Orange County

Family of man who died after being tased by Ocoee police discusses newly filed lawsuit

ORLANDO, Fla. — The family of a man who died after being tased at least four times by Ocoee police is hosted a news conference to discuss a lawsuit they’ve filed against the officers involved on Friday.

The Celestin family and one of their lawyers, Jeremy Markman, spoke during the news conference.

“What we have is law enforcement officers who are inadequately trained, inadequately prepared and did not deal with this situation appropriately,” Markman said.

READ: ‘It really, really hurts’: Family files lawsuit after man dies after being tased 4 times by Ocoee police

Jean “Sam” Celestin, 33, died in April 2019 after being tased at least four times while officers were responding to his mother’s home for a domestic disturbance.

His mother and sister were not frantic during the call with dispatchers, nor when officers arrived on the scene. Celestin had punched both women in the face. They said they knew it was a symptom of someone suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder and off his medication.

READ: Man dies after being shocked with Taser by Ocoee police

His family said they expected Celestin to be Baker Acted, not killed.

“The moment he has his first major crisis, we call for help and he is no longer with us,” his sister Joanne Celestin said. “He was killed.”

They recently filed a lawsuit against the city of Ocoee, the town of Windermere, four Ocoee Police Department officers, and one Windermere Police Department officer, in connection with Celestin’s death.

READ: Florida to offer scholarships to Ocoee Massacre descendants

Ocoee and Windermere have not responded to the lawsuit.

FDLE and the state attorney’s office investigated the case, and the officers from Ocoee and Windermere were not charged.

Click here to read more about the case.

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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.

Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal,

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

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