Murder of Frederick Finley

His name was Frederick Finley. On his day off, he took his family shopping at Fairlane Shopping Mall. Five security guards forcibly detained Finley’s eleven year old step-daughter, accusing her of shoplifting a $4 bracelet. When Finley intervened, three guards threw Finley to the ground and handcuffed him, while one guard held his knee on the back of Finley’s neck. The same guard then used a chokehold to restrain Finley—already handcuffed—until Finley died of asphyxiation. No security guards were arrested, after several hours of investigation by Dearborn PD. Police interviewed no members of Finley’s family that day. It took a massive protest of 7,000 people outside the mall demanding justice before one guard was charged with manslaughter, a month after Finley’s death. The lone criminal charge was eventually dismissed by a district court judge in Dearborn. The mall paid a $7.5 million civil settlement for the killing of Frederick Finley.

Shortly after Ronald Haddad was appointed Police Chief in 2007, he began cracking down on shoplifting, particularly at Fairlane Mall. He implemented $400 cash bond for those charged with shoplifting. As of 2020, Haddad estimates that 35% of all arrests in the city of Dearborn occur at Fairlane Mall. Haddad boasts that Ford Motor Company would never have made the capital investment it recently did had he not cracked down on shoplifting. He claims that Fairlane Mall has dedicated police patrols, and that the mall had even made an arrangement with the PD to reimburse it for heavily increased police presence.

Frederick Finley was strangled in front of his entire family for a $4 bracelet. How can a community can be so obsessed with petty theft, and so focused on policing a shopping center based on “broken windows” theory of policing, and yet allow the killing of a man at that very same location go entirely unpunished. The unfortunate, but inescapable answer to that question is that in Dearborn, Black lives do not matter.

Read more about the event, circumstances, and response surrounding Frederick Finley's murder: