A 16 year old boy died as a result of an intervention in an institution for young people. Now, three people are facing charges.


A few weeks before George Floyd yells: “I can’t breathe” to his death, Cornelius Fredericks, 16, has made the same plea hundreds of miles that the employees of the daycare in which he lived has used its weight to attach to the word, according to a report from the State of Michigan, and a lawsuit filed by his family.

They have kept in restraint for more than 10 minutes after the teen threw a piece of bread, and then waited another 12 minutes while it was “limp and unresponsive” before calling 911, according to the documents. Two days later, on may 1st, Fredericks died in a local hospital after restraint has earned him a cardiac arrest.

The death of the teenager has caused the indignation of his relatives and other children of the institution have been removed while authorities investigated the incident. On Wednesday, following investigations conducted by the Department of public safety of Kalamazoo and the Department of health and social services of Michigan, prosecutors have filed charges of involuntary manslaughter and child abuse against three members of the staff involved in the restraint of the 29 April and the subsequent death of Fredericks.

“That this has ever happened is a tragedy beyond any description, and we certainly do not want to allow another young man to lose his life this way,” said the prosecutor of the county of Kalamazoo, Jeffrey Getting, in announcing the charges at a press conference.

The announcement came a few hours after the medical examiner of Kalamazoo county ruled that the death of Fredericks was a homicide, concluding that the 16-year-old died of “asphyxiation by restraint,” reported WZZM.

Last week, the ministry of Health and social Services of the State concluded in a report of 62 pages that the staff of Lakeside Academy, a residential facility private for the young people of Kalamazoo, had poorly controlled Fredericks and had not received emergency medical care for the boy after his loss of consciousness.

Two of the members of the staff, Michael Mosley, 47 years old, and Zachary Solis, 28 years old, have been charged each with a head of manslaughter, for having forced the boy to commit gross negligence, a crime punishable by a sentence of up to 15 years in prison, as well as two charges of ill-treatment of children in the second degree, punishable by a penalty of up to 10 years.

Heather McLogan, 48 years old, a nurse of the institution, has been accused of a head of manslaughter and one count of child abuse in the second degree for not having sought medical care in a timely manner to Fredericks.

The attorney said the accusations focused on the “people most closely responsible for the death of Cornelius,” and that further charges against other members of the staff were possible.

A spokesman for the Lakeside Academy told BuzzFeed News that the three employees had been dismissed following the incident. Seven other employees involved – as well as the executive director of the institution – have also been dismissed.

“We strongly support the prosecutor’s decision to file criminal charges, which was based on a survey which was very thorough of the forces of order,” said the academy in a press release. “We will continue to cooperate fully throughout this process to ensure that justice is done. This is a tragic incident and senseless. ”

In the framework of the investigation into the death of Fredericks, the State has also suspended the licence of the institution, and the governor Gretchen Whitmer said she took steps to ensure that the company that supplied its staff no longer works in other facilities.

“The protection of our most vulnerable is an absolute priority of my administration, and the death senseless youth at Lakeside for Children in Kalamazoo is intolerable and heartbreaking,” said Whitmer in a press release. “We will take measures to prevent such tragedies from happening again in the future and we will ensure that there is a responsibility. ”

According to the report, a staff member, who is not identified by name, pushed the boy out of his seat and initiated the physical restraint after he was observed throwing bread on another student. The staff member who initiated the restraint without notification to or consult with a supervisor, as required by the State.

“Throw the bread is not a demonstration of an imminent threat of harm to self or others, and does not justify a physical management,” the report says. “The staff 1 has begun contention
the resident Has no justification because the resident was observed sitting on the floor after having been shoved out of his seat. This is not in line with the policy of the SCM for the alternatives that are less restrictive. ”

Several members of the staff have then helped to the hold, putting their weight on the chest, the abdomen and the legs of Fredericks ” which in fact a restraint of dangerous and excessive “, the report adds.

According to a lawsuit filed Monday on behalf of the estate of Fredericks, the boy shouted: “I can’t breathe “, while the staff took his body to the ground.

The trial of the family described Fredericks as a boy in “hyper turbulent” who had “a penchant for playing jokes and pranks,” but added that he was an adorable child.

“I want to know why this happened,” said the aunt of Fredericks, Had Goshay, during a press conference. “I want justice for my nephew.”


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