A California Highway Patrol sergeant and six CHP officers have been charged with involuntary manslaughter and assault under the color of authority in the 2020 death of a man who was restrained after refusing to have his blood drawn following a traffic stop on the Golden State (5) Freeway, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced on Wednesday, March 29.
The charges stem from the March 2020 death of 38-year-old Edward Bronstein, who can be heard on video repeatedly screaming, “I can’t breathe!” while in a nearby CHP parking lot.
“These officers had a legal duty to Mr. Bronstein. He was in their custody. We believe that they failed their duty and their failure was criminally negligent, causing his death,” Gascón said at a news conference announcing the charges.
A registered nurse, Arbi Baghalian, 42, was also charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter and could face a maximum of four years in prison, according to Gascón. An arraignment date has not yet been set for Sgt. Michael Little, 57; Dionisio Fiorella, 39; Dustin Osmanson, 41; Darren Parsons, 48; Diego Romero, 35; Justin Silva, 30; and Marciel Terry, 32. They could each face up to four years and eight months in state prison if convicted as charged, according to Gascón.
Gascón noted that Bronstein initially declined to have his blood drawn following the freeway stop on suspicion of driving under the influence and that an 18-minute video recorded by a CHP sergeant shows an officer warning him that if he didn’t comply, he would be going “face down on the mat and we’re going to keep going.”
“The video shows several officers restraining Mr. Bronstein who is handcuffed and face down on the mat …,” Gascón said. “What ensued is difficult to watch and hear as Mr. Bronstein pleads for his life. A group of officers holds him down and presses their knees on his legs and neck as he repeatedly promises them that he will comply. One officer responds, ‘It’s too late.’ Mr. Bronstein screams, ‘I can’t breathe!’ over and over and pleads for help while officers continue to restrain him and even demanding that he stop yelling.”
Bronstein was “unresponsive” and officers held him down as a medical professional draws a vial of blood from him, and a second vial of blood was collected as he was “laying so lifelessly that the officers no longer need to hold him down because he’s dying as they’re watching,” Gascón said.
“When they turn him over six minutes after his last scream, he is completely lifeless,” Gascón said. “More than 13 minutes after Mr. Bronstein last screamed, they began CPR but are unsuccessful.”
12 comments for "Six CHP officers, sergeant and nurse charged in man’s 2020 death"
Tim Scott says
“If he was unconscious he couldn’t decline the test, so we knocked him out.”
We been f-ed.
Bad cop dominion.
Go check transparentcalifornia and REALLY get angry.
CHP are highest paid of all enforcement.
Ledesma 99 says
Identifying the cocktail crowd is important to these ticket pushers. The casual drivers stomped to death doing so are the expendables.
And your point is?
LET ME HANDCUFF THEN HAVE SEVERAL PPL KNEEL ON YOU FOR 10 MIN WHILE YOU SCREAM THAT U CAN’T BREATHE.. WTF DO YOU THINK WOULD HAPPEN !!! DUMBASSES
I may not know all the codes and Law but I do know you can’t force anyone to anything. This man was not violent he was simply declining and immediately after he stopped screaming and pass out like that out of nowhere he should have immediately received medical attention smh he said he couldn’t breathe they did nothing to let up off him at all smh
Lelia jones says
I am Lelia Joyce Jones never had license the [removed] that have the license go get her.necer had no car.now you guys need to come to the arbor Court apartment building and get the ones who still FROM the state and federal government IRS filing taxes and using my name and address and killing people up and the arbor Court apartment
Refusal is part of the rules, and officers must inform you of that possibility and the results if you choose to refuse. Refuse and you will be incarcerated and you will be found guilty since you have foregone the implied consent part of Cal Vehicle code. You license will be suspended for at least one year upon first offense.
“California police officers must inform DUI arrestees of the following five things:
= They may elect to take a breath or blood test. But if they choose a breath test, they will also have to take a blood test if the officer suspects them of drug intoxication;
= They are not entitled to an attorney before or during the chemical testing;
= Refusing to submit to a chemical test may be used against them in court;
= If they get convicted of DUI, refusing the chemical test will result in fines and mandatory jail; and
= Refusing the chemical test will result in a driver’s license suspension:
Number of prior DUIs in last 10 years Length of driver’s license revocation for refusing a chemical test
0 1 year
1 2 years
2 or more 3 years
In the event no breath- or blood testing equipment is available, arrestees must provide a urine sample. Hemophiliacs and people on blood thinners may also give urine samples.
When DUI arrestees refuse to take a chemical test, the police may get a warrant to force a blood draw. If a DUI suspect is unconscious or deceased, officers may lawfully order a blood draw.”
So these officers calculated that unconscious and/or deceased would suffice to draw blood even while the refusal was plainly stated.
There’s gonna be some hell to pay.
Ledesma 99 says
The epitome of privacy invasion is to examine a citizen’s pee-pee! Not for valid medical benefit [like confirming injury or identifying hidden illness] but to ascertain if that citizen had too much fun tonight. Even Vladimir Lenin never went that far.
Frank Rizzo says
You consent when you accept your drivers license, I guess you don’t have one.
“They could each face up to four years and eight months in state prison if convicted as charged…”
Criminally Negligent says
Knee on Bronstein’s neck at 1.25…