Could Key West Reach the Ferguson Flashpoint?

“Cartwright began yelling as loud as he could, and almost immediately a large crowd began forming around us […] Within minutes a crowd of at least 50 bystanders surrounded us and Det. Wormington called for additional Officers while I held down Cartwright.”

Police officers were arresting bad boy Ricky Cartwright who had ridden his bicycle through a stop sign while texting, allegedly with a beer in his hand.  They tased him in the back.  He was now screaming in pain in the middle of the road, attracting an angry crowd which, according to Detective Siracuse’s police report, kept “drawing closer and closer… despite numerous commands to stay back.”

No, this is not Ferguson, Missouri.  This is Bahama Village, Key West, May 9, 2014.  Detective Siracuse had just tased a black man on Emma Street and yes this is the same Siracuse who three years ago tased Matthew Murphy into a coma.

On May 9th, lost in their imaginary war, Detectives Siracuse and Wormington believe they are now under siege.  Wormington calls for the cavalry – literally – First on scene is an officer riding a horse; the one you see during Fantasy Fest.  He is working “crowd control” by rearing the butt of his horse into the crowd of protesters.   More police cars show up.  Siracuse and Wormington decide it’s safer to move north to the next corner of Emma Street where they would be more protected.  Quite a circus.

So, could Key West reach that “flashpoint”?  Could we find ourselves watching angry mobs throw rocks through shop windows on Duval Street?

Why were the residents of Bahama Village so upset?  According to one bystander, Siracuse kept jerking the electric wires connected to the Taser probes buried in Cartright’s back causing him to scream in pain.

In the crowd, Siracuse recognizes a man he knew as Johnny Taylor.  Taylor is visibly upset at Siracuse’s treatment of Cartwright. [Taylor is the man wearing the neck brace in the video.]

“Ya’ll quick to put that shit in somebody but y’all don’t want to put that shit outta nobody,”  Taylor is heard saying on the dash cam video.

A female voice:

“Illegal search!  Illegal search!  What they stop the man for?  For nothin.  They stopped him for nothin.”

After sending Cartwright off to jail, Siracuse came back to arrest Taylor for “resisting an officer without violence.”

Protests against police methods have now become one of the most explosive issues in the nation.

“Freedom of speech,” said Taylor, “I can say whatever I want to say.  What are you arresting me for?  For speaking my mind?” Three months later Taylor is still in jail awaiting trial.

Siracuse disagrees with Taylor on the free speech issue.  In his report he claims that Taylor “kept drawing closer and closer, egging on the crowd,”  that he ordered Taylor to stay back but that he kept coming. He finally claims that another officer, Officer Hall, was also unsuccessful in containing Taylor. The problem is the dash cam video clearly shows Taylor very upset, but not moving from the area where he stood when the incident began, even after Cartwright is taken away in a police car. It’s hard to discount that officers intended to retaliate against free speech in the charge against Taylor.

It appears that police officers don’t react well to criticism and have alienated themselves from many black communities.  This is what is really at stake in these protests. As in Ferguson, this explosive mix was not created in one day.  The shooting of Michael Brown was just “the straw that broke the camel’s back,” as one Ferguson resident interviewed by CBS News put it.  Abuse and apparently police discrimination against blacks had been going on for years in Ferguson.

Stopping and searching Cartwright gave officers the opportunity to [allegedly] find a minute amount of drugs [which apparently was so small that Cartwirght managed to smash it into the ground.]  But how many young black men are frisked in this way before police score that half-gram of cocaine?

One resident explained:  “By the time the police has searched 100 people for drugs, nobody cares if on the 101st time they caught a guy with a crack rock.  Everybody hates their guts by then, for not letting us have a life.”

Some comments are more colorful:  “The police ain’t worth two dead flies in Chinese money.”

“All people want is to go about their business in peace.”

The methods used by certain officers who work Bahama Village are simply appalling.  Officer Siracuse is now famous for the latex gloves that he slaps on in order to, in plain view of the public, proceed with cavity searches of suspected drug dealers.  There are at least two videos showing black men on the street with their legs spread apart, while Siracuse apparently sticks his fingers up their butts.

“We still have rights,” said Bobby Mosby, who personally experienced Siracuse’s humiliating search methods, “I could see doing that inside, at the jail. But out in public, in front of everybody?”  As a matter of fact, those searches are prohibited.  Under Florida Statute 901.211, “visual or manual inspection of genitals; buttocks; anus; breasts,” can only be performed “on premises where the search cannot be observed by persons not physically conducting … the search pursuant to this section.”

Glenn Hanes, also a black man from Bahama Village, was filmed standing at the back of a police cruiser. Sergeant Pablo Rodriguez kicks his feet apart while Officer Siracuse gets into “exploration mode”.

“I didn’t know y”all could go in their behinds and look in their assholes,” says Sheila Butler sarcastically, as she films the whole thing.  “I didn’t do it,” laughs Rodriguez.  Hanes asked for a rape test when he was booked into the Monroe County jail.

“This is not new,” says attorney, Julio Margalli, “my office used to be on Petronia Street.  I remember looking at the police systematically stopping and frisking black kids — boys really.  I got so sick of it I threatened one officer with a lawsuit. And what happened?  He came back the next day to slap a parking ticket on my car.  My car, I might add, parked inside of my own parking lot.”

Three weeks ago we reported on an incident that made us about fall off of our chairs.  Detective Leahy had taken three officers over to Grandma Yvonne Edwards house in the Village.  Wearing hoods on their heads, they burst into the tiny home to arrest then 23 year-old black resident, Shamika Clark on a theft charge. [We wrote:  “granted the hoods were not white and pointy, but what could possess four white police officers to do such a thing considering this country’s history?”]

This week we discovered a disturbing photograph those officers took of their catch: handcuffed, partially-clad, Shamika.  “They stayed way too long with her inside that bathroom,” said grandma Edwards, “Why wasn’t there a woman officer in there with them?”

No drugs, no weapons, the whole affair revolved around a dispute between two ex-lovers over the ownership of a puppy and some electronics.  With what ease the Court handed Shamika five years probation and 15 months in prison!

We also reported that the same Detective Leahy took a SWAT team over to an apartment at Fort Street Village last April. There they found eleven year old Shanyia Winn home alone and pointed all of their guns at her.  Leahy interrogated her outside her home with a shotgun to her head.  Did we say she was eleven years old?  Eleven years old!!!  “They pointed guns at me so that if I had moved or my dog had barked I would have been dead.”

The same day KWPD officers stopped a car carrying Sheila Carey.  They pulled her out of the car and pushed her to the ground to handcuff her.  Then they forced her six-year old son and her eleven-year old daughter out at gunpoint.  The police claimed they were looking for Carey’s boyfriend Marvin Smith, but it was later learned that he was already in police custody at the time.  [We asked, “Would these children have been treated that way if they had been white?”]

Warning the City Commission last Tuesday about the possibility of similarities between the problems in Ferguson and in our own City, Key West citizen activist Christine Russel quoted from the poem “Harlem” by Langston Hughes. “What happens to a dream deferred?…  Does it explode?”

But Mayor Cates dismissed Russel’s concerns saying [and we are not making this up], “There are organizations all over this town being involved with children…  They try to give them brand name stuff that people donate so they do have some sense of pride, so they can go on and be productive.”

The most disturbing thing is not that much the unnecessary brutality, but the fact that it appears to be systemic, with the City seemingly willing to rubberstamp, disguise, or cover-up what is occurring.

When Glenn Hanes arrived at the jail complaining of Siracuse’s intrusive cavity search, the jail called the hospital about a rape test, but it also contacted the KWPD.  According to Hanes KWPD officials asked the jail not to send Hanes to the hospital because FDLE was going to send their own nurse to conduct the examination.  “I have no idea what is going on with my complaint,” said Hanes who is at the Monroe County Detention Center awaiting trial.

As observed in the Charles Eimers death-in-custody case, FDLE appears to have an overly cozy relationship with KWPD, and the fact is, evidence incriminating to the police has been jeopardized:  Eimers body was nearly cremated before autopsy on FDLE’s watch.  Matthew Shaun Murphy’s Taser accident was never even investigated.  Donnie Lee, the Chief of Police, appears ready to add to misinformation about police activities, publicly stating that Siracuse repeatedly ordered Murphy to stop fighting before firing his Taser, even though that account is contradicted by all witness statements, including the officer’s own testimony.

In Bahama Village, the police are the “Princes of the Projects.”  It seems that the Housing Authority rarely has to bother with civil process.  Complaints by tenants are often met with police force.  Any guest or family member can be issued a “No Trespass Warning” followed by an arrest. Police officers are literally on the Housing Authority’s payroll.  The entire community lives in a parallel legal universe.

And the police, apparently stick to their own, no matter what.  Officer Henry Arroyo Jr. was recently discharged from the force over several very serious accusations of child sexual molestation.  He was, however, immediately hired by the Housing Authority, which already employs many of his fellow officers as security guards.  No one, aside from the residents, seems to be concerned that an alleged sexual predator was hired to work in housing complexes where hundreds of children are at risk.  The residents of course perceive it as yet another slap in the face.

People wonder if our police force is lost in a dark and disconnected dream of paramilitary violence.  There are approximately 90 Key West police officers and so far 99% of the problems that have been reported to The Blue Paper have been about the actions of a handful of officers.  Those few, however, appear to be operating under the total protection of a system that will obstruct justice, endorse the officers’ lies and even lie for them, defend them at any cost, or simply fail to take action, all in line with what the good Doctor King called, “The intolerable silence of the good people.”


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58 comments on “Could Key West Reach the Ferguson Flashpoint?

  1. Dang, Naja and Arnaud, are you two anti-business, anti-tourism? Are you trying to kill Key West’s economy? Key West is the next Ferguson? I sure hope not, but I was there Tuesday night, I heard Christine Russell’s comments, and I watched and heard Mayor Cates angrily dress her down.

    I heard him say Key West is a great place to live, and there are 600 homeless children in the Keys, and there are lots of people working in charities trying to help people and children in need, and she should join some of those organizations and pitch in.

    I heard Christine say from her seat, “He just doesn’t get it,” and I walked over to her and said, “He does not accept anything negative about Key West, it’s not in him.” She said, she knew that,but …

    “The most disturbing thing is not that much the unnecessary brutality, but the fact that it appears to be systemic, with the City seemingly willing to rubberstamp, disguise, or cover-up what is occurring.”

    The City, as in the Police Chief, who is hired by and answers to the City Manager, who is hired by and answers to the City Commission – the mayor and six city commissioners. The buck stops there; they set the tone, the policy.

    Just as the City Commission officially made One Human Family the city’s official philosophy, by remaining silent, by doing nothing, in the face of the cries and outcries of the blue paper and its citizen witnesses, in the face of citizens like Christine Russell’s plea during Tuesday night’s city commission meeting, the mayor and city commissioners are setting a very different tone and official philosophy.

    Imagine the impact on Key West’s economy, if the city has its own Ferguson event. As far as I know, Ferguson is not an international tourist destination. Key West is.

    Back in 2003, a small Key West weekly journal, I think it was Celebrate, asked the mayor candidates what did they say should be done about the acute tension between the KWPD and Bahama Village? I replied that Bahama Village elders should decide which KW police come into Bahama Village.

    The journal then reported, of the five candidates in that race, I was the only candidate who answered the question; the other candidates said they didn’t know what to do about Bahama Village and/or they didn’t want to touch the question.

    The question, and the reasons for it, didn’t go away. My answer is the same today, as it was in 2003. Bahama Village elders should get to decide which KW police officers come into Bahama Village, and which officers do not get to go in there.

    And, because the police issue is not limited to Bahama Village, the mayor and city commissioners, during a public workshop in Old City Hall, have a prayer meeting with Jesus and themselves, and with Jesus and City Manager Jim Scholl and Police Chief Donie Lee.

    During which workshop, citizens have 3 minutes each to say whatever they wish to say about city police and those city officials in regard to city police. At the end of citizen comments, those named city officials each then have to respond to the citizen input; they do not get to remain silent.

  2. Arnaud and Naja—Magnificent and Extraordinary Coverage…Thank you…

    Militarized police departments lacking effective leadership, which employ a standard ‘investigative paradigm’, are inherently designed to cover-up crimes resultant from ‘excessive force’ and ‘police brutality’.

    Only when authentic and independent examinations of alleged police misconduct becomes a ‘standard operating procedure’, will comfort, confidence and trust be birthed in the patrolled populaces.

    The unalienable rights of all people must be respected and preserved, as a matter of law.

    Only then will the proposed liberties enjoyed by citizens residing in a Constitutional Republic, celebrate their full expression.

    Until that time arrives, ‘bad cops’ and the departments that employ them, will continue to provide an intimidating presence, posing a dangerous threat to ones’ life and peace of mind.

    Criminal collusion by those city officials charged with supervising the operation of its police department, along with overseeing the behavior of its law-enforcement officers, has reached a tipping point.

    Key West is in for a rude awakening…

    It disturbs me to no end when I view police officers roughing up, sexually violating; and perhaps raping a young black man. All of these felonious crimes were committed in public, in broad daylight; and most probably in front of the victims’ mother and grandmother, by individuals purporting to be officers of the law.

    Can anyone question, why the aforementioned victim and his family would say that they: “Hate The Police”???

    I made a living carrying a lot of guns, beating people up and killing them. I got nicked up by a cadre of soldiers armed and trained as I was.

    Myself and the Men that I served with, never abused anyone in the manner I witnessed on the video identified in The Blue Paper as, “Key West Curbside Cavity Search”.

    The Mayor, City Commissioners and Police Chief are as useless as tits on a bull, when it comes to disciplining , filing criminally charges and terminating city employees who initiate savage, unnecessary and illegal assaults upon innocent residents, under the guise of community policing.

    State Attorney, please watch said video and offer an explanation of what you viewed. How far are you willing to let this type of career ending malfeasance go???

    • John…thank you for your service. During your time in a combat zone I’m sure your concern for legal search and seizure was very limited. What I saw when I viewed that tape was a pair of officers following legal procedures to ensure an arrestee did not have any dangerous weapons or incriminating evidence on his person. They did not expose his rear end or private parts and they were fairly discrete as such searches go. Many criminals have, in recent years, sought to conceal such contraband in places that previously were unthinkable. Law enforcement has been forced to respond to that change in tactics on the part of the criminals. What is most noteworthy is that the officers actually FOUND contraband in the course of their search. Assume for a moment that instead of drugs the accused had been carrying a dangerous weapon. Had the officers waited until the accused was at the holding facility to search him, he may well have been able to harm an officer, suddenly producing the weapon while getting out of the police cruiser. All reasonable efforts should be taken to ensure Officer safety, and what I observed on that video was not unreasonable. I would suggest that people should avoid getting to the point where a body cavity search is necessary. There are PLENTY of fine, upstanding citizens in our town, both black and white, who make it through a whole lifetime without ever being searched in that manner.

      • “officers following legal procedures” Are you sure?

        2014 Florida Statutes:

        901.211 Strip searches of persons arrested; body cavity search.—

        (1) As used in this section, the term “strip search” means having an arrested person remove or arrange some or all of his or her clothing so as to permit a visual or manual inspection of the genitals; buttocks; anus; breasts, in the case of a female; or undergarments of such person.

        […]

        (3) Each strip search shall be performed by a person of the same gender as the arrested person and on premises where the search cannot be observed by persons not physically conducting or observing the search pursuant to this section. Any observer shall be of the same gender as the arrested person.

        • Thanks, Naja – I was off on my word processor writing this reply to Just Jim.

          ———————–

          Well, Jim, videos, such as the one taken by members of the unruly crowd in this particular anus-search video, and the video in the Charles Eimers case, tend to speak for themselves.

          I agree, all reasonable efforts to insure officer safety should be taken by officers, such as weapon searches of a legally-detained suspected felon: patting down for gun or knife, for example, in clothing, strapped to an ankle, in a boot, in belt behind back, etc.

          But I’m wondering what weapons suspects have been found to carry in their anus? Drugs, diamonds, hidden in the anus, I have heard of. But weapons? What would these weapons be?

          Maybe I’ve been living with my head where the sun doesn’t shine, or down a rabbit hole, but I don’t believe I ever saw or even heard of an anus search in daylight in front of citizen onlookers. This is standard police procedure now?

          I fondly recall a number of prostate exams done on me by my internist during annual physicals, and one by an urologist. I can attest that their sticking finger up my anus and poking around in there was really uncomfortable. Cops are trained by physicians to do that?

          I cannot tell from the video. The cops found drugs up the suspect’s anus? Or somewhere else on his person? The anus search could not have been done at the jail?

          I agree, best not to be toting or using or selling illegal drugs; although in the big scheme, the war on drugs looks to me to be a waste of time and money, and many lives from gun shots and other weapons. I’d rather see street drugs legalized, hopefully to remove the physical violence that often attends drugs, and they are taxed like the legal drugs, booze, tobacco, and what physicians dispense.

          I’m wondering, Jim if you were a cop in Key West? If so, did you work Bahama Village. If so, what’s your full name? Maybe the blue paper or I might like check you out.

          Meanwhile, on the Ferguson comparison, I imagine I never would have heard of Ferguson, if a white cop had not shot and killed a young black man there. I hope that cop really had a good reason for doing that, and I hope the Grand Jury there is diligent for all’s sake.

          If I were a judge in Ferguson, I would be inclined to order the release of all of that Grand Jury’s records, if the Grand Jury lets that white cop go. I would not want the unruly mob thinking there had been a white cover up. I would want them to see everything that Grand Jury had before it.

          If you live in Key West, Jim, perhaps you will use your having been a cop to try to steer KWPD in a different direction. They have plenty of people down here defending them, including the mayor and city commissioners and the city manager, and their own police chief and police benevolent union and its lawyers.

