COCONUT CREEK, Fla. – Coconut Creek police Chief Michael Mann just retired in the wake of a Taser death of an unarmed man last month -- a time when Coconut Creek officers weren't certified to use Taser guns.
The night Calvon Reid, 39, met his end just feet from his front door still haunts John Arendale, who remembers some of Reid's last words.
"They're going to kill me," Arendale said Reid said.
Arendale said Coconut Creek police officers "Taser-blasted" Reid, who was unarmed and had refused medical treatment for unknown injuries. He said the officers used their Taser guns on Reid "excessively" and "at least four times." He said he was disturbed when Mann and the department kept the incident secret for several days.
"There was no cover-up," Mann said.
When Mann resigned Wednesday Arendale said he felt one emotion.
"(I felt) some relief, I guess," Arendale said.
Sources close to the police department said Mann was actually forced to resign because of a public cover-up of the death and because the officers involved weren't even certified to use a Taser.
"Why weren't they certified annually?" asked Rick Riley. "And in the bigger picture, why was the chief, the head man, not certified?"
Riley, the spokesman for Reid's South Carolina family, said Reid's parents felt the resignation was a "good thing," and now they want a solid investigation of why their son was killed.
"The family wants justice," Riley said. "They want right-minded people to delve and dig for the truth. They want the truth to reveal itself."
City officials have been silent about the incident, and City Manager Mary Blasi refused an interview request as the internal investigation continues.
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