Nurse, 7 officers charged in death of man who refused blood draw

A nurse and seven California Highway Patrol officers have been charged with involuntary manslaughter after the death of a man who was court ordered to have a blood draw in 2020, NBC News reported March 29.

Edward Bronstein was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, District Attorney George Gascón told NBC News. At the police station, Mr. Bronstein initially refused to do a blood draw and a judge issued a warrant authorizing his blood to be taken by a nurse. Mr. Bronstein still resisted and officers restrained him on the ground. Mr. Bronstein reportedly screamed that he could not breathe and was willing to do a blood draw, but officers did not stop restraining him.

Six minutes after Mr. Bronstein's last scream, he was found "completely lifeless," according to Mr. Gascón. CPR began 13 minutes after his last scream, but Mr. Bronstein could not be revived. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's Office listed the cause of death as "acute methamphetamine intoxication during restraint by law enforcement."

The officers were charged with involuntary manslaughter and assault under the color of authority. Arbi Baghalian, RN, was charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection to Mr. Bronstein's death, the report said. 

Ms. Baghalian's civil defense attorney, Tim Schuler, called the charge against her outrageous.

"I am not aware of anyone who has opined that the nurse’s conduct in any way caused or contributed to this unfortunate death," Mr. Schuler told NBC News

Ms. Baghalian faces a maximum of four years in prison if convicted, Mr. Gascón said.

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