yelling, “I can’t breathe!” before collapsing and dying outside a local CHP station in Altadena.
Arbi Baghalian, a 42-year-old registered nurse, will be arraigned on one count of involuntary manslaughter on May 15.