Three Staffers at Michigan Youth Home Charged in Death of 16-Year-Old Black Boy

Three former staff members of a Michigan youth home have been charged in the death of a 16-year-old Black boy. He died last month after employees sat on his chest, abdomen and legs in an effort to restrain him.

An autopsy report released Wednesday by the Kalamazoo medical examiner’s office ruled the suffocation death of Cornelius Fredericks a homicide. The examination revealed it was the result of “restraint asphyxia,” caused by multiple people using their weight to pin the boy down.

Fredericks was apparently held down by the staffers for about 12 minutes after throwing a piece of bread on the floor at Lakeside Academy where he lived, according to an investigation by state officials.

An attorney for his family said Fredericks repeatedly cried, “I can’t breathe.”

When he became unresponsive, the state investigation found, employees at the home — which houses children in foster care or the juvenile justice system — failed to perform CPR and waited another 12 minutes to call for medical assistance.

Thirty hours later, Fredericks suffered a heart attack and died in hospital on May 1.

As Michigan Radio reports:

“[Michael Mosley and Zachary Solis] are facing homicide charges of involuntary manslaughter charges (felonies that carry up to 15 years) as well as two second degree child abuse charges, each carrying up to 10 years. [Heather] McLogan is facing involuntary manslaughter and one charge of child abuse.”

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SOURCE: NPR, Vanessa Romo