7 California Highway Patrol Officers Charged in Connection with 2020 Death of Edward Bronstein

A registered nurse has also been charged in relation to Bronstein's death after he died in police custody in March 2020

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Uncredited/AP/Shutterstock (12852781a) In this image taken from a nearly 18-minute video taken by a California Highway Patrol sergeant, Edward Bronstein, 38, is being taken into custody by CHP officers on March 31, 2020, following a traffic stop in Los Angeles. Bronstein died nearly two years ago as he screamed "I can't breathe" while multiple officers restrained him as they tried to take a blood sample, according to records and a video. The video was released, after a judge's order to make it public. Bronstein's family has filed a federal lawsuit against the officers, alleging excessive force and a violation of civil rights California Police Custody Death, Los Angeles, United States - 15 Mar 2022
Photo: Uncredited/AP/Shutterstock

Seven California officers and a registered nurse have been charged in relation to the death of Edward Bronstein after he died in police custody while stating he couldn't breathe.

Bronstein died on March 31, 2020, after he was pulled over by officers who suspected he was driving under the influence.

Almost three years later, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascòn has announced Wednesday in a release that seven California Highway Patrol officers are each charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter and one count of assault by an officer.

They are Dionisio Fiorella, 39, Michael Little, 57, Dustin Osmanson, 41, Darren Parsons, 48, Diego Romero, 35, Justin Silva, 30, and Marciel Terry, 32.

The CHP did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

A registered nurse, 42-year-old Arbi Baghalian, is charged with involuntary manslaughter. It's not clear if she has a lawyer who can comment on her behalf.

"For the system to work, people must be able to trust law enforcement. Police accountability is critical to building that trust, and it is necessary for public safety," D.A. Gascón said. "I promise Mr. Bronstein's family and our community that I will continue to advocate for stronger accountability in use-of-force cases and an independent review of deaths that occur while in law enforcement custody."

On the day his death, Bronstein was pulled over by Osmanson and Terry on Interstate 5 in Burbank, California.

"The officers then took Bronstein to a nearby CHP parking lot and obtained a warrant to draw his blood," the D.A. wrote in the release. "Bronstein initially refused the blood draw, but then agreed to comply as officers pushed him to the ground. Six officers are accused of forcing a handcuffed Bronstein to the ground and pinning him down as Baghalian drew his blood."

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On the ground, Bronstein "repeatedly" stated to officers that he couldn't breathe. He later became unresponsive as authorities drew his blood for six more minutes, keeping him facedown, the release stated.

Officers then tried to perform CPR about 10 minutes after Bronstein stopped responding, per the release; however, he was pronounced dead shortly after.

Bronstein's family filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in December 2020, PEOPLE confirmed at the time. They also wanted Gascón to file criminal charges against the officers involved in the incident.

After they filed the lawsuit, Bronstein's family learned that there was body-camera footage of the arrest. A federal judge ordered that the footage should be released last March. It was then shown at a news conference.

"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."

PEOPLE reached out to Carrillo after the D.A. announced the charges but did not immediately hear back.

In the video, which PEOPLE has watched, Bronstein is told that there is a court order for a blood draw.

Bronstein, who is handcuffed in the video, asked the officers why they need to draw blood. An officer told him that if he doesn't submit to the blood draw, he would be restrained.

According to NBC News, the Los Angeles County medical examiner's office ruled Bronstein's cause of death as "acute methamphetamine intoxication during restraint by law enforcement" and the manner as "unknown."

Bronstein's family believes that the police restraint is directly responsible for his death.

The CHP is still investigating, said Gascón.

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