      • Part 2 to Just Jim.

        Just this morning, a homeless black man I know told me that he recently was arrested by an officer named Duponte, du-pont-e, best I can spell it, for camping, and was taken to jail.

        The black man said he was sitting on a towel under a tree reading a book in Bayview Park, and when he asked Duponte to chain his bicycle parked nearby, which had his possessions hanging from the handle bars in plastic shopping bags, Duponte said those were not the black man’s possessions and he, Duponte, didn’t have to take care of them; and when the black homeless man protested that, Duponte said the bike and the bags hanging from the handle bars were not part of that scene and were not his responsibility. And off to jail they went.

        I’m pretty sure police officers are required to secure, inventory and protect an arrested suspect’s possessions and put them where they will be looked after until the suspect is released from custody.

        Two days later, the black homeless man said, he was in front of Judge Peary Fowler, a Key West female judge, for whom he has done work, and she said she saw no probable cause and let him go.

        I hear plenty of stories like this down here from homeless people, white and black alike.

        I practiced law once upon time, and I had plenty of dealings before judges. My experiences after I practiced law perhaps grizzled me somewhat.

        If I were a judge down here, and that homeless black man’s case came before me, I would hold Duponte in contempt for willfully insulting the criminal justice system, me and my court. I would order my bailiff, who is a Monroe County Deputy Sheriff, to relieve Duponte of his KWPD pistol, taser and other police tackle, and make arrangements for Duponte to be taken to the Sheriff’s jail on Stock Island, the next key up from Key West, and held there for two days, and for so additionally long as it takes him to reimburse in cash the KWPD, the Sheriff, the Monroe County Clerk and Court, the City or County prosecutor, and the Public Defender, if applicable, the full cost, to the last penny, of jailing, prosecuting and trying the homeless black man for sitting on a towel reading a book under a tree in a public park.

        And, I order that, while incarcerated for contempt, Duponte is not allowed to read anything other than legal matters pertaining to his contempt case.

        And, I tell Duponte, if he ever brings me another frivolous case, I’m really constraining myself not to say malicious case, I will put him in the Sheriff’s jail again, but for a lot longer time.

        As is turns out, this particular homeless black man is educated. He tells me from time to time of his history of political activism where he lived up north. He tells me sometimes of his local activism in Key West.

        I told him to file a complaint with the Citizen (Police) Review Board. He said he will do that. I will keep checking with him on that.

          • Hmmm, Sister

            Duponte seems to need different remedial training. But such an exam would seem in order, in plain view, say in front of Sloppy Joe’s on Duval Street, for the two white cops in the cavity search video.

      • When Naja and I spoke by telephone this afternoon after I had submitted two comments to yours, Just Jim, I said I was not bothered by the officers making a drug arrest; that’s their job. But given what Naja quoted to you on the law of cavity searches in Florida, and given my own astonishment that a daytime cavity search of a black man in front of black witnesses in Bahama Village, which is mostly a black community, was carried out by two white police officers, my take is the cavity search was a deliberate racial provocation of the worst kind. Saying it another way, I can’t see those two white officers doing a daytime cavity search of a white man on the sidewalk in front of Sloppy Joe’s Bar on Duval Street.

        • This is not just about drug arrests. I’ve seen videos of highway patrol doing roadside cavity searches of white women. In one particular instance, the female officer used the same glove on both women! These women were stopped for traffic violations and the proctology/gynocological exams were added on as a bonus.
          This is everyone’s problem. It is a war against the haves and the have nots. And the military/police are the trained animals who commit these crimes in hopes of being saved from the slaughter. Too bad they are wrong as the rulers always end up slaughtering the ones who committed the crimes…how can you trust someone who doesn’t know right from wrong?

    • Mr. Donnelly…

      Finally!!!

      “I made a living carrying a lot of guns, beating people up and killing them. I got nicked up by a cadre of soldiers armed and trained as I was.

      Myself and the Men that I served with, never abused anyone in the manner I witnessed…”

      If you cannot distinguish the disconnect between what you said above, and your countless narrations of your acts of kindness in the midst of the horrors of combat, then you are suffering from an intellectual malady far more pernicious than cognitive dissonance.

      It may also explain the seemingly easy transition from “peace officer” to outright killers we see in police forces throughout the country. Mr. Donnelly, it does not matter how many acts of benevolence you displayed, the degree of ethereal presence you thought you and your men brought to your hapless victims. You finally admitted that you killed, beat up (tortured), humiliated, and otherwise terrorized your fellow human beings. That you may have given a snickers bar to a kid right before you put a bullet into their father brain, or a slammed your rifle butt into their mothers skull, does not mitigate the brutality and moral vacuum in which you chose to prosecute your life.

      The fact that you have rationalized you and your men’s actions of killing and torture into some fairytale akin to Robin Hood and his Merry Men, is testament to a pathology that plagues far too many people into committing the atrocities of those in power. The fact of the matter is sir, that despite your protestations against police misconduct, murder, and corruption, you are no different; you just wore a different uniform. You did however answer to the same master, though I’m sure I lack the eloquence to convince you of that.

      The police treat the public as they do because their mandate now dictates they do. It has become institutionalized, nationwide, and I doubt anyone can argue against that.

      The reason that police can treat the public the way they do, has just been defined by you. They are able to kill, beat up, mace, taser, bully and rape, all under the protection and auspice of “serving their country”, while at the same time able to go home, pet the dog, play catch with their kid, go to church on Sunday, watch the big game, and go to sleep without a thought or care in the world, except for what a fine upstanding citizen they turned out to be.

      As long as there are people willing to sell their soul, or worse, give it away out of ignorance, our world has no chance.

      Self realization is the first step my friend.

  3. This is truly shocking. Our civic leaders are complicit in their inaction. Keep up the investigations, Naja and Arnaud. You are our only hope for simple justice. And I hope your readership has your back.

  4. Anyone wonder why this incident has become a “flashpoint?”

    it’s not like incidents such as this one have not occurred with alarming frequency over the past several decades. So why has this one been blown up by the media? why is this garnering so much press? Why is the issue of police “militarism” all of a sudden a question?

    Remember, at the same time the media and some government officials are decrying the police actions and their military weaponry, they are quietly arming school district police with AR-15′s.

    • Time to get your supplies in order. It’s about to hit the fan.
      After all the mayhem and carnage we the American people have perpetrated on inhabitants of other countries, I can’t help but think our time is due.
      And please don’t tell me that it’s not the American people as a whole…I remember all those star spangled flags affixed to their vehicles back in 2003.
      Granted, I don’t have many facebook friends or actual friends but I haven’t heard one word of disgust about what is going on in Gaza, Iraq, Syria, etc with our tax money. Lots of pictures of puppies and kittens though! Oh and lots of new age bs about how you can’t fix anything in the world until you fix yourself…so go meditate!

  5. Wow! Doesn’t get much more slanted or irresponsible than this! Ferguson could happen ANYWHERE when both sides handle things poorly. And your examples of inappropriate police behavior almost ALWAYS reflect only information provided by the perpetrator or members of the unruly crowd. We do have some issues that need to be worked out. Key West IS a great place to live and work. But we all need to work together, responsibly, to ensure peaceful coexistence in our one human family.

    • Just Jim, see my comments below your earlier submission, which, except for my reply to Sister, were made with this your second comment in mind, too. Alas, this your second comment now inspires me to further say …

      Since you are a retired cop, Just Jim, I hope you will just come out of the closet and start a big parade from Bahama Village up to the KW police station on North Roosevelt Blvd, to have a sit down meet with Chief Donie Lee and all his troops about them just doing their part to put the blue paper out the blue line business, by eliminating 1001 ways to practice conduct unbecoming from the blue line operating manual. Then, just for the further great fun of it, you strip down and wave at the big crowd you assembled for the peace march, and you lean over let anyone who wants to do it, cavity search you with whatever they wish to search with. Then, just for the further great fun of it, you barefoot in your birthday suit over to the Salvation Army on Flagler Avenue and beg a couple of changes of clothes and a pair of flip flops and a baseball cap and a towel and a few used books, and just be homeless in Key west for a two consecutive monthly sentences, which I guarantee will teach you plenty about our peaceful one human family you never wanted to know co-existed. Then just after you are paroled from your just reformation sentence, you do your just full-enlightenment sentence, bodhisattva comes to mind, by being a Negro in Bahama Village until the Second Coming, or your departure from this life, which ever comes last.

    • So according to you Just Jim, elementary school aged children and bike riders who don’t come to a full stop for a sign are the perpetrators…and where was that unruly crowd when Charles Eimer’s was murdered?
      Please explain how one can have peaceful coexistence with another who has a loaded gun to their head?
      It wouldn’t be so bad if there were just a few people with your twisted world view but sadly there are far too many who have succumbed to the incessant brainwashing.
      Do you have many addictive behaviors Just Jim? I would assume this way of wrongful thought would produce physical manifestations. I’m no psychologist though.

