A California father’s harrowing last moments have emerged in harrowing police footage showing him scream ‘I can’t breathe’ while dying as he was held face down on the ground so officers could extract a blood sample.
Edward Bronstein, 38, died on March 31, 2020, less than two months before George Floyd was killed by police in Minnesota, after an altercation during his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence.
He was pulled over for a DUI, but taken to a police station after refusing to give a blood sample, which his family says was due to a fear of needles.
Edward Bronstein started screaming with fear after being pinned to the ground face down shortly afterwards, and died shortly afterwards, with efforts to revive him proving unsuccessful.
The California Highway Patrol had fought to keep the video from going public after the man’s family sued over excessive use of force and civil rights violations, but a federal court judge ordered its release.
An 18-minute video of the detention, taken by a California Highway Patrol sergeant in Pasadena, shows a handcuffed Edward Bronstein, a father to two daughters, rowing with police as they directed him to a mat on the floor of the Altadena station garage and forced him to his knees to take a blood sample he’d refused to give.
He initially argues but starts shrieking with fear after being thrown to the ground face down.
Edward Bronstein can then be heard saying that he would do the blood test willingly as two officers hover over him, and a man can be heard warning him not to resist taking a court-ordered blood sample to determine his intoxication level.
The officer tells him that he could just provide it and still, he didn’t consent and that he was the one bringing the fight, not them.
Edward Bronstein says to an officer that he was not fighting as the officer kept his hand on his shoulder.
The patrolman then says that he should have a seat and provide his arm, otherwise he was going to go face down on the mat and that they were going to keep on going.
Edward Bronstein’s family said that he had a fear of needles.
Officers then swarm Edward Bronstein and haul his legs out from under him, causing him to writhe around on the ground, and five officers can be seen kneeling on him as he yells that he would do it willingly.
The officer says that it was too late and that they’d not even poked him yet and that he should just relax, but then Edward Bronstein starts yelling that he can’t breathe.
Finally, Edward Bronstein stops moving and officers draw blood from his lifeless body.
A second video, more than 12 minutes long, shows the officer’s and paramedics’ unsuccessful attempts to revive Edward Bronstein.
I would guess this is a major lawsuit for sure. However, there will be nothing gained politically, nor will it be exploited, and you probably won’t see this on America’s corporate media.
The most significant thing here that everyone missed is why didn’t the officers do a breathalyzer test instead, it would have been much easier than using a needle.
But nobody in America cares about this because police brutality is favoured, and nothing will come of this because they have double standards in their justice system, and it seems that now, officers are allowed to go around with syringes and needles, asking offenders for blood samples on the street, and for those people out there that might say that Edward Bronstein should have listened to the officers, well the officers could have equally listened to Mr Bronstein when he said that he couldn’t breathe.
Of course, you shouldn’t drink and drive, and when you break the law you shouldn’t resist arrest, but then when being apprehended you don’t think that you’re going to end up with a death sentence, and that’s before you’ve even been to court.
These officers thought that the only thing that they could do to see if Edward Bronstein was intoxicated was to take his blood when a simple breathalyzer test would have sufficed, and now a man has died for absolutely nothing.