KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Cornelius Frederick died last month after being restrained at the Lakeside For Children facility. Videos show staff members piling on the 16-year-old, trying to restrain him after they said he threw a sandwich to the ground.
State officials have announced new emergency rules aimed at preventing anything like that from happening again. There is now a rule against placing children face down while they’re being restrained.
The rules are an overhaul of how staff at homes are supposed to care for the children.
Frederick was a ward of the state. His mother had died and his father couldn’t care for him. Video shows him throwing a sandwich and then staff piling on top of him. An internal report suggests staff laid on top of him for as long as 12 minutes.
The teen was in distress and witnesses said he was unable to breathe. He was transported to a hospital’s intensive care unit and was pronounced dead. According to the medical examiner, he died from restraint asphyxia.
Lakeside for Children is a youth center in Kalamazoo. The state is now changing the rules for facilities like that one, which are paid by the state to care for children.
Lakeside has had its license suspended and three of the staffers have been charged with involuntary manslaughter.