KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Additional surveillance video and the 911 call from inside Lakeside Academy is helping shape the timeline of events that led to Cornelius Fredericks’ death.
Tuesday, Geoffrey Fieger released surveillance video from inside the cafeteria April 29 showing several staff members on top of the 16-year-old after he threw food.
The medical examiner previously ruled his death a homicide. Ten people were fired by Lakeside, three of them face felonies.
The upsetting images brought context to calls for additional criminal charges and action by the state to revoke the Kalamazoo facility’s license last month, while also warning a separate facility in Albion to sever its relationship with the company contracted to run both youth homes.
Video from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, also now shared online, gives a second angle from inside the cafeteria and provides a better timestamp of how everything unfolded.
The teen was tackled shortly before 12:49 p.m. that Wednesday afternoon.
That surveillance shows staff got off Fredericks at 12:59 p.m.
Heather McLogan, the nurse facing criminal charges, called 911 at 1:11 p.m., according to the audio file News 8 obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The call itself lasted a little more than two minutes.
“We had a student that was in a restraint and now he’s unresponsive,” she explained to the dispatcher, before saying he wasn’t awake and his breath was shallow.
The state’s second angle inside the cafeteria showed EMS arrived about six minutes after the call ended, at 1:19 p.m.
‘WE WANT BETTER FOR YOUNG PEOPLE’
A CHANGE.org petition continuing to circulate in response to Fredericks’ death garnered more than 250,000 signatures Wednesday evening.
“That shows that we’re ready for change and we want better for young people in our care. We care about public safety,” director of Youth Justice Policy for the Michigan Center for Youth Justice told News 8. “We care about making sure that young people have the best outcomes, then we have to really take a look at the facilities where our most vulnerable are being housed.”
The center is circulating the petition. At first, the goal was to urge the state to ban Sequel from running facilities in Michigan, which was finalized with the announcement of Starr Commonwealth, announcing it ended its contract with the company in Albion last week.
Smith is also advocating for a permanent end to physical restraints, annual reports detailing violations and corrective actions at both private and public facilities in the state and independent juvenile justice ombudsman to investigate complaints on behalf of youth and their families.
The overarching problem? — Companies enlisted to run facilities are structured like businesses, Smith said.
“It’s really due to the lack of training, the lack of resources and treatment focus that for-profit companies, like Sequel, provide,” the director explained. “They prioritize making a profit over anything else and you see that in the fact that they house many youth from other states. Even Lakeside Academy — before it closed, the majority of young people that were housed there were not from Michigan like Cornelius. The majority were from other states. Their priority is to fill beds and to make a profit and cut costs.”
Previously, MDHHS confirmed 125 youth were housed at Lakeside. The state placed 47 there, while 78 were placed by counties in Michigan or by other states. They have since been moved elsewhere.