Nine policemen in California have been sued by the family of a man who died after being pinned down on the ground. The incident happened in March 2020, but its video was released this week after a court order.
"I can't breathe," 38-year-old Edward Bronstein is heard saying a dozen times in the video, a cry repeated by George Floyd two months later which shook the world's conscience.
The federal lawsuit has been filed against the policemen by Bronstein's family. His daughter Brianna Palomino, 22, and her attorney, Michael Carillo, held a press conference on Wednesday where they thanked the court for ordering the release of the video.
The 16-minute-long video shows Bronstein's final moments after being stopped by California Highway Patrol on March 31, 2020. According to New York Post, he was taken into custody on the suspicion of driving under the influence by officer Dusty Osmanson after a traffic stop.
Bronstein was taken to a police station where the officers forcefully tried to take his blood to measure the alcohol level but he refused, the report said.
“You are bringing the fight to this, not us,” a police officer told Bronstein, to which he replied he is not doing any such thing. The sergeant then pins him to the ground after which Bronstein says “I'll do it willingly! I'll do it willingly!” as per to the Post report.
But more cops join the sergeant. Bronstein is heard shouting in distress before saying “I can't breathe” at least a dozen times. The cops tried to revive him but all efforts fail, the New York Post report said.
Bronstein's family is calling for the cops to be criminally charged by the Los Angeles County district attorney.
“My dad was a good person,” his daughter Palomino said at the press conference, as reported by The Daily Mail. “Nobody deserves to die this way. He was treated like trash, like his life was not deserving,” she further said.
The officers mentioned in the lawsuit are: Carlos Villanueva, Christopher Sanchez-Romero, Darren Parsons, Diego Romero, Dusty Osmanson, Eric Voss, Justin Silva, Dionisio Fiorella and Marciel Terry. Also named is Sgt. Michael Little.
Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died in a similar incident in May 2020. Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer who was dismissed from the service, was convicted of the murder of Floyd. He was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison.