Investigation continues in Northland Mall death

Investigation continues in Northland Mall death

Posted: Updated:
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- Southfield's police chief says his department is still investigating the death of a 25-year-old man at a shopping mall.

Chief Eric Hawkins says his department is waiting on results of a toxicology report in the death of McKenzie Cochran, who died Jan. 28 after a struggle with security at Northland Mall.

"The police department has not made a decision on fault on this matter," said Hawkins, who plans to turn findings over to the Oakland County prosecutor once the investigation is complete.

Hawkins says Cochran was pepper-sprayed and restrained by private security guards hired by Northland Mall after a shop owner felt threatened and called for help.

Hawkins say it likely will take weeks to complete the investigation.

Video aired by FOX 2 shows guards restraining a person who says he can't breathe. About 30 people held a protest at the mall last week, demanding an explanation.

Cochran's family attorney, Gerald Thurswell, says he will file a wrongful death lawsuit whether criminal charges are filed against the guards or not.

Two state legislators, Representatives Thomas Stallworth III (D-Detroit) and Rudy Hobbs (D-Southfield), are also calling for a review of state training standards for security guard forces.

-- The Associated Press contributed to this report

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