  6. We are facing a difficult problem in this country. I am sure that there are many, many “officials” in our system that do not respect our rights. I am ALSO sure that there are folks who KILL our babies and our hopes and dreams with the distribution of illegal lethat and addictive substances among our people, especially our poorest people. Would we just let everything run free? What should we do to save our neighborhoods and our children and our sick society???

    • Good points, Pedrosan. I think most drug addiction, and I include booze and tobacco and caffeine and sugar, is rooted in terrible soul wounding at an early age and/or separation from God. Once addicted, it is very hard to stop using, and even those who stop using, in the main, struggle the rest of their lives to stay clean. Children born to alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and other drug-addicted mothers, are addicts at birth, go through withdrawal, and are additionally susceptible to becoming addicts again. The war on drugs has failed totally. I see no human solution. A supernatural solution is always possible, but will it happen? Same can be said of many other terrible human doings. I engage what’s in front of me, and then I engage the next thing in front of me. That’s all I can do. I suppose that’s all any of us can do, and pray, not knowing if, or how, our prayers are answered.

  7. Could Key West Reach the Ferguson Flashpoint?

    Of Course it will if You continuously ‘Stir the Pot” as you have recently done. You are capable of covering the “news” without the inflammatory language !

    SWAT masts are standard equipment. Your cartoon depiction of one of the Officer’s wearing a pointy hat is just one example of your “muck raking” .

    I enjoy your publication but would appreciate it more; if you would tone it down a little by not displaying so much anti-Law Enforcement biases .

    • Thank you for the feedback tew4515. When we first began publishing KWTN [The Blue Paper] about a year-and-a-half ago, we had a very good opinion of the Key West Police force. When we began to report on the Charles Eimers story many readers immediately voiced their belief that there was some sort of police consiracy at work. We wrote: “So, is there an orchestrated cover-up at the police department? Most likely not.” But as we kept discovering more and more questionable conduct, we had to reluctantly change our minds. We are now convinced that there are problems with a handful of officers on the force and telling the stories of those who feel victimized by them, we think, is an important mission. Everyone needs to look at the facts for what they are. But you are right, we will make more of an effort to not let our own emotions write the story.

  8. Naja, Arnaud, I’m wondering what the witnesses said the S.W.A.T. masks looked like? (not the pointy mask)

    It still looks to me that the daylight anus cavity search of a black man by two white police officers in plain view of black bystanders in Bahama Village, a mostly black community, was a deliberate racial provocation, which I imagine Aryan, KKK, etc. sympathizers would enjoy watching immensely.

    There has been acute tension between Bahama Village and KWPD for a long time. As you reported not all that long ago, when City Commissioner Clayton Lopez reported to Police Chief Donie Lee that he’d heard of a rumor that a convicted black felon out on parole,as I recall, had a gun and was out for someone with it, he asked Donie to investigate with the utmost caution. And did what then happened? Cops entered Bahama Village black homes pointing guns at women and children.

    Did that seem like utmost caution to you? Can you envision that happening in the mostly white Meadows community where you live, based on a rumor?

    Just a few bad apples in KWPD? I had felt that way myself, but I stopped feeling that way after reading the blue paper’s reports of the cover up and intimidation of witnesses and the not interviewing witnesses, and the not notifying the family and the trying to cremate the body, in the Charles Eimers case.

    Police Chief Donie Lee’s reported comments on that and other very troubling cases the blue paper broke – no evidence of police misconduct – left me feeling the KWPD is rotten at the top, and the fish rots from the head down.

    The vicious attack of Tom Milone by black Bahama Village teens a few years ago, the vicious race riot between black teens and the two white owners of the Coffee Plantation in Bahama Village back in 2005 as I recall, the white Bahama Village resident moving out of her home and to elsewhere due to the horrible backlash from black neighbors over her asked that she be allowed to have parking space in front of her home, maybe in 2009? …

    What those three incidents told me was Bahama Village indeed was a powder keg. It still is a powder keg. And Chief Lee and his officers need to keep that ever in mind when they are in Bahama Village and/or are engaging black people anywhere in Key West.

    I don’t like it being that way, but that’s how it is, and if Chief Lee and his officers aren’t big enough to deal with the reality of that situation, then they need to be replaced with police officers who are big enough.

    The very last thing needed are daytime cavity searches in Bahama Village in front of black spectators. It hardly helps that retired cop Just Jim wrote in to the blue paper that the anus cavity search was for the officers’ personal protection. My opinion, those two white officers should not be allowed back into Bahama Village. Nor those S.W.A.T. members who pointed guns at and threatened black women and children.

    Sorry, being a white guy from Birmingham, Alabama, and having that embarrassing stain in my soul, a white hooded sheet in Arnaud’s “cartoon” doesn’t seem out of line to me in the context of what you two have been reporting about KWPD and Negro engagements in Key West. I said that to Arnuad in your home yesterday morning, before you came down stairs, after he asked me if I felt the cartoon was out of line?

    Just because someone today is not wearing a white hooded sheet does not mean someone is not a modern KKK sympathizer. There are plenty of them left in Alabama and throughout the southern states. There appear to be some in the KWPD, too, which is why I say again, only police officers approved by Bahama Village elders should be allowed into Bahama Village.

    Many Bahama Village elders attended the city commission meeting when the award of this year’s Goombay (Bahamaian-Caribbean African-Ameriican roots) Festival was on the commission’s agenda. They were leaders in the city’s black community. Ministers, Masons and other organizations.

    I feel they should start attending city commission meetings with the same force of numbers, emotions and stories, using the 3 minutes at the end of those meetings allowed to citizens to speak to the mayor and city commissioners on anything. Use their 3 minutes to briefly identify themselves, and then state their grievances against and concerns about the city’s police, and admit their own failings in taking the initiative among their black community when they should have taken it, and lobby for say so in which city police officers are allowed into Bahama Village.

  9. Sister, what’s going on with the KW police is a specific threat to the the entire city economic community. The blue paper reporting what is going on with the KW police is a threat to the entire city economic community. My reporting what is going on with the KW police is a threat to the entire city economic community.

    A Ferguson event in Bahama Village would be more than an economic threat to the entire city economic community. It would seriously and adversely effect the entire city economic community.

    The city police have to know that. The entire city economic community have to know that. The mayor and city commissioners and city manager have to know that. But they do nothing, and thereby encourage the threat to continue, with their tacit blessing.

    The irony is, the one thing the mayor, city commissioners and city manager and the entire city economic community most fear down here is their wallets being threatened.

    So, in an effort to get their attention, thus their help, or at least their cooperation, as mayor I would issue an ultimatum, as I wrote in yesterday’s post at http://www.goodmorningkeywest.com,:

    If the KWPD doesn’t prove to me in 30 days that it is born again, I will start broadcasting that Key West has a rogue dangerous police force, and people should not come here who are not willing to put their lives at risk to the city’s rogue cops.

    I also said, as mayor, I will be able to pick up the telephone and call US Attorney General Eric Holder, the F.B.I., the US Attorney. I will not do that just to complain, I will do it if I have a concrete police misconduct case I feel is ripe for them to investigate and prosecute.

    I also will, as mayor, speak freely at city commission meetings, and at http://www.goodomorningkeywest.com, and anywhere I’m invited of the rogue cops in the KW police department. I will encourage citizens to lean on their city commissioners to get off their duffs, get the lead out, and help Sloan get the KWPD straightened out.

    I will not, as US Attorney James Garrison did in New Orleans many years ago now, strap on a pistol and accompany federal law enforcement officers on raids on criminal organizations in New Orleans. I get the feeling, Sister, from a lot of what I have read from you, that is the kind of thing you would have me do.

    I have a different gun, which already is strapped on. That gun is the written and spoken word – the pen is mightier than the sword, thus the sword defends the pen, the angels told me in 2002, just as then plunged me headlong into the referendum to get Key West a Citizen’s Police Review Board, which the mayor and city commissioners and city manager and KWPD and the police benevolent union opposed with all they had, yet the referendum passed overwhelmingly, thanks in large measure to the blue blue paper’s founder Dennis Reeves Cooper’s reporting – his pen and word.

    I have zero confidence in the KWPD to police itself. I have zero confidence in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to police the KWPD. The jury is still out for me, literally, on the local State Attorney’s ability and willingness to police the KWPD – the Eimers Grand Jury findings will give me a better read on that.

    I have zero confidence in local judges coming down hard on KW police who make bad cases, such as the one I reported yesterday of the black homeless man being jailed for camping, because he was sitting on a towel under a tree in a public park, reading a book.

    As I also wrote yesterday, the mayor has only one vote on the city commission, on which sit six city commissioners. Because of that, alone, the mayor can change nothing in the way the city government operates.

    Furthermore, the mayor cannot tell the police chief what to do, or what not to do. Nor can the city commission. Only the city manager can tell the police chief what to do, and what not to do. The city manager can be fired by the city commission, the city manager can be pressured and cajoled by the city commission, but the city manger is the boss of the police chief.

