7 officers and a nurse charged with manslaughter in the 2020 murder of a man in police custody in Los Angeles County

(CNN) Seven California Highway Patrol officers and a registered nurse have been charged in the 2020 death of a man who was being pinned to the ground and repeatedly said he could not breathe, the Los Angeles County district attorney announced. , George Gascón, in a press conference.

Edward Bronstein, 38, died in police custody in March 2020 after officers pulled him over in Los Angeles County on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Officers obtained a warrant to obtain a blood sample from Bronstein, who initially resisted but later complied when officers restrained him while he was on the ground. Bronstein became unresponsive and was later pronounced dead.

Seven CHP officers were charged Wednesday with one count of manslaughter and one count of assault by officer, while the nurse who took a blood sample from Bronstein was charged with one count of manslaughter, according to the complaint.

CNN has reached out to attorneys representing the defendants in a federal lawsuit against them in connection with Bronstein’s death for comment. CNN is working to identify attorneys to represent them in the criminal case and has also reached out to CHP for comment.

In body camera video released last year as part of a federal lawsuit against CHP and those allegedly involved, Bronstein is heard repeatedly telling officers, “I can’t breathe,” while pinned to the ground.

Those same three words were repeated by George Floyd less than two months later before he was killed when he was held by Minneapolis police in May 2020.

Floyd’s murder sparked national and global protests against police brutality and racial injustices, sparking a national reckoning over the way law enforcement treats African-Americans. The officer who killed Floyd, Derek Chauvin, was convicted of murder in April 2021.

“These officers had a legal duty to Mr. Bronstein,” Gascón said. “He was in custody. We believe they breached his duty and his breach was criminally negligent, causing his death.” He added that “police accountability is essential for public safety.”

Bronstein’s father, Edward Tapia, said Wednesday that he’s “glad it’s gotten to this point where they can prosecute so they don’t hurt anyone else.”

“I don’t know what to say. What happened is something I still can’t bear,” he said.

Bronstein’s family filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against the state of California, CHP and individual officers who were on the scene when Bronstein was killed.

The lawsuit, filed in the Central District of California, alleges officers used “excessive and objectively unreasonable” force against Bronstein, who was “unarmed, restrained and surrounded by uniformed law enforcement officers.” That excessive force “was also the result of the CHP’s negligent employment, negligent retention, and negligent supervision” of officers, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit sought unspecified compensatory damages and requested a jury trial.

The eight people charged Wednesday will be arraigned later, the district attorney’s office said in a statement. The case remains under investigation by CHP, the office said.

CNN’s Paradise Afshar contributed to this report.