After the morning traffic stop on March 31, 2020, Edward Bronstein was detained and transported to the California Highway Patrol station in Altadena, where officers attempted to take a blood sample in the station’s garage area where he refused to comply, the officers decided to apply excessive force that ended in tragedy.
George Floyd’s death in May 2020 triggered nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustices, leading to a countrywide review of how law enforcement treats African-Americans. The police officer who killed Floyd, Derek Chauvin, was found guilty of manslaughter in April 2021.
The California Highway Patrol video was posted for use in a federal wrongful death lawsuit filed by the victim’s family against the state of California, the California Highway Patrol and individual agents who were on the scene when Bronstein died. No officers have been charged in connection with Bronstein’s death.
The decision to disclose the video on Tuesday was made because “the public’s interest in the conduct of its law enforcement officers outweighs other interests and any particular risk of harm,” federal Judge John McDermott said in his order.
The suit seeks nonspecified compensatory damages and seeks a jury trial.
“Even after he said he would ‘willingly’ obey the agents they still brutalized him anyway.”
The video shows Bronstein saying he couldn’t breathe several times.
In the nearly 18-minute video, two officers place Bronstein on his knees while handcuffing him from behind. At least five uniformed officers are visible during various parts of the video.