    I was not joking when I said many times during this campaign season that what Key West needs is an all-powerful king or queen. Short of that, what Key West needs is a mayor who is not afraid to be shot and killed by his city’s police, or by a citizen angry over that mayor threatening the entire city economic economy by doing everything he can to get the city’s police to behave the way police are supposed to behave.

    Even as I am doing stuff ongoing, which human eyes and ears cannot see and hear, and human minds cannot comprehend, to engage and affect the very dark spirit forces, which oppose any change in the KWPD, and in the views of the many people in this city, including the mayor and city commissioners and city manager and mayor candidate Margaret Romero, who like the city police just the way they are.

    If you have any different ideas on how I, as mayor, might try to get the city’s police to behave like police are supposed to behave, please tell me what those ideas are.

    If you are itching to move down here from wherever not in the Keys you live, and march and protest, be my welcome guest.

    But if you want to come down here and strap on a pistol and police this city’s police, and arrest them and try them and convict them and sentence them, then stay where you are. We don’t need vigilantes any more than we need rogue cops, and, as mayor, I don’t want to have to apologize to your family and loved ones for not being able to talk you out of trying to do it that way.

  10. p.s. to sister

    The Citizen Police Review Board started out pretty good, but it had no power, and it was not willing to launch investigations into alleged police misconduct without a formal citizen complaint being filed, The CRB, as we call it down here, got to patting itself on the back, it became a legend in its own mind, and it fell into disrespect. Today, there seems to be some effort in the CRB to turn itself around. But as I said, it has no power. It can’t make the police change. It can only use the pen and word. It might fair to say the blue paper became the city’s CRB.

    I’m not even convinced Erik Holder, the F.B.I. and the US Attorney can make the police down here change. Evil, and I mean that with the capital E, is not daunted by human officials and agencies. It’s going to take something quite else to bring about the change that is needed down here, and everywhere else on this planet. What can do that is not of this world, either. What it intends or doesn’t intend, is not made known to me.

    All I can do is tend to what is right in front of me.

    Right now, Sister, you are right in front of me. Not long ago, it was TEW4515. Before that was something else. Later, it will be something else.

  11. Well Sloan, I do believe that it’s important to know how to defend yourself both mentally and physically.

    I suppose I was hoping you could give some specifics on how you would go about getting the “KWPD straightened out.” I think a specific plan is needed.

    Evil can be daunted if enough humans shine their conscientious spiritual light on it. Critical mass is needed.

    • I provided a specific plan, Sister, and I invited you offer your own ideas, and none were forthcoming.

      You are very young in spirit. Evil cannot be daunted by human beings. It can be interfered with by human beings who do what is required of them, which well might cost them their very lives.

      Not many such people in Key West, maybe a handful. I’m not talking about US military personnel or CIA operatives. I’m talking about something else entirely.

      Naja and Arnaud have put their lives at risk writing about KW police issues. It was given to them to do, and they did it, even though they didn’t want the blue paper to continue covering police issues when they acquired it from Dennis Cooper.

      When they acquired the blue paper, Naja and Arnaud didn’t even believe there were serious issues in the police department. Now they KNOW there are serious issues, and they are shining a lot of light on the police department. As is John Donnelly. John also calls out city officials, as do I, but his method is different from mine.

      I also call out the entire city, and the entire county on other matters. I don’t count as soldiers people who don’t use their human names when they write into the blue paper. If you believe in something, but won’t put your name and face on it, you don’t believe in it enough to matter is my view.

      I don’t run a diaper service, Sister. Go back into your safe play pen up there where you live, Big folks down here are trying to do something about city police who don’t want to behave like police are supposed to behave.

  12. Informative front page story with descriptive pictures published in the “Miami New Times”. This article can be gotten Online here: http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2014/08/why_do_fiu_police_have_m-16s_and_a_mine-resistant_vehicle_why_do_miami_gardens_cops_need_grenade_lau.php

    Miami’s Smallest Police Forces Got M16s, Armored Cars, and Grenade Launchers From Military

    By Michael E. Miller Fri., Aug. 22 2014 at 8:00 AM

    Recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, have raised questions about the militarization of American police departments. When angry protesters took to the streets to demand justice, Ferguson police responded with force. Cops in riot gear fired tear gas and stun grenades at marchers. At least one officer pointed his loaded assault rifle at demonstrators and threatened to kill them if they didn’t obey orders.

    Ferguson police, it was reported, had obtained their weaponry under something called the Law Enforcement Support Office Program. LESO, as it is known, supplies local police departments with leftover U.S. military equipment.

    What hasn’t been reported, however, is that a dozen police departments in South Florida have also received military equipment ranging from helicopters to grenade launchers.

    Find out what your local police force is packing thanks to LESO….

  13. What you fail to understand is that the police ARE behaving how they are “supposed” to behave. Supposed by their masters that is.

    Oh damn, I just crapped myself again…please excuse me…

    • Besides the police “creed”, PROTECT AND SERVE, and the oath KW police officers take to enforce and abide by the laws of the US, Florida, Monroe County and Key West …

      I just now pedaled my bicycle over to the Key West Police Department about half mile away and copied this down off a monument out front of the entrance, underneath a KWPD badge mounted into the monument. What was chiseled into the moument was all centered, which I don’t see a feature for here, so it is left-margined: justified:

      BEHIND THIS BADGE
      YOU WILL MEET STRENGTH AND TRUTH

      BEHIND THIS BADGE
      YOU WILL MEET HONOR AND COMPASSION

      BEHIND THIS BADGE
      YOU WILL MEET MOTHERS, FATHERS, SISTERS AND BROTHERS

      BEHIND THIS BADGE
      YOU WILL MEET THE MEN AND WOMEN
      OF THE KEY WEST POLICE DEPARTMENT

      All of that is what I kind of had in mind when I wrote police officers not behaving as police officers are supposed to behave.

      in the same vein, from the homepage of the kWPD website:

      Photo of Chief Lee
      Message from the Chief

      Welcome to the Southernmost Police Department in the continental United States. The Key West Police Department is a state accredited organization made up of dedicated and professional men and women. Our island is home to a unique and diverse community, which is reflected throughout the ranks of the department. We protect and serve a population of 25,000 full-time residents, with over two million visitors each year. Whether you are visiting the island or you are lucky enough to call Key West your home, please be safe and enjoy your time in Paradise.
      Chief Donald J. Lee, Jr.

      Our Vision
      The Key West Police Departments envisions itself as a professional department guided by our values to make Key West a safe place to live, work and visit.

      Our Mission
      The mission of the Key West Police Department, in partnership with the community, is to provide effective and efficient police services.

      Core Values
      Respect:
      A comfortable and healthy work environment must first start with mutual respect among members of our Department. Likewise, a community that respects its police department and its members must first start with members of our Department always demonstrating understanding and sensitivity to all of those in our community with whom they come in contact.

      Integrity:
      Ethics and honesty are perhaps the most valuable traits a law enforcement officer can possess, an essential element in gaining the trust and confidence of the public.

      Fairness:
      It is important that every law enforcement officer be able to make objective and impartial decisions based on the law and the facts at hand. Just as important, is his ability to exercise discretion, always using fairness as his guide.

      Service:
      We must always strive to provide a positive and professional response to the needs our residents and visitors

      ==================

      You have a way about you, Sister, that causes me to think, and feel, that you have a lot of unresolved childhood authority issues, and that you also are deeply wounded in the soul sense, if not also in the physical sense, and that is what drives you to be so “pleasant” and anxious to right wrongs and stop evil-doers as if your very life and soul depend on it.

      The irony is, many police officers are in the same boat. The further irony is, I used to be in that boat. I was righteous in my crusades to right this or that wrong. The thought of stepping back and pondering what was be triggering my righteous crusades might be something broken in me, as opposed to my external services actually being needed, never even once occurred to me. Then along came the angels who started introducing me to me. What a heap of fun!

      Perhaps because I had been such a determined crusader, the angels returned me into that arena, but with an entirely new set of eyes and ears and senses not recognized by human systems, and with the angels directing and correcting me ongoing, mostly in dreams, but they had and still have other ways they use, considerably more direct and at times quite painful physically, and even quite terrifying at times.

      A book was published about projection, A COURSE IN MIRACLES. That book takes all the fun and reward out of crusades. The New Age embraced that book, but then twisted the book to suit the New Age view, not unlike Christianity twisted Jesus to suit Christianity’s view.

      Well, perhaps I digress. The real masters behind cops behaving like cops are supposed to behave, are their own soul wounding and perhaps even physical trauma, and what many like to call the Devil, which I call Lucifer, which you speak dismissive of, as does the New Age. Christianity tends to recognize Evil, or Satan, as they call it, but because they are all saved by Jesus, they don’t think they have anything to worry about form the Devil.

      Just what the Devil wants them all to think.

      I’m now going over to your next reply, in which you responded, finally, to my request for your own suggestions, and asked other questions.

