Mall security officers who killed an unarmed man while trying to restrain him will not face any criminal charges.
Reports say that 25-year-old McKenzie Cochran died at a Detroit area mall back in January. Cochran allegedly had been asked to leave the Northland Mall because of suspicious behavior. He later returned and made threatening comments to an employee at a jewelry store. That's when the guards were called in.
The security guards attempted to force Cochran to leave, but when he refused, they used pepper spray and restrained him. With one knee on his back, security guards tried to get him under control even as he yelled that he couldn’t breathe.
“Stop resisting,” said an officer.
"He calls out five or six times, saying that he can't breathe and they don't take the knee off his back, they keep his knee compressed," said attorney Thurswell to The Huffington Post. "He says, call the paramedics, he says he's going to die, call 911, they keep him down. They say, if you can talk, you can breathe. Finally, when he can't talk and he can't breathe, and he's totally passed out, they finally take the knee off his back. For all practical purposes, he was dead.”
An autopsy revealed that there were no signs of trauma, and Oakland County prosecutor Jessica Cooper says that they determined they officers did not intend to kill Cochran.
“The findings did not support that any officer tried to restrict his breathing by choking him." said Cooper. "There was no intent to harm. They didn't hit him. They didn't place him in a chokehold."
Still, a witness claims that he offered to give Cochran CPR before his death, but the guards wouldn’t let him and even told him that he was causing a problem.
“They told me that I was being troublesome, I was causing a problem by asking for the man's well-being," said witness Akil Copeland. "I don't know, maybe I could have saved him."
Thurswell has filed a wrongful death suit against the mall, the guards, and the security company but says that for Cochran’s mother, it doesn’t replace criminal charges.
Sources: Huffington Post, Detroit News