Charges have been filed against Detroit Mall security guards in the death of a man eight years later.
In the nearly eight-year-old killing of McKenzie Cochran at a Detroit mall, Michigan’s attorney general announced charges against four mall security guards.
In the wake of the uproar over George Floyd’s death, Cochran’s case received increased attention. Authorities were able to charge the individuals after receiving new evidence.
At Northland Mall, security personnel allegedly pepper sprayed Cochran.
A jewelry retailer reported that Cochran was making threats just moments before the altercation with security guards.
Cochran was shackled and immobilized on the floor before dying of compression asphyxiation, according to witnesses, after he “repeatedly warned security officials that he couldn’t breathe,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said.
“I’m not resisting — I can’t breathe,” Cochran was heard saying, according to witnesses.
Jessica Cooper, the Oakland County prosecutor at the time, declined to press charges, arguing that the guards had no intention of harming Cochran.
However, Nessel prosecuted Lucius Hamilton, John Seiberling, Gaven King, and Aaron Maree with involuntary manslaughter, stating that Cochran died as a result of the guards’ negligence.
“Law enforcement doesn’t always get it right,” Nessel said of the earlier convictions. “However, it is equally crucial for us to remember that when people who commit heinous crimes are permitted to walk free, justice is also harmed.” See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
“We have more proof now than (Cooper) did in 2014,” Nessel added. “I can’t say if having that knowledge would have made a difference in her assessment if it had been available.” “My client and his family are in complete shock,” said George Gostias, an attorney for King, referring to the time since Cochran’s death and the earlier legal finding.
The charge, according to King’s lawyer, was unjustified. Seiberling’s lawyer did not respond to a request for comment. On Thursday, Hamilton and Maree were scheduled to appear in court.
Evidence acquired by Cochran’s family during a lawsuit was shared with investigators, according to Nessel. She further claimed that the guards were not adhering to internal procedures regarding the usage of handcuffs.
In her campaign to unseat Cooper, Karen McDonald, the new prosecutor in Oakland County, brought up the Cochran issue. She was relieved to be charged.
“As a community, as a state, as a country, and as individuals, we have progressed.” This is a condensed version of the information.