Video: at least seven men restrained teen in Kalamazoo Academy and he died in hospital two days after
If this is not an abuse of power so what is? And there even wasn’t police.
The released video shows at least seven men restrained a teenager at a youth facility cafeteria for several minutes for he threw a sandwich. Two days after the teen died.
The terrible incident happened on April 29 in the Lakeside Academy in Kalamazoo, Michigan, when 16-year-old Cornelius Frederick was being pushed to the floor and pinned to the ground for 12 minutes by the facility staffers. Frederick was screaming that he couldn’t breathe while the men held his arms and legs and others were sitting on his chest and abdomen.
The video ends when the teen limps and falls back on the floor after the staff members tried to sit him up. Somebody then performs CPR on him.
He died two days after in the hospital as after the incident he suffered cardiac arrest. The death was ruled a homicide and the doctor who performed the autopsy said Fredericks died of asphyxia.
Fiegel states that the part of the footage is missing, althought it's not confirmed that it had been edited.
“What was unseen was two counselors talking to him while he’s about to throw food at another boy,” said Kiana Carolyn Garrity, who represents defendant Michael Mosley. “He was taken down because he was threatening another boy."
Frederick had been in the Academy for two years after his mother’s death and his father was jailed. The teen’s estate filed a civil lawsuit and seeks $100 million, alleging negligence. Detroit-area attorney Geoffrey Fieger, representing Frederick's family comments on the released video.
“As you can see in the video, far more than two people are involved in suffocating him,” Fieger said. “I would urge them to reconsider the other people ... who are clearly involved in the killing of Cornelius.”
Fieger additionally pointed out that the investigation revealed that staff members at Lakeside had also suffocated Frederick as a form of discipline.
“It is a horrific videotape and it demonstrates what other employees have told us is a culture of fear and abuse at the Lakeside facility,” Fieger said. “One employee told us that in order to work there all you needed was to be breathing and accept $13 per hour.”
“The mechanism for dealing with children in this facility was abuse and fear,” he added. “In fact, suffocation was regularly practiced upon children. They called it ‘fearing.’”
The footage sparked outrage among civil rights activists and children's advocates.
Majyck Raydo, president of Promise Advocacy for Children Community Transformation, a Kalamazoo-based organization, said watching the video moved her to organize a demonstration planned for Wednesday morning outside Kalamazoo District Court.
"I watched the video this morning and I cried," she said. "Just as a mother, I felt outraged. I was helpless and I could see my child there. So I had to use my skills as an organizer. To see that video and not be able to do anything in real-time, I feel an obligation to Cornelius and his family to bring him justice."