March 18, 2022 – New York, NY – In response to a just-released video of Edward Bronstein being forcibly held down and killed following a traffic stop—after police said they had suspicion of Bronstein being under the influence of a narcotic—Kassandra Frederique, Executive Director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), released the following statement:
“Caught on tape, the world was once again given a first-hand reminder of how drug involvement or suspicion of drug use is too often used by police as an excuse to harass, assault and even kill people. The gut-wrenching video of Edward Bronstein’s death at the hands of police is an example of the harms of the drug war. Despite repeatedly saying ‘I’ll do it willingly,’ cops ignored him and physically forced Bronstein to submit to a drug test—he then died after multiple police knelt on him to draw blood.
“Police have been given unchecked power to use aggressive tactics, which in too many instances has led to killings, particularly of Black, Latinx and Indigenous people. Drugs have been used to justify the police violence and fatal encounters which are supported by ever-increasing police budgets, despite not ending the drug war and overdose rates increasingly exponentially while leading to the death of Edward Bronstein and so many before him: Breonna Taylor, Carlos Ingram Lopez, Daniel Prude, Dwayne Pritchett, Eric Garner, George Floyd, Michael Brown, Rayshard Brooks, and countless others.
“As the country grapples with the perceived increase in violence in our communities, we should question and address the continuous violence that our law enforcement agencies are inflicting in our communities.
“The Drug Policy Alliance will continue fighting to remove drug involvement as a cover for disregarding the dignity and sanctity of human life. We will challenge institutions and their policies. We believe there is an alternative response to these moments and stand at the ready to work with those ready to chart out the new way.”