4 charged in death of man at Detroit-area mall in 2014

SOUTHFIELD, Michigan (AP) – Four people were charged with negligent homicide on Wednesday, nearly eight years after the death of a black man who was handcuffed to the floor by security at a mall near Detroit.

The Michigan prosecutor resumed the case in 2020.

McKenzie Cochran, 25, fought guards and was beaten with pepper spray on Northland Mall in Southfield in 2014. Authorities said the man died from compression suffocation.

Witnesses said Cochran could be heard: “I do not fight back – I cannot breathe.”

The Oakland County Attorney at the time said the guards were poorly trained but had no intention of harming Cochran. Jessica Cooper said she had consulted experts, including the U.S. Department of Justice, and declined to bring charges.

The four men were due to appear in court on Wednesday afternoon. Attorney General Dana Nessel said she would discuss the case at a press conference on Thursday.

The mall closed in 2015.

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