  14. Peggy Butler, retired nurse, formerly of Key West, just now messaged me on Facebook:

    I’ve spent quite a while, almost an hour, reading your most recent post and comments [at http://www.goodmorningkeywest.com, Aug. 24], and I found yours to be right on the money, especially where you were answering Sister! As you know, I’ve been opposed to these anonymous ‘signatures’ for a long time. If you have something of value to say, don’t say it behind that cloak of anonymity but have the courage and the honesty to sign your real name. I was particularly disturbed by your statement about Naja and Arnaud putting their lives at risk over taking on the KWPD, because I’ve felt the same way for over a year, since it was so obvious they were going to stand up for the locals and tourists and tell it like it is. I admire them so much and have since the days when I covered the city commission, because like Tom, Sheila, Christine and you, they always came to the podium armed with carefully researched facts. And I was very happy when they took over the Blue Paper when Dennis retired (or thought he was going to retire, since he’s right back at it), but I started to worry about their safety and welfare when it became obvious they were going to tell the truth after discovering things were not as it seemed at the KWPD and then started to uncover so much that was being denied. I know the mayor only has one vote on the commission, but I think if you were mayor, your vote would be an ethical and honest one and that you would do all in your power as mayor to keep things above board instead of saying such trite things as the current one said to Christine the other day when she was trying to get them to open their eyes to the truth. God help you all down there right now, Sloan. Don’t ever stop telling the truth about it, and keep a close watch over Naja and Arnaud, as we don’t want to lose their voices, either!

      • If that’s your legal name under USA and your state of residence’s laws, traceable by state and federal law enforcement agencies, Social Security Administration, Internal Revenue Service, etc., you are no longer hiding. Otherwise, you are still hiding.

        Legitimize is not the word I would use. The word I would use is standing, as in moral standing. Another word I would use is credibility.

          • I take your retort to mean the second name you provided is not your legal name, so if, say, a KW police officer wants to find out about you, where you live, etc., the police officer will not find you.

            I have no interest in doing that kind of “background check” on you. In what you write into this forum, you are providing lots of background information on yourself. Go change those dirty diapers you messed up again.

  15. Ok, I’m back…all freshly powdered and diapered for you Sloan.

    The investigative journalists who write for this paper are doing what their jobs require of them. They are exposing the corruption and crime that seems to be enveloping your little island home.

    You Sloan, have chosen to put yourself in the forefront and to run for a leadership position which requires ACTION, not talk.

    Could you possibly gather a petition to fire the specific “bad apples” that have perpetrated the crimes against human rights in your little island home? Would not the City Manager King and his Commission Court have to take notice and ACTION if there were thousands of signatures on such a petition?

    Could you not put a proposal up to the King and his Court to ban tasers as they have done in other jurisdictions?

    Could you try to meet with community members of Bahama Village and listen to how they would want to be represented? I’m sure it wouldn’t be by the Ministers and Masons you alluded to earlier as they clearly only have their pockets in mind.

    Would you try to learn as much about what police procedures are in effect as far as traffic stops, disputes, etc. and if they follow the law?

    Are you going to DO anything to curb the SWAT onslaughts and militarization of your police force?

    Or are you going to simply continue to ask someone else if they have a magic wand?

  16. Dig the wax out of your ears, Sister. I chose nothing. The angels running me told me in dreams to run for mayor this year. They told me in a dream in late 2012, when I still lived on Little Torch Key, that I would run for mayor of Key West again, and then they started moving me in that direction.

    But for the angels directives, I would not have entered the mayor’s race this year, nor would I have entered three prior mayor races here, nor three earlier county commission races, nor one school board race.

    You say what I, as mayor, would be about requires action and not talk, and then you suggest action by me, as mayor, that only can be done by talking or by writing.

    Sure, I can draft that PETITION to have the specific bad apples in the KWPD fired, but I’d have to be darn sure I had concrete proof of who the bad apple cops are. And even then, the police benevolent union would fight it tooth and nail, fang and claw, in the state court system. The lawsuit probably would drag out past my 2-year term, and I would not file to run for a second term, which I have said in every race I have run down here.

    Pretending the police benevolent union would welcome the PETITION with open arms, even if I got 10,000 signatures on the PETITION, the City Manager could legally ignore it. And the City Commission could legally ignore it. The political impact might be considerable, however. So, the PETITION might be a good move politically and emotionally, if it gained thousands of signatures.

    However, what I would like see happen instead is a PETITION drive to amend the city Charter, to abolish the commission-mayor form of government and replace it with a single elected official, who could be called the mayor, to whom all city departments, including the police department, answer directly, and which department heads are hired and fired by the mayor. Yes, a the king, or the queen, for the 2 years in office. Or the 4 years, if the term is increased as part of the PETITION drive and the voters approving the Charter amendment. However the Charter amendment might require more than 50 percent voter approval. I will have to look into that. And, I think the Charter amendment would require approval by the State of Florida. All of which, of course, might take as long as, or longer, than the police benevolent union’s lawsuit.

    Any and all of which would make for interesting ongoing reading in the local paper rags and blogs, but it might end up being nothing but noise and wasted paper.

    As for tasers being banned, if I were mayor, I would have one vote on that. As a private citizen, I would have no vote. So I think a PETITION drive is the way to go at that. But I wonder if such a PETITION would pass legal muster, after the police benevolent union challenges the petition in court, as depriving police officers of their right to protect themselves using modern police methods and, interfering with their duty to enforce the laws and protect the public? That, too, would make for lots of interesting reading in the local rags and blogs.

    But that’s not my problem with tasers. My problem is I am not in favor of banning tasers, because tasers, with few exceptions, taser are not lethal, but guns are, and I don’t want police to only have guns. I want police to have tasers to use instead of guns, except when they have no choice but to use guns. Saying it another way, I think banning tasers will result in more dead, maimed and paralyzed and post-traumatic-shocked citizens, by police shooting them with guns.

    Certainy, if elected mayor, I will do what I can to meet with Bahama Village leaders. Understand, though, that their churches, lodges and clubs are an integral part of their society, and their leaders, as far as I know, are leaders in their churches, lodges and clubs.

    It was painful for me to be at that city commission meeting and watch and hear one Bahama Village elder after another, nearly all were black, argue for the Goombay Festival being returned to their control. My impression was, making money was their main motivation. Making money for their churches, lodges, clubs, charities. And, I imagine, some of them making money for themselves.

    I also heard from a few of them complaints about Goombay having drifted far from its Bahamian-Caribbean African roots, which was true. But they and/or their predecessors were in on that back when they and/or their predecessors controlled Goombay. I very much hope, and during citizen comments that night, I urged the mayor and city commissioners and both groups vyying for this year’s Goombay contract, to require only African roots themes in this year’s Goombay. Later, I was told by Mayor Cates that that legally could not be required. Maybe it would mess with Interstate Commerce to restrict Goombay in that way. Left to me, I would require it anyway, and let the the lawsuit come, nor not.

    So, in that I see, a great deal falls on those black churches, lodges, clubs, etc., to bring off the kind of change I, and others, feel is needed between Bahama Village and KWPD.

    If Bahama Village leaders are not willing to come to city commission meetings and speak their minds during the 3 minutes allotted to any citizen at the end of each commission meeting, what message does that send to me, as mayor, to the city commissioners, to the city manager, to the chief of police, to the KWPD, to the citizens of Key West, and to God’s angels?

    Already in this article’s comments thread, I suggested a town hall meeting just on Bahama Village and KWPD, at which the mayor and city commissioners are present and have to respond to citizen comments. As mayor, I can put such a town hall meeting on a city commission agenda for discussion and approval, but if I get outvoted, then there is no town hall meeting approved by the City Commission.

    I could sponsor an informal town hall meeting somewhere off city property, but it would be unofficial, city commissioners might not come, and might not speak, and might not respond to citizen comments. Maybe the press would attend. I would trust the blue paper to report it well, but not the Citizen, the Keynoter, KONK Life, the Weekly Newspapers. I would wear it out at http://www.goodmorningkeywest.com, and everything else in the city needing wearing out.

    As for traffic stops, sure, good idea. I, the mayor, sit down with the police chief, if he’s willing, and he educates me. I can’t make him sit down with me, and I can’t make any of his officers sit down with me, either. Perhaps far more productive, another town hall meeting just on traffic stops: vehicle, motor cycle, motor scooter, bicycle and pedestrian. The police chief and his ranking offices, down through sergeant, are required to attend, if the city manager goes along.

    As for SWAT and FURTHER militarization of the police department, again, with only one vote on the city commission, I have no legal power to tell the city manager to tell the police chief to curtail SWAT teams and militarization. To call up US Attorney General Eric Holder, the F.B.I. and/or the US Attorney, which I imagine is what happened in Ferguson, some top elected official made that call. I need far more than my personal sentiments. I need something compelling, which will have a chance of catapulting the feds into action in Key West.

