Police won't pursue shoplifting charges in high-profile case

DEARBORN, Mich. - Police will not press shoplifting charges against the three companions of a black man whose death outside a shopping center sparked protests.

Chief Ron Deziel said Friday the decision was made despite store surveillance videotapes that he said pointed to shoplifting by the man's common-law wife and two children with them.

''Because this case has received so much publicity ... I think we would be severely criticized if we brought charges,'' Deziel said.

The June 22 death of Frederick Finley sparked accusations of racial profiling and a protest outside the Lord & Taylor store. Finley, 32, died after he was subdued by store security guards investigating the alleged shoplifting.

A part-time guard, also black, is charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Activists accuse the store of having black security workers scrutinize minority shoppers to avoid the appearance of discrimination. A spokeswoman for the store has declined to comment.

Geoffrey Fieger, the attorney for Finley's family, could not be reached for comment.


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