Who was Edward Bronstein? Autopsy report explored as video of California man held down by police is released

A video documenting late Edward Bronstein's final encounter with police has been released online (Image via Twitter/Pete Demetriou and California Highway Patrol)
A video documenting late Edward Bronstein's final encounter with police has been released online (Image via Twitter/Pete Demetriou and California Highway Patrol)

Edward Bronstein, a 38-year-old man from Southern California, died after being held down by police officers on March 31, 2020. Nearly two years later, a video documenting the harrowing incident was released by the court.

A 16-minute video filmed by a California Highway Patrol (CHP) sergeant showed officers attempting to draw a blood sample from Bronstein after a traffic stop on suspicion of DUI. In the footage, officers can be heard ordering the man to comply with a court-ordered blood examination:

“You are bringing the fight to this, not us… This is your last opportunity. Otherwise you’re going face down on the mat and we’re gonna keep on going.”

Trigger Warning: The following video may contain disturbing content.

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In response to the warning, Bronstein can be heard replying:

“I am not bringing the fight at all.”

Meanwhile, officers can be seen pinning him down to the ground and restraining him with their bodies. At one point, Bronstein can be heard saying “I’ll do it willingly” before screaming, “I can’t breathe!”

Shortly after, Bronstein can be seen going immobile while a medical worker is seen drawing blood from his unresponsive body. Officers are then documented turning his body after noticing he has stopped breathing.

Nearly 11 minutes after Edward Bronstein’s final screams are heard, officers can be seen performing CPR in an attempt to resuscitate the man. However, they ultimately failed to revive him and he was likely considered dead at the scene.


Everything to know about Edward Bronstein and his tragic demise

Edward Bronstein was a 38-year-old father-of-five from Southern California (Image via California Highway Patrol)
Edward Bronstein was a 38-year-old father-of-five from Southern California (Image via California Highway Patrol)

Edward Bronstein was a 38-year-old father from California who died under the custody of the California Highway Patrol in March 2020. According to The Daily Mail, the man worked at his father’s body shop for several years.

In the early hours of March 31, 2020, Bronstein faced a traffic stop for allegedly driving under the influence. He was then taken into custody and detained at CHP Altadena Station for a court-ordered blood examination.

Bronstein reportedly hesitated to get his blood drawn and was pinned to the mat by multiple officers during the struggle. His family later revealed that he was hesitant to comply with the order due to his fear of needles.

In a recent video released by the federal court, an officer can be seen restraining Edward Bronstein with a knee placed on the back of his neck before the man can be heard saying, “I can’t breathe” at least 12 times.

Bronstein’s screams slowly lowered as he turned visibly unresponsive and was checked for signs of life by the officers present at the scene. Medical professionals are also seen providing aid to the man but failing in their revival attempts.

Following the release of the video, Bronstein’s 22-year-old daughter Brianna Palomino condemned the incident and told NBC4 that her father did not deserve to die in such a tragic manner:

“My dad was a good person. Nobody deserves to die this way. He was treated like trash, like his life was not deserving.”
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Palomino further mentioned that she missed her father and wishes to receive justice for his untimely demise:

“His screams, his face, them slapping him around, it will live in my head forever and there's nothing more than justice and these officers paying for what they did. I wish my dad was here, every day, and there's nothing that will take that away.”

Edward Bronstein’s family has filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit in the Central District of California and accused the officers of alleged use of “excessive and objectively unreasonable force” against the victim who was “unarmed, restrained, and surrounded by uniformed peace officers.”

Luis Carillo, the attorney representing the family, told CNN that the officers involved in the incident had no “reverence for human life”:

“Even after he said he would 'willingly' obey the officers still brutalized him anyway. Nobody should die this way. The family will always suffer the loss of love of Edward.”

The lawsuit also mentioned that the excessive force was a result of “negligent employment, negligent retention, and negligent supervision” of the CHP officers. Bronstein’s family has requested a jury trial and is also seeking unspecified compensatory damages.


A look into Edward Bronstein’s autopsy report

Edward Bronstein died after being pinned down to the ground during an encounter with CHP (Image via California Highway Patrol)
Edward Bronstein died after being pinned down to the ground during an encounter with CHP (Image via California Highway Patrol)

In the wake of the release of Edward Bronstein’s video, an autopsy report from the LA County coroner’s office also came to light. The examiner noted that Bronstein died due to “acute methamphetamine intoxication during restraint by law enforcement”.

The report also mentioned that the manner of death is currently “undetermined.” Meanwhile, the LA County District Attorney's Office said that the matter is presently kept “under review.”

As per The New York Post, officers present at the scene have been identified as Carlos Villanueva, Christopher Sanchez-Romero, Darren Parsons, Diego Romero, Dusty Osmanson, Eric Voss, Justin Silva, Dionisio Fiorella, Marciel Terry and Sgt. Michael Little.

However, no charges have been made in connection to the death at the time of writing. Court documents obtained by CNN show the trial date of the federal lawsuit is scheduled for December 13, 2022.

Edited by Siddharth Satish
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