Ten Questions About The Charles Eimers Autopsy Report

Charles Eimers Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

Charles Eimers Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all believe that Charles Eimers’ death was just an accident – somehow the 61-year-old tourist was simply a ‘walking heart attack’ and when police tried to arrest him he stressed out and his heart gave up.

We have a few questions about the final autopsy report:

1.  What About The Civilian Witnesses?

Eimers’ “face was not forced into the sand,” wrote former Monroe County Medical Examiner, E. Hunt Sheuerman, “but, rather, as he struggled, his face moved back and forth across the sand.”

We know the Medical Examiners’ Report was signed on April 26th.  Of the many civilian witnesses we spoke to, only two were ever interviewed by FDLE and those two interviews took place in mid May, several weeks after the Medical Examiner had already signed his report.

Would the Medical Examiner have come up with a different opinion, had he had access to testimony such as:

“I saw an officer kneeling in front of the man with a knee on his back and he was holding the man’s head down in the sand. “  [Witness from Maryland who came forward last week in response to CBS coverage.]

It appears that FDLE may not have presented the Medical Examiner with any eyewitness testimony from persons who were actually there when it happened, other than that of the police officers themselves, the same individuals who had told Emergency Medical Services [EMS] that Eimers had run down the beach, collapsed all of a sudden, and had no pulse when officers got to him.

If the Medical Examiner had been made aware of the testimony of those civilian witnesses would he still have ruled out asphyxiation?

2.  The AED [Automated External Defibrillator]

“If my Dad died due to a cardiac arrest brought on by ventricular fibrillation,” says Treavor Eimers, who was formerly an emergency care nurse, “then why did the AED, which they say was brought over to him immediately, indicate ‘No Shock Advised’? The device would have advised shocking him if his heart had been in ventricular fibrillation.”  Why doesn’t the Medical Examiner mention the “No Shock Advised” diagnostic observed on scene?  Was this detail made known to the Medical Examiner?

3.   The ‘Imaginary’ Stun Gun

A number of eyewitnesses reported the repeated use of a Taser or stun gun.  The Medical Examiner however noted, “No wounds consistent with the use of a Taser were found.”

The Taser is a dart-firing weapon, which penetrates into the flesh leaving noticeable scars.  The X26 Taser used by Key West police officers, however, has a “stun gun” mode which shocks upon contact with the device.  Would stun gun marks, if there were any, still be visible during an autopsy that was conducted two weeks later?

4.  A face “caked up with sand

The Medical Examiner reports that photographs taken by ‘investigators’ “show a light dusting of sand on his face and in the outer edge (vestibule) of the nose.”

The Medical Examiner, however, notes that those photos were actually taken at “the hospital.”  At that point Eimers had been in the hands of fire department, EMS, and hospital staff for over 37 minutes. Wouldn’t they have cleaned his face as a matter of course during that period of time?

What if the Medical Examiner had been made privy to the fact that there were many eyewitnesses who described Eimers’ face, not as showing “a light dusting,” but rather as, “caked up with sand, all the way up his nostrils and in his mouth,” [Bartender, Southernmost Beach Café]

5.  No Sand Was Found In His Airways

Is that surprising after being in intensive care for a week?

6.  The Audio Recordings

We now learn that according to the Medical Examiner there were audio recordings [plural] of Mr. Eimers saying “No” repeatedly.

So, apparently the police had at least two separate devices that were recording the “accident.”  One of them was likely Officer Gary Lee Lovette’s Taser, which we know had been put up against Eimers back and could have been ‘active’, but where did the other mysterious audio recording(s) come from?

7.  10 Broken Ribs and Lacerated Wrists

One would wish the Medical Examiner had addressed the issue of the ten broken ribs and the lacerated wrists:  When looking for clues of excessive force shouldn’t the Medical Examiner determine if handcuffs, secured according to correct police procedures, would have left such lacerations on Eimers wrists when they had stayed on for only five minutes.  Treavor Eimers and the Medical Examiner reported severe lacerations on both wrists. And why would CPR maneuvers be responsible for breaking ribs up near Eimers collarbone?

8.  Crime Scene photos

Taking photos of a crime scene that include photos of the injured party is mandatory according to KWPD policy, yet the Medical Examiner only refers to photos taken at the “hospital.”  Are we to understand that no photos were taken of Mr. Eimers at the crime scene?

9.  Unexpected and Unforeseen Death

“The officers could not have known about [Eimers] medical condition,” notes the Medical Examiner.  The words “Senior Citizen” come to mind.  A reasonable police officer might suspect that an overweight 61-year-old man could have heart issues, if indeed heart failure was the cause of Eimers’ death.

10.   The Lost Medical Evidence

FDLE and KWPD allowed all of Eimers’ blood and tissue samples to be discarded and the body to remain at the morgue for a week before autopsy.  How much information was, in fact, lost as a result of the mishandling of Charles Eimers body?

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If we understand the Medical Examiner’s Report correctly, no physical evidence of heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest was found.  The Medical Examiner’s objective opinion relies almost entirely on the circumstances surrounding the “accident” as it was related, apparently, exclusively by police officers.  What would have happened if the KWPD and the FDLE had followed their own procedures and had also interviewed the civilian witnesses?  The Medical Examiner’s Report does not even mention the bystander’s cell phone video.  Did he ever see it?  The Medical Examiner should have been provided with all of the evidence.

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For access to all Blue Paper articles on the death of Charles Eimers click here.

