After this April’s tragic homicidal death of Cornelius Fredericks, a Black teenager who was pinned to the floor by several grown-ups, the state of Michigan has finally outlawed particular methods of physical restriction in foster care and juvenile institutions.
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ ruling, prone restraint is now prohibited when it comes to a child, as well as any other type of face-down physical pressure there a child is placed faced down and has trouble breathing. In the cases when a child was forcefully restrained (in a less dangerous fashion), their family, as well as the state’s HHS must be notified immediately.
Cornelius Fredericks, a ward of the court who was only 16, was thrown to the floor and restrained by at least seven staff members of the Lakeside Academy in Kalamazoo. He had reportedly provoked them by throwing his sandwich in the school cafeteria. A CCTV camera caught the men pressing the teenager’s entire body down for at least 12 minutes preventing him from breathing properly. Their actions caused the boy to go into cardiac arrest which resulted in his death two days later.