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$24M Police Excessive Force Settlement Largest In CA History

California will pay $24 million in a civil rights settlement with the family of Edward Bronstein, a man who died in police custody after screaming "I can't breathe" while officers restrained him, USA Today reports. Bronstein, who was 38, was taken into custody on March 31, 2020, by California Highway Patrol officers on suspicion of driving under the influence. While trying to take a blood sample from Bronstein, officers threw him to a mat on the floor, according to a nearly 18-minute video. The video showed Bronstein being held down for several minutes before appearing to lose consciousness. He was later pronounced dead. In March, seven officers and a nurse were charged with involuntary manslaughter in Los Angeles County.

After a Bronstein family federal lawsuit alleging excessive force and a violation of civil rights, a judge ordered video footage of the incident released last year. Announcing the criminal charges in March, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said the officers failed Bronstein, "and their failure was criminally negligent, causing his death." The $24 million settlement is the largest civil rights settlement of its kind by the state of California, said Annee Della Donna and Eric Dubin, attorneys for Bronstein's young children. It. is the second largest nationally, following the city of Minneapolis' agreement to pay $27 million in the George Floyd case in March 2021. The seven California Highway Patrol officers were put on administrative leave in March. Each faces one count of involuntary manslaughter and one felony count of assault under the color of authority.


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