NAACP calling for thorough investigation into Northland Center mall incident that left man dead
4:34 PM, Jan 31, 2014
6:01 PM, Jan 31, 2014
(WXYZ) - The NAACP will hold a press conference on Friday afternoon regarding the Northland Center mall incident that left one man dead.
McKenzie Cochran, 25, died after he was pepper sprayed in an encounter with security at the Northland Center mall.
Investigators are still awaiting the results of an autopsy following a struggle between Cochran and security guards who used pepper spray to subdue him.
Southfield Police say Cochran was observed outside a store a couple of days ago and had revisited the store Tuesday evening. The owner felt uncomfortable and called for the mall security.
Northland Center Mall General Manager Brent Reetz says Cochran was loitering outside the LA Jewelry store and personnel were concerned.
Security guards say they tried to talk with Cochran who they felt was not being cooperative. There was a struggle and pepper spray was used to bring the situation under control.
In cell phone video you can see Cochran struggling under three mall security guards while yelling "I can't breathe, I can't breathe." To which one of the guards replied "If you can talk, you can breathe."
Shortly following his pleas, Cochran lost consciousness causing the security guards to call for back up and paramedics.
By the time the Southfield Police arrived, Cochran had a pulse, but was not responsive. He was transported to Providence hospital where he died.
The Greater Southfield Farmington Area NAACP is calling for a thorough investigation into McKenzie's death. The press conference will be held at 4:30 p.m. at the Law Office of Dorothy Dean.
"We are asking that a thorough investigation occur in this tragic case," according to NAACP President, Dr. Butler. "Too many of our young people are profiled because of their race," she added. "As we saw with the Trayvon Martin case, our young black men are targeted and this must stop," she added.