Video Shows Events Leading to Death of 16-Year-Old Cornelius Fredericks at a Michigan Youth Facility, Excessive Force Is Alleged

Video shows teen go unresponsive after being forced to the ground and held down by several individuals.

(National Elite) — Video shows teen go unresponsive after being forcibly restrained by several men.  The estate of Fredericks has filed a lawsuit in Michigan against defendants, including, Lakeside for Children and Sequel Youth Services of Michigan.  The Complaint alleges that the “loss of Cornelius Fredericks’s life at a young adolescent age of sixteen was due to the improper and wrongful use of restraints by staff members at Lakeside Academy in Kalamazoo, Michigan[; that] video from Lakeside Academy even shows a staff member placing his/her weight directly on Cornelius’s chest for nearly ten minutes as Cornelius lost consciousness.  Cornelius’s scream of ‘I can’t breathe’ was not enough to get the staff members to stop the excessive restraint.”

The Complaint states that Fredericks was a ward of the state and “was housed by the State of Michigan at defendant Lakeside Academy, which is located at 3921 Oakland Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49008” when on “April 29, 2020, the staff at Lakeside Academy used improper restraint on Cornelius Fredericks, which subsequently caused Cornelius to enter cardiac arrest.”

The Complaint also alleges that defendants “were negligent regarding the use of restraints on residents” and “in responding the coronavirus pandemic.  Only after Cornelius Fredericks was transported to the hospital, as a result of entering cardiac arrest from the improper restraint used on him, was it discovered that he was positive for coronavirus.  It would later be discovered that close to forty other residents and nine staff members at Lakeside Academy were also positive.”

According to the Complaint, “[s]ince 2016, Defendants had at least thirty violations investigated through the State of Michigan Department of Health and Human Services regarding facility and premises maintenance, staff qualifications, discipline, behavior management, resident restraint, and sufficiency of staff.  Additionally, since 2016, Defendants had to terminate at least eight employees for improper use of restrains and/or failure to use proper de-escalation techniques, and/or improper supervision of residents.”

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