To see the Bystander Video [Extended version] click here.

Key West The Newspaper [The Blue Paper] encourages spirited, open debate in comments on our stories. We do ask that you refrain from profanity, personal attacks and remarks that are off point. Please join the conversation!

9 comments on “Ten Questions About The Charles Eimers Autopsy Report

  1. Keep up the good work Arnaud and Naja. It’s obvious to any thinking person, the fix was in from day one. Unfortunately the overwhelming majority of citizens in Key West don’t care, or don’t know. One would think in a city of 25,000 residents, more than a handfull would be upset enough to speak up about what happened, and the policy’s of the commissioners that caused it.

  2. Clearly, joining ranks to protect the rogue police officer(s) was more important than finding the truth and reaching justice. Key West residents and visitors should now remember that their teenagers and themselves are now subject to the random, capricious, deadly actions of some on the KWPD.

  3. In the somewhat longer arrest video posted today, I hear what sounds like a young woman speaking in Spanish? Was that ever translated into English?

  4. Autopsy report says anterior ribs cracked, which would seem from CPR efforts? Posterior ribs were not cracked; if they were, that would seem from police on top of Eimers back?

  5. Excellent article and great questions, some of which need more than answers. I notice that the beach is aptly described in the article as the “crime scene” rather than the “scene of the accident.” If I were running the force, it would be an immediate dismissal for any cop who made a blatantly dishonest statement like “he ran down the beach and collapsed”. That is not somebody who should be in law enforcement at all.

  6. Yesterday, Naja Girard, co-publisher of the blue paper, told me that hubby Arnaud speaks Spanish and he thought the woman in the bystander’s video is saying, “Oh my God! Oh my God!”

    It occurred to me at an ungodly hour this morning, if that is what the woman is saying, then that tells me she is God’s witness that the angels indeed used Charles Eimers, whom the cops thought was homeless, to tell the world just how much Key West hates homeless people, and what a joke is the city’s one human family philosophy, and to suggest Key West’s karma for mistreating the least of its residents has only just begun.

    Might be that karma was sealed in stone a couple of city commission meetings back, when the meeting was opened with a prayer by a local Christian minister, in Jesus’ name, and the mayor and city commissioners all said, “Amen.” I wondered then why nobody objected? People in Marathon raised hell not all that long ago over prayers in the Marathon City Council being made in Jesus’ name, and it was stopped. Naja told me some time ago that Eimers told the cop who made the traffic stop that he had come to Key West to do God’s work. Maybe the former homeless man Jesus himself took over Charles Eimers last Thanksgiving Day.

    Maybe what first inspired Jesus to get so directly involved was Mayor Craig Cates’ daughter running over and killing a homeless man in front of Checkers and Daddy Bones BBQ on North Roosevelt Blvd shortly after Cates won his first term in 2009. Mike Tolbert, co-owner of Daddy Bones, was at work that night. He told me, from what he observed at the scene, the homeless man and Cates’ daughter both shared the fault. Mike said, when the homeless man’s family asked Mayor Cates to pay for their dead relative’s funeral expenses, Mayor Cates refused. The dead man’s family then sued to get the funeral expenses. Mike said that was what caused him to have no use for Mayor Cates.

  7. Florida Statue 406

    The following are exerts from FL STATUE 406….

    The medical examiner shall conduct, for the purposes of determining the cause of death, examinations and investigations. In addition, the medical examiner shall adhere to all requests made by the State Attorney, in the furtherance of determining the cause of death.

    Furthermore, the medical examiner must obtain evidence necessary for forensic examinations.

    It appears that the medical examiner’s office, may not have adhered to the law. At the Governor’s insistence, an Inspector General’s examination may find the medical examiner’s office to be disorganized, inefficient and hampered by mismanagement.

    Given the nature of the serious allegations surrounding the ‘Eimer’s Killing’ and a subsequent law enforcement cover-up, many are disappointed that our State Attorney has not assumed a leadership role, so that her constituents would receive an authentic FDLE Investigation and Medical Examiner Autopsy Investigation.

    Based on specific and detailed evidence provided by “Key West the Newspaper” (TheBluePaper), the integrity and credibility of both investigations are seriously flawed and compromised.

    It’s apparent, that from the start the FDLE Investigation violated their own protocols and policies regarding how to conduct a legitimate investigation.

    Presenting the findings of these untoward investigations as ‘fact’ to a grand jury constitutes a fraud. The State Attorney is required to present all of the evidence. The State Attorney is required to dutiful make certain that the findings presented to the ‘grand jury’ are extracted from a valid, impartial, and complete examination of all the facts. So far this has not been done. The State Attorney is aware that it has not been done.

    There are many credible eyewitnesses, along with crucial testimony and other evidence, which has been left out of the FDLE Investigation. This evidence was not available to the medical examiner when he performed Mr. Eimer’s autopsy.

    As in most of these cases, the real crimes often occur during a police department’s attempt to cover-up the event being examined. Again, there is plenty of hard evidence indicating that there may have been serious crimes committed.

    In keeping with the oath of office, “The People” of Monroe County are making an appeal to our State Attorney, to immediately launch an independent investigation, examining the details, causes and conduct of all those involved with Mr. Eimer’s death.

    In addition, we petition the State Attorney to begin an investigation into all participants who may have engaged in a cover-up of the investigation into this in-custody death. Hard evidence exists that serious crimes may have been committed.

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