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

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (AP) — Four people were charged Wednesday with involuntary manslaughter, nearly eight years after the death of a Black man who was pinned to the floor by security guards at a Detroit-area shopping mall.

The Michigan attorney general’s office reopened the case in 2020.

McKenzie Cochran, 25, struggled with guards and was hit with pepper spray at Northland Mall in Southfield in 2014. Authorities said the man died of compression asphyxiation.

Witnesses said Cochran could be heard saying, “I’m not resisting — I can’t breathe.”

The Oakland County prosecutor at that time said the guards were poorly trained but had no intent to harm Cochran. Jessica Cooper said she had consulted experts, including the U.S. Justice Department, and declined to file charges.

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

The mall closed in 2015.

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