CALIFORNIA—Seven California Patrol Police Officers and a registered nurse have been charged with involuntary manslaughter, Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón released in a statement on Wednesday, March 29. Sergeant Michael Little, 58, Dionisio Fiorella, 40, Dustin Osmanson, 42, Darren Parsons, 49, Diego Romero, 35, Justin Silva, 31, and Marciel Terry, 33 – and the nurse identified as Arbi Baghalian, 43 – have been charged in connection of the death of Edward Bronstein, 38, who died while in CHP custody back in March 2020. 

On March 31, 2020, Bronstein was driving on Interstate 5 in Burbank when CHP Officers Osmanson and Terry pulled him over for allegedly driving under the influence. The officers took Bronstein back to a CHP Station in Altadena in order to obtain a warrant to draw his blood, as Bronstein originally refused to allow the test. 

A 16-minute video filmed by CHP Officer Little shows Bronstein handcuffed, kneeling on the ground, with one CHP Officer’s hand on his shoulder.  “Fine, I’ll do it willingly! I’ll do it willingly!,” Bronstein says several times to CHP Officers at the beginning of the video. After a back-and-forth exchange with Officer Little, he’s surrounded and pinned down by all seven CHP officers in order for Baghalian to forcibly draw his blood. As all seven CHP officers restrain him to the ground with their bodyweight, Bronstein screams in distress,  “I’ll do it, I promise, please!” Officers responded that it was “too late.” 

Around a minute later of being pinned, while the blood draw is being administered, Bronstein screams that he “can’t breathe.” Approximately a minute later, Bronstein is rendered unconscious and unresponsive. Officers can be seen trying to revive him by slapping him and calling his name, but did not attempt to deliver oxygen or CPR for several minutes. 

“Bronstein repeatedly told officers he could not breathe,” District Attorney Gascón said. “As the blood draw continued, Bronstein became unresponsive,” Gasón continued. “ He was kept facedown for approximately six more minutes.”

“This is [a] low-level misdemeanor. Why would officers consider using such force?” Ed Obayashi – a Northern California Sheriff’s deputy and use-of-force expert – said to The Los Angeles Times. 

A Los Angeles County coroner’s office report could not conclusively determine Bronstein’s cause of death but attributed it to “acute methamphetamine intoxication during restraint by law enforcement,” The Los Angeles Times reported. 

Bronstein’s death occurred two months prior to the death of George Floyd, the 48-year-old Minneapolis resident who was killed after police officers obstructed his breathing by pinning him down and kneeling on his neck. 

All seven officers have been placed on administrative leave, a CHP agency spokesperson said. Arraignment dates have not been yet set.

Bronstein and his daughter, Isabella.

Bronstein is survived by his father, Edward Tapia, and his daughter, Isabella Bronstein.