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Videos released in death of boy after improper restraint

 Lakeside Academy is where in May of 2020, 16-year-old Cornelius Fredericks was involved in an altercation and died shortly there after.
Lakeside Academy is where in May of 2020, 16-year-old Cornelius Fredericks was involved in an altercation and died shortly there after. (WILX)
Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 9:33 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WNDU) - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released the security video footage that shows the improper restraint of a youth at Lakeside for Children in Kalamazoo. The boy went into cardiac arrest and later died.

The statement released Tuesday night said the decision to release the videos was made in the interest of transparency.

To protect the privacy of other youth who witnessed the incident and are shown in the videos, MDHHS has blurred the faces of these youth.

“The incident shown in the videos is outrageous and heartbreaking. We have vowed to do everything in our power to prevent a senseless tragedy like this from happening again,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon in a press release.

A 16-year-old placed at Lakeside died May 1 after he was restrained by staff for 12 minutes for throwing food. The video shows staff members laying across the child’s upper torso during the restraint. Following the tragic death, all 125 youth at Lakeside were removed and placed in other appropriate settings based on their individual needs.

The Division of Child Welfare Licensing within MDHHS completed an investigation of Lakeside following the death. The investigation found 10 licensing violations, including a failure to follow rules related to resident restraint and discipline.

MDHHS has since terminated its contracts with Lakeside and has begun the legal process to revoke the facility’s license. MDHHS has begun the overhaul of its policies governing the use of restraints and the oversight of child-caring institutions.

Lakeside is a residential treatment facility for youth. MDHHS contracted with Lakeside for the treatment of youth who were placed through the abuse/neglect or juvenile justice foster care system or by their parents to receive behavioral health services.

CONTENT WARNING: The videos may be disturbing to some viewers. The videos from MDHHS can be found here and here. Lakeside provided the videos to MDHHS.

Copyright 2020 WNDU. All rights reserved.

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