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Video shows youth facility staff restrain black teen who died

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Surveillance video released Tuesday shows seven staffers at a Michigan youth facility holding down a black teen until he goes limp, in an incident that took place just two days before his death.

Cornelius Fredericks, 16, was pushed to the ground and restrained for about eight minutes April 29 because he threw a sandwich in the cafeteria at Lakeside Academy in Kalamazoo, according to the footage released by a lawyer for the teen’s estate.

A civil lawsuit filed by Fredericks’ estate says the boy screamed “I can’t breathe” as the male employees continued to hold him down. The footage shown to reporters has no sound in it.

Several of the staffers are seen grabbing onto the teen’s arms and legs, while others even sit on top of him.

Toward the end of the video, the boy appears to go limp and falls back down when the men try to sit him up. Others then move in to do CPR.

“He’s not fighting at all … his shoes and his feet are just lying there,” said the attorney, Geoffrey Fieger.

While being restrained, Fredericks went into cardiac arrest and was then hospitalized. He died two days later, authorities said.

The death was ruled a homicide and an autopsy said the boy had been asphyxiated.

Two male staffers and a female nurse — Michael Mosley, Zachary Solis and Heather McLogan — were fired and charged with involuntary manslaughter and second-degree child abuse in Fredericks’ death.

Fieger is now urging authorities to bring charges against others involved.

“As you can see in the video, far more than two people are involved in suffocating him,” the attorney said. “I would urge them to reconsider the other people… who are clearly involved in the killing of Cornelius.”

The teen was placed into the custody of the state several years ago after his mother died. His father was incarcerated at the time.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services placed him in the care of Lakeside Academy. Both Lakeside and its operator, Sequel Youth and Family Services, are named in the lawsuit.

The state said it terminated its contract with Lakeside last month and removed all 125 youth being housed there.

With Post wires

Read More at NYPost

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