SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) - A group held a vigil outside Northland Mall in peaceful protest of a 25-year-old Ferndale man who died after a struggle with mall security guards.
Close family and friends gathered right outside mall doors near the jewelry store where mall security guards struggled with McKenzie Cochran.
"It was not called for and it could've been avoided," said his cousin Lawrence Cochran.
Lawrence said his family wants justice for his cousin.
"McKenzie was just a young, young man who did nothing wrong," said Lawrence.
The Ferndale man died shortly after the struggle. The whole incident caught on cell phone after security guards pepper sprayed McKenzie, cuffed him and pinned him to the ground even though he screamed he could not breathe.
"Looking for justice out here at Northland Mall. What they did was not right and they need to know that," said family friend Concye Hunt.
Some who gathered on Thursday night had been at the mall that day, like Kevin Campbell who saw the whole thing.
"I want them to get the understanding that you can't get away with it," said Campbell.
Family and friends purposely held the vigil during McKenzie's viewing as a way to honor his memory.
"This is a tragedy that happened. And this could've been anybody's child, not just my family member," said Lawrence.
There still has been no comment from Northland Mall on the actions of their security guards. Southfield Police were at the mall tonight to make sure the vigil and protest stayed peaceful. Police allowed the group to go back and forth into the mall.