GRAPHIC: California man dies in police custody while restrained to draw blood

Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 8:43 AM EDT
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SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. (KCAL/KCBS) - Shocking video from nearly two years ago shows a California man dying in police custody while they restrain him to draw blood.

On March 31, 2020, Edward Bronstein, 38, was taken to the California Highway Patrol station in Altadena, California, where officers got a court order to draw his blood during a DUI investigation.

Attorneys for the family of Bronstein said he had a fear of needles.

In the video, one officer is heard telling Bronstein that he was “bringing the fight to this.”

“I’m not fighting at all,” Bronstein said in the video.

Then, about six officers are seen struggling with Bronstein to draw his blood.

“He says, ‘I can’t breathe.’ Twelve times is what I counted,” attorney Michael Carrillo said.

In the video, within three minutes, Bronstein is no longer resisting or speaking.

Attorneys for his daughter, Brianna Palomino, and his family have filed a federal lawsuit claiming excessive force led to Bronstein’s death.

“We’re trying our best to stay strong for him, and we miss him” Palomino said.

In the video, a nurse continued to draw his blood for about six minutes after Bronstein stopped resisting and then, officers turned him over to sit him up.

“Instead of trying to save his life, they slap him in the face, thinking that’s going to wake a dead man up. Where is CPR? Where is first aid?” Carrillo said.

Also in the video, CPR began about 14 minutes after the struggle began.

An autopsy found methamphetamine, marijuana and alcohol in Bronstein’s system.

His family’s attorneys said officers should have turned him on his side or placed him in a chair to draw his blood.

“Police officers must have reverence for human life. They didn’t on that day,” an attorney said.

The family said the plan is to hand the video over to the Los Angeles County district attorney. They want the officers involved to be charged.

The California Highway Patrol has not commented on the matter.

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