Lawsuit: Michigan Teen Screamed 'I Can't Breathe' During Restraint

Jun 22, 2020

Attorney Geoffrey Fieger addresses the media in his office in Southfield, Mich., Friday, June 3, 2011. Fieger, along with Jon Marko has filed a $100 Million Dollar lawsuit against Sequel Youth Services and Lakeside for Children, among others, as a result of the suffocation death of Cornelius Frederick, age 16 on May 1, 2020.
Credit (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (AP) — A civil lawsuit filed Monday following the death of a 16-year-old in a Michigan youth facility says he screamed "I can't breathe" as a staff member placed weight on the Black teen's chest for nearly 10 minutes. The lawsuit filed Monday names Lakeside Academy in Kalamazoo and Sequel Youth and Family Services as defendants. Cornelius Fredericks died May 1 after going into cardiac arrest April 29. At the time, authorities said he was being restrained by staff after throwing a sandwich. His death came nearly a month before George Floyd died May 25 in Minneapolis, and comparisons are being drawn to the case.