NEWS & ANALYSIS

‘I CAN’T BREATHE’: New Video Shows Police Officers’ Deadly Restraint of Man Begging for Help


In a situation that’s just as bad – if not worse – and as indiscriminate as the one involving George Floyd, new video footage shows another man died in police custody after repeatedly shouting “I can’t breathe” two months earlier. 

Edward Bronstein, 38, was suspected of driving under the influence on March 31, 2020 when California Highway Patrol officers detained him. While police attempted to restrain him to draw his blood, he could be heard shouting “I can’t breathe” approximately 12 times.

Bronstein’s family filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in December of 2020, and video of the incident was not released until this month. 

“The state of California did not want us to release this video,” Luis Carrillo, an attorney for the Bronstein family, told the Los Angeles Times. “Thank God that the judge agreed with us, and that’s why you can now see this video. It’s horrible, but it is the only way his family can get some justice.” 

In the video, officers tell Bronstein that there is a court order for a blood draw. Bronstein, who is handcuffed, asks the officers why they need to draw blood, to which he is told that if he doesn’t submit, he will be restrained. 

Once officers begin to restrain him, he repeatedly says, “I’ll do it willingly.” However, officers told him it’s “too late.” 

“Not one officer took the action to pull the others off of him,” Michael Carrillo, another family attorney, said. “Pull him to the side, do something to give him air. When they finally flip him over, he’s lifeless.” 

Indeed, the situation here is just as bad as what happened to George Floyd, but did not get media attention because it doesn’t fit the narrative.