    The only thing I see right now, which the blue paper has published, which rises to that level, in my opinion, is the cover up after Charles Eimers died on South Beach. Killing him was one thing, but covering it up was another matter altogether. I am in limbo on that, until I know the outcome of the local Grand Jury proceeding. And, that case is not about Bahama Village.

    I never asked anyone if they had a magic wand for any of this, but you keep coming across as if you expect me, or someone, to have a magic wand to wave, which will make you happy. There is no magic wand, unless the angels wave theirs. And wave it they can, if they are so inclined.

    I dunno, it just now comes to me to wonder, Sister, belatedly, if you hate God for how this world is? A sorry state it is in many ways.

    I’m not God, don’t want to be God, would not know how to be God, and know God is infinitely smarter than I am; as are the angels running me. Perhaps you’d like to get to know them better?

      • By whatever name you, or anyone, wishes to call the Source Of All, here is only one God, on which no religion on this world has a lock. In fact, the religions on this world understand God about as well as a zebra understands the little star, as stars go, upon which the planet depends for its very survival. Saying it another way, God is unfathomable to human beings, and even angels only know what of God what God gives them to know.

        I wish everyone had peace; what a very different species human beings on this planet would be.

        As for the election on Tuesday, thanks, and I will share what I told Christine Russell the morning after Mayor Cates slammed her for bringing up during closing citizen comments at that city commission meeting that she, and the mayor and city commissioners should be concerned about doing all possible to head off a Ferguson event in Key West.

        I told Christine that Mayor Cates and Margaret Romero both want very much to win on Tuesday, while I am really interested in seeing how the voting in the mayor’s race turns out, because that will tell me a great deal about Key West.

        And, imagine, it will tell me other things of which I am not yet aware. The thing about God is, which many religious people keep seeming to forget, is God, and thus the angels, really like mystery, surprises; it’s the spice of spirit life, apparently.

        In that regard, a poem comes to mind:

        Rosa Mystica
        Sweet Mystery
        Bride of Christ,
        Living water
        without which
        there are no rainbows
        and God is dead.

        That is not a religious poem. Religion is an attempt to know God and the angelic realms, and to compress them down to something understandable, and thus predictable and controllable, which simply cannot be done by religions. Back to the zebra and little star analogy.

  17. Evil flourish, when individuals alleging to be good, do nothing. These “Allegers” are responsible for the filth that perforates the world. Hiding behind a veneer of righteousness, their toxic stench and vileness are clear, precise and palpable.

    As outlined by ‘Brother Sloan’, police officers have a ‘Code of Honor’ upon which all of their law-enforcement activities are measured. Nothing comes before this ‘Code’, for without it, there isn’t any Law.

    The wheel does not need to be reinvented. Whether it be in our classrooms, school districts, police departments or ‘white house’, it is the ‘Individual’ that either brings dignity and grace; or disgrace and ignominy to the office they hold.

    I want the mayor, city commissioners, city manager and the police chief, along with every officer, to re-read the affirmation affixed to the KWPD building.

    Unfortunately, the citizens of Key West have the type of leadership and police officers that they deserve. Critical Mass has been achieved. It will be difficult to ‘right the course’.

    When it blows, a change will be made….

  18. Keysbum,

    Newsflash….When combat forces from nations that are at war with one another arrive on a battlefield together, there is going to be plenty of violence and killing. By whatever means necessary, up close and personal, or a ‘gunshot’ wound, the enormity of suffering is unimaginable.

    At one time, because the magnitude of this type of destructiveness and infirmity were so great, only ‘Congress’ could ‘declare war’.

    Lawless presidencies have ceased to follow the ‘Constitution’. These ‘Imperial Czars’ have become accustomed to dictating their demands upon a cowering congress and citizenry, as combat troops continue to be deployed in conflicts around the world.

    “War is the ultimate foreign policy failure”.

    Keysbum, please stop electing incompetent buffoons into positions of authority, and if you believe it’s necessary, inform those ‘Rothschild Types’ of a more profitable way to conduct business, so as to decrease world violence.

    The North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong guerillas believed in their government and cause. I believed in the United States of America. We met in Southeast Asia.

    What do you know about the NVA or VC? What do you know about being a United States Marine?

    Keysbum, you’re quick to judge and make statements concerning matters of importance that you ‘Know Nothing’ about. You make plenty of harsh assertions concerning the conduct of myself and the Marines that I served with, which are both factually incorrect.

    A focus of my conversation has been upon the innocent civilians that get caught up in all wars. An emphasis I’ve offered many times, as a ‘primary sourced historian’, has not been accepted by an alleged ‘learned individual’. You continue to reduce my detailed accounts of extraordinary compassion, kindness and love rendered by hardened Marines, in light of the realities facing them, to the villagers in the hamlets that we passed through, as: “…Giving a snickers bar to a kid right before you put a bullet into their father brain, or a slammed your rifle butt into their mothers skull…”.

    Nice Stuff…..

    Keysbum, you’re either intoxicated, severely damaged through the indoctrination of your choosing, dumb as a rock; or in need of therapy and some authentic medication.

    Just because you’re able to string a few nice sounding words together, an individual of substance, you are not. Your presentations are unimpressive and inconsequential.

    I’ve attempted to maintain a modicum of respect in my dialogue with you. However, you’ve denigrated and trivialized myself , my Marines and the Vietnamese children and civilians, whom we lived with, that died in our arms, while we comforted them and their families.

    Your bitterness, anger and emptiness has manifested themselves in statements you’ve directed at me. It’s rather unflattering of you.

    You’ve been quick to diagnose me with your proclamations of illness. Perhaps, you need to look in the mirror and examine yourself. I sense a degree of instability.

    I don’t need to make up things to believe in. Nor, as you suggested, do I need to rationalize anything about myself. I Am as I Am.

    It’s evident to me, that you hate yourself and those who have put on a ‘Uniform’ to serve their country and community. Your comments regarding the Armed Forces and the KWPD, unfortunately, are of no import.

    Keysbum, I will continue to correspond with you. However, if your obtuseness prevails, a change is coming.

    There are answers and solutions for the KWPD. Reform and Transformation must immediately begin, from the top down.

    NO LEADERSHIP, NO PEACE….

    • You are right, John, about voters electing bad presidents and other office holders; it’s a terminal disease apparently. And not just in America.

      Maybe this from today’s bigpinekey.com Coconut Telegraph fits in this discussion:

      “Are you confused by what is going on in the Middle East? Let me explain. We support the Iraqi government in the fight against ISIS. We don’t like ISIS, but ISIS is supported by Saudi Arabia who we do like. We don’t like Assad in Syria. We support the fight against him, but ISIS is also fighting against him. We don’t like Iran, but Iran supports the Iraqi government in its fight against ISIS. So some of our friends support our enemies, some enemies are now our friends, and some of our enemies are fighting against our other enemies, who we want to lose, but we don’t want our enemies who are fighting our enemies to win.If the people we want to defeat are defeated, they could be replaced by people we like even less. And all this was started by us invading a country to drive out terrorists who were not actually there until we went in to drive them out. It’s quite simple, really.”

    • Mr. Donnelly:

      it is indeed regrettable that you have deemed it necessary to resort to name calling and pejoratives. as they say, that is the last refuge of someone who lacks cognizant argument or intellectual veracity. be that as it may, i will of course refrain from returning the name calling in kind. i will however use your own words, as i have in the past, to author my retort.

      you blame lawless presidents for sending you to war. they, according to you, violated the constitution. now, wouldn’t that be the same constitution that you swore an oath to uphold as a member of the USMC? by going off to war, you violated the constitution, making what you did a criminal act, and thus made you a criminal. those are the facts as stated by yourself.

      now that we have established that you were a criminal, engaging in criminal activity, how it is that you were serving your country? how is it that you can claim honor and glory?

      I’ll answer that: you can’t.

      “war is the ultimate foreign policy failure.” no, war is the desired foreign policy success.

      for your edification Mr. Donnelly, I have never voted in my life. I will not dignify a system that is nothing more than a charade. you, though i doubt i will ever convince you, have never elected anyone on the national level either. your vote does not count. you have no choice. your leaders are selected for you. when one of those leaders goes off plan, say JFK and Carter, look at what happens to them.

      now, i am not aware of any judgmental statement(s) made towards you. i have made statements using the words that you yourself have chosen to define yourself. or did i misread the part about you killing and beating people up?

      i have never claimed to be the sharpest knife in the drawer, and though i can “string a few nice sounding words together” would not presume any intellectual superiority over anyone.

      until now.

      Mr. Donnelly, you are a walking contradiction. you cannot proclaim humanitarian concern while in the same breath admit to killing and beating people up. you cannot claim that you engaged in war to serve your country when you knowingly admit it was a criminal act, and you yourself were a criminal. for those same reasons, you cannot bask in the honor and glory of the USMC.

      you cannot have it both ways sir.

