Lake County

‘We want accountability’: Lake County protesters demand action after inmate dies following use-of-force incident

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. — Dozens of protesters gathered outside the Lake County Courthouse on Tuesday demanding justice for 51-year-old Christopher Howell, who died following a use-of-force incident while incarcerated at Lake Correctional Institution.

“Christopher was not sentenced to death, he was sentenced to four years in prison,” protesters said.

On June 18, the Florida Department of Corrections said a use-of-force incident occurred and Howell was severely injured. Officials said he died at the hospital the next day.

READ: Lake County inmate dies after ‘use of force’ incident involving officer, Department of Corrections says

Officials haven't said how many correctional officers were involved, but they're now on administrative leave. No other details surrounding the event have been released.

“We want accountability and we want an arrest and we’re not settling for less,” said Debra Bennett with Change Comes Now. “We want the same justice on the inside of the prison that the whole world is fighting for out here.”

The Florida Department of Corrections said the warden has called for an investigation by outside law enforcement and placed the officers involved on administrative leave.

Officials said if misconduct occurred, those responsible will be held accountable.

Myrt Price

Myrt Price,

Myrt Price joined the eyewitness news team as a general assignment reporter in October of 2012.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson,

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.