Southfield ó The family of a Ferndale man who died last month following a scuffle with security officers at Northland Center filed a wrongful lawsuit Friday in the manís death.
The Northland Center mall, IPC International Corporation and the six security officers involved in the incident have been named in the lawsuit which seeks at least $800 million in damages.
ď(Security guards) without legal justification indiscriminately and/or unreasonably repeatedly pepper-sprayed (McKenzie Cochran) at Northland Center who did not pose any threats,Ē according to the lawsuit filed by Cochranís family attorney Gerald Thurswell.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of McKenzie Cochranís estate and his mother Teresa Cochran.
Mackenize Cochran, 24, died Jan. 28 following the incident in which he was pepper sprayed and held down by security guards. Witnesses said Cochran hollered out for help saying he could not breath as the officers appeared to sit on him.
Officers assisted paramedics in treating Cochran. He was taken to nearby Providence Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The incident occurred after a merchant called mall guards on Cochran after allegedly complaining to them that the Ferndale man had been acting suspiciously.
The mallís general manager, Brent Reetz, said the man made threatening statements and became combative after approached by security.
Cell phone video of the incident has touched off a firestorm of outrage over the incident.
On Thursday, state State Reps. Thomas Stallworth (D-Detroit) and Rudy Hobbs (D-Southfield) held a news conference calling for better training of security guards in Michigan. They introduced a bill that would require the state agency Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to establish minimum training requirements appropriate for implementation, administration and enforcement for security guards working in Michigan.