Three Youth Facility Workers Charged With Manslaughter Over 16-Year-Old Black Boy’s Death
Three youth facility workers have been charged with manslaughter over the death of a 16-year-old Black boy.
Cornelius Fredericks died on May 1 after being restrained for 10 minutes after he had thrown a piece of bread.
Despite telling the facility workers that he couldn’t breathe – the same words George Floyd said before his death – they didn’t let go of the teenager. Cornelius then lay unresponsive for 12 minutes before 911 was called.
While Cornelius did eventually receive medical attention, he died two days after the incident in hospital after going into cardiac arrest.
The ordeal took place at Lakeside Academy, a residential treatment facility in Kalamazoo, Michigan, intended for young adults ages 12 to 18 placed through the foster care system or by their parents to receive behavioural health services.
Kalamazoo County Prosecuting Attorney Jeffrey Getting said in a statement:
That it ever happened is a tragedy beyond description, and we certainly don’t want to allow for another young man to have his life taken from him in this way.
The boy’s family filed a lawsuit after his death and following investigations by the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), it was announced yesterday, June 24, that prosecutors had filed involuntary manslaughter and second-degree child abuse charges against three of the staff members.
The three members of staff were named as Michael Mosley of Battle Creek, Zachary Solis of Lansing and Heather McLogan.
Mosley and Solis are also accused of restraining Cornelius in a ‘grossly negligent manner’ while McLogan is accused of gross negligence for allegedly failing to seek medical care for the teen in a timely manner, reported The Guardian.
The announcement came just hours after Kalamazoo County Medical Examiner ruled Cornelius’s death as a homicide. Ted Brown, who performed the autopsy, said the 16-year-old had been restrained on the ground, resulting in asphyxia; the same thing George Floyd was found to have died from.
He said, ‘In my opinion, the complications of him being restrained on the ground in a supine position by multiple people is ultimately what led to his death.’
MDHHS has since terminated all contracts with Lakeside Academy and has begun the legal process to revoke its licence, reported CNN.
Our thoughts are with Cornelius’s family and friends during this difficult time.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk