Family members of Jean Samuel Celestin announced a lawsuit against Ocoee and Windermere police departments. Celestin died on April 11, 2019 after officers responded to Celestin's home while he was having a schizophrenic episode. (Image: Jeff Segers/WKMG) (WKMG 2021)

When police officers arrived at his home in Ocoee in 2019, Jean Samuel Celestin asked them if they were real police officers. 

The 33-year-old had been suffering from mental illness since he was 17, and was unable to process information properly. So when his family called the police for help with a panic attack Celestin was experiencing, they told the officers about Celestin’s mental illnesses.

Still, officer Christopher Bonner chuckled in response to Celestin’s question, according to bodycam footage. ‘We’re not going to play this game, okay?’ Bonner later told Celestin.

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Onz Chery is a Haiti correspondent for The Haitian Times. Chery started his journalism career as a City College of New York student with The Campus. He later wrote for First Touch, local soccer leagues in New York and Elite Sports New York before joining The Haitian Times in 2019.