Four security guards charged with involuntary manslaughter for black man’s death in 2014 at Northland Mall

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Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.  - MICHIGAN GOVERNOR'S OFFICE

  • Michigan Governor’s Office
  • Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

Four security guards have been charged with involuntary manslaughter after detaining a 25-year-old black man at the Northland Center Mall in Southfield when he gasped, “I can not breathe,” in 2014, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Wednesday.

Lucius Hamilton, John Seiberling, Gaven King and Aaron Maree are scheduled to be indicted in the 46th District Court of Oakland County on Wednesday afternoon.

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McKenzie Cochran.  - PEACE FUNERAL HOME

  • Peace Funeral Home
  • McKenzie Cochran.

The guards are accused of killing McKenzie Cochran, who was unarmed and died of compression dusting, according to an autopsy.

The confrontation began after the mall’s security guards were called to the LA Diamonds store, where the clerk said Cochran was acting suspiciously. Cochran was pepper sprayed, handcuffed and held face down by security guards for nine minutes.

After an eight-month investigation, Oakland County prosecutor Jessica Cooper denied the charges to the guards, saying they did not intend to kill Cochran at Northland Mall.

Nessel promised to take over the investigation after George Floyd’s death in May 2020, who also shouted, “I can not breathe,” while a Minneapolis police officer squeezed him with a knee to the neck.

“My office will conduct a thorough and comprehensive review of this case to determine if further action should have been taken in response to Mr Cochran’s death,” Nessel said in June 2020. “If the evidence warrants further action, we will make an effort to ensure that justice is served. ”

Nessel plans to discuss the matter during a press conference at 10 a.m. Thursday in Detroit.

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