Group holds protest at Northland Mall after deadly security confrontation

National Action Network seeks answers in Ferndale man's death

By Steve Garagiola - Reporter/Anchor

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - Demonstrators in Southfield Monday called for answers to their questions about the death of a Ferndale man, who scuffled with mall security officers.

It happened last Tuesday: Cellphone video taken by a shopper at Northland Mall in Southfield shows 25-year-old McKenzie Cochran get into a confrontation with mall security guards.

No one disputes that the guards used pepper spray on Cochran.

Akil Copeland was shopping with his son that day and says he knew right way it was a bad situation.

"I could hear the man on the ground saying, 'I cannot breath,'" said Copeland.

Copeland says the guards told him to stay back.

"I said I'm not causing trouble. I'm asking about this man's well-being. It looks like he can't breathe to me.  He needs some help. they told me again, do not come over here," Copeland said.

McKenzie Cochran died.

Representatives of the National Action Network held a peaceful protest and prayer vigil Monday at the mall. Rev. Charles Williams II said his group wandts to know what happened and if anyone will be held accountable.

"It has been almost a week and still we have no answers from Northland Mall,"
Williams said.

The mall's general manager read from a prepared statement, saying he would meet soon with representatives of the group.

When asked if the mall management had any condolences for the the family of McKenzie Cochran, the manager offered no comment.

That raised more questions from Rev. Charles Williams II.

"I think it is said that someone would be so calloused and someone would be so non-concerned that they would at least not express their condolences for a life," Williams said.

 Rev. Williams added he is looking forward to a private meeting with mall management, which said it is continuing to work with Southfield Police in their investigation.

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