      • Keysbum, you remind me of a professional assassin, but not in the sense that designation is normally used. For many years, I have viewed the Vietnam and subsequent American wars as acts of Evil, driven by corporate greed, and if you wish to toss in the Illuminati, or something similar, the Rothschilds (spelling?), I have no problem with that, either.

        Perhaps the same assessment applies to all American wars, but I was a young boy during WWII and the Korean War, so I don’t have the emotional experience of those wars, at least not consciously.

        America has a general right now, I saw on TV yesterday morning, pushing President Obama to escalate, seriously it seems, US military interdiction in Syria. I shook my head, wondered what was going on inside that general’s head? I wondered the same thing about the generals in the Iraq war, and in the Afghanistan war? Did they take leave of their senses?

        I wish American Generals (and Admirals) would stop letting idiots in the White House put America into such wars. Just refuse to follow orders, command their troops to refuse to follow orders. Go on strike. For America, nothing but bad, and worse, Evil, came out of those wars I named. The karma has to be horrific.

        The propaganda was those wars were to protect America, but that’s all it was, propaganda. Same for Vietnam.

        In my experience, this can be discussed civilly, or uncivilly, until hell freezes over, to be crude about it, and nothing will change, and, absent some sort of epiphany, nobody will change their view from what it already is.

        I think America is lost and headed to hell, to be further blunt. And I think it goes back much father in time, to how our white ancestors treated the indigenous Americans and the Africans. The karma from that was huge and will have its say.

        Just as white Americans taking a lot of Spanish/Mexican territory is having its way today – America is being invaded and overrun by Spanish people from south of the US boarder with Mexico.

        I do have a problem, though, with you using a pseudonym, especially in volatile forums such as the blue paper is providing. In fact, I found myself wondering today, if you would submit to the blue paper what you write, if your legal name was attached to it? Sister already convinced me she would not be chatting so vigorously in this forum with her legal name.

        I know of cases where Key West police and Monroe County deputies actually tracked people down elsewhere, even several states from Florida, and made their lives miserable, often as not having someone they knew near their target do the dirty work.

        I have heard Naja and Arnaud lament more than a few times of being told about something they felt inclined to investigate, but the source didn’t want to be involved, even though the source was a witness. I myself have had that happen quite a few times as well, with someone sending me something but not wanting to be identified, to telling me they have something I need to know, but I have to promise not to get them involved after they tell me what it is.

        Deer Ed, who published bigpinekey.com’s Coconut Telegraph, did that with me about two weeks ago. In the context, it seemed to me it might have to do with the county commissioner race for George Neugent’s seat. But I was not positive. I told Deer Ed, though, if it was something that bore on that race, then it should be aired out. I don’t know if it was aired out or not. Nor do I know what it was about.

        Who are you, Keysbum? Where do you live? I imagine people besides me would like to know.

        • Mr. Bashinsky:

          was I just insulted??? can’t tell.

          I do not understand your preoccupation with people’s real identities. what does it matter (or as you pointed out, perhaps it does)? I consider this forum to be in fun and do not take it for any more than that. I mean no disrespect to anyone, and despite being on the receiving end of some name calling, refrain from engaging in it myself…. at least obviously.
          as for where I live; I have property in the Keys and the mainland and split my time. I will be down there fishing this weekend off American Shoal as a matter of fact, and hope to restock on snapper. I would like to eat at Caroline’s on Saturday, but I think the wife will force me to go to Roostica. sad.
          anyway, as stated, my comments are made in the interest of spirited debate, and will never cross over into personal animus.

          if I were to ever run into you or Mr. Donnelly, I would not hesitate to come over and exchange pleasantries.

          • Sorry, Keysbum, pleasantries I do not assign to your and John Donnelly’s back and forths. Nor is John doing this for fun – you are? For real? Deadly serious, spiritually lethal topics are being discussed. This is not a video game to John, nor to me, nor to Naja and Arnaud Girard. Is that what you think this forum is, Keysbum, a video game? No, you don’t think that. You are going for the jugular, which is okay, but it is not okay to spin you are not doing it. You answered my question: you don’t want your identity known in these blue paper reader forums.

  19. Keysbum,

    It was apparent to me that you strayed a little too far, in your descriptive condemnation of actions taken by Americans under fire, without an objective consideration of the facts.

    You display an unwillingness to accept, not agree with, a detailed analysis of events that you’ve already formed an opinion about.

    If you refuse to listen to anything that I have to say, let alone take my information in for serious consideration, there isn’t a legitimate rational for continuing our dialogue.

    It appeared to me that you became rather nasty and mean-spirited, in the manner you expressed yourself in the last communiqué. I decided to give you a dose, of what I believed to be, your own medicine. Please accept my apology, if my words in any way exceeded their intent.

    From your previous comments I’ve ascertained that, for whatever reason, you did not enlist into the Armed Forces.

    I’ve offered a brief synopsis, laying the groundwork for my volunteering to serve in the USMC.

    There aren’t any value judgments here on my part.

    Our civilian leadership sent my unit into combat.

    The controversy concerning the legality of a president sending troops off to war, without the approval of congress, is still being wrangled, as to its legality. It seems that our politicians have gotten cover from the ‘War Powers Act’.

    Coming up against well trained, heavily armed and accomplished warriors, determined to kill you by whatever means necessary, what would you have my Marines do?

    Remember, for the sake of this discussion, I’m not talking about your personal views, perspectives or understandings of the ‘war’, just the realities we faced as described.

    We engaged this skillful enemy on their terrain, with a tunnel system and method of entry onto the battlefield that we were unfamiliar with.

    During combat, we beat and killed every enemy soldier that we got our hands on. They returned the violence in kind, often utilizing children and civilians to increase the number of Marines they killed and wounded.

    If you have a problem with the fact that during battle, United States Marines beat and killed enemy soldiers; we do not.

    According to our Constitutional Republic, there hasn’t been any Constitutional Violations, as far as presidents sending troops off to war. I may feel that there are violations, but as a matter of law, there’s been no breeches.

    Therefore, you may think that I am a criminal, but in fact, I’m not.

    Contrary to your continued derision of me and the Marines that I served with, we were humanitarians of colossal proportions.

    For you to continue to deny this truth, places you in a peculiar category.

    It’s strange, that you adamantly deny the goodness that myself and my Marines rendered unto Vietnamese civilians. These people were not our enemy.

    I accept you as you are. I do not judge you, nor do I want to change you.

    I do not want your approval. Nor, do I want to convince you of something, you’re unwilling to accept.

    Perhaps our conversations have run their course. I’ll let you be the judge of that.

    Whatever your decision, for the most part I’ve enjoyed our exchanges. I wish you well.

    Blessings & Respect…

    • Mr. Donnelly:

      ya know what, let’s let this subject go. we can agree to disagree. but let me make it clear that I do not judge you in any way, nor do I put you in any where near the same category as our friend CaptainLarry. I take you to be a thoughtful individual, with good intentions, and a background of achievement that would be the envy of anyone.

      looking forward to our next discussion.

      Dave

  20. Mr. Bashinsky:

    I think you take this a little too seriously. a comment section is just that, for comments, not the launching pad for actionable policy. I enjoy the back and forth with Mr. Donnelly, and if I may be so bold, I think he enjoys it as well. he and I are both adults, enjoy in spirited debate, and as much as we disagree, I think the mental exercise we get from engaging with one another is beneficial to us both.

    if you lack the maturity or mental acuity to see this comment section for what it is, perhaps you should not participate. conversing with your angels may be a safer haven for you.

  21. Sloan,

    I sincerely appreciate your drawing my attention to the motion picture entitled “The Cavalry”.

    The Independent Film & Television Alliance is a non-profit organization that represents more than 150 members from 23 countries, consisting of independent production and distribution companies, sales agents, television companies, and institutions engaged in film finance.

    This reputable alliance recognized “The Cavalry” as ‘The Best Film’, with the ‘Best Lead Actor’, as well as being the ‘Best Screenplay-Film’, for the year 2014.

    ‘The Prize of the Ecumenical Jury’ is an independent film award for feature films given at the Cannes Film Festival. They conferred “The Cavalry” with this prestigious recognition, as its ‘Best Panoramic’ presentation (2014).

    The International Federation of Film Critics identified the Director of “The Cavalry” as the ‘Best Director’ (2014).

    I value the enormity of your service, as it relates towards fostering a Self-Actualized Society. Thank You…

    Blessings & Respect

  22. Dave (Keysbum),

    Thank you for your compliments. As I’ve previously stated, your discernment and intelligent discussion of important matters, contains a depth and gravitas not frequently published.

    A constructive and purposeful exchange of ideas and information are critical for the maintenance of a ‘free society’.

    To the extent that this process takes place, will determine the awareness with which we live our lives.

    “We must indeed all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Benjamin Franklin

    Blessings & Respect

  23. Sloan,

    By the way, it was extremely refreshing to see you cover my back and flanks, from not so ‘friendly fire’.

    It sparked a good feeling, knowing you were there.

    Appreciate and value your support, insight and wisdom. Thanks again…

    Blessings & Respect

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