THE EIMERS CASE: Witness Claims Police Intimidation Tactics Will Not Deter Him

toy cop

“To be honest with you, I am really nervous about the whole thing.  I think they’re going to bother him or something,” says L, whose friend P was subpoenaed to testify before the Grand Jury in the Charles Eimers case last Wednesday.

While P was testifying, two squad cars were parked in front of his house, one blocking his driveway.  His friend, concerned about the strange coincidence, texted him a photo of the police cars.

On a recent occasion, officer Gary Lee Lovette, who was one of the officers who arrested Eimers last Thanksgiving, reportedly pushed P’s shopping cart violently out of his way at a Publix grocery store.

P had spoken with the Blue Paper after Eimers’ death revealing certain behavior and incriminating admissions by Key West police officer Lovette.  After P was finally interviewed by FDLE, he says Lovette’s attitude became threatening.

“I didn’t see him coming,” says P about the shopping cart incident,  “I was actually focusing on getting my wallet out.  Officer Lovette rammed his cart into mine shoving it to the side.  And yes, it scared me.  He’s a big guy.  I’m not.”

Then, just one day before testifying, P received a letter stating that his driver’s