June 23, 2024


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NBC News investigation looks into death of teen at Kzoo youth home

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Just one month shy of marking one year since Cornelius Fredericks’ death, NBC News is sharing findings from its investigation into Lakeside Academy’s parent company: Sequel Youth and Family Services.

NBC News obtained never-before-seen body cam video that helps piece together April 29, 2020. NBC Senior National Correspondent Kate Snow also spoke with Fredericks’ case manager at the Kalamazoo facility. 

“Unfortunately, if you had asked a majority of our staff six months prior, we probably could have told you this was going to happen,” Meghan Folkerson, the former Lakeside employee, told Snow in her first public interview.

Target 8 previously obtained surveillance video, as well as the 911 call from that day, which showed a disregard for restraint policies and a lack of urgency to help the teen after several Lakeside Academy employees held him down in the cafeteria.  

Fredericks died at the hospital May 1, 2020.

Three former employees face charges in his death.

Lakeside was shut down by the state last year. Target 8 found a history of violations at the facility.

Fulkerson’s insight — and findings from NBC News’ investigation into Sequel — airs April 4 at 10 p.m. on MSNBC.