Oakland County prosecutor to request outside review for 2014 killing of McKenzie Cochran by mall security

Posted at 11:37 AM, Jun 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-14 23:02:16-04

OAKLAND COUNTY (WXYZ) — The Oakland County prosecutor will be submitting a 2014 case to the Michigan attorney general's office for review. It involves the killing of a Black man by mall security. Some say the Michigan man's death was similar to the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota.

RELATED: Death of young black man at the hands of white mall security should be prosecuted, says family attorney

Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper confirmed her request for an outside review to 7 Action News on Sunday. This comes after her office concluded that charges were not warranted in the case. And six years later, Cooper still has maintained that facts haven't changed despite strong similarities to the George Floyd case in Minnesota.

Cell phone video showed 25-year-old McKenzie Cochran, of Ferndale, being held down after security guards pepper sprayed him at the now closed Northland Mall in January 2014.

Cochran’s family says they’ve been denied justice for years after his death. They now hope years later that charges can be filed.

“I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,” Cochran yelled.

But a security officer replied, “If you can talk, you can breathe.”

RELATED: Death of George Floyd brings back pain to McKenzie Cochran’s family after no charges filed In death

After security placed a knee on his back and held him down, McKenzie later became unconscious and died. An autopsy later determined his death was a result of positional asphyxia.

Prosecutor Cooper said in 2014 she did not charge because she could not win the case. She also says the security guards did not intend to harm Cochran.

The AG's office said that no request has formally been made yet, and adds that they can't comment further.

"At this time, we have not yet received an official request," a statement from the Michigan AG office said. "Will keep our eyes out for it but wouldn’t be able to comment further without first receiving and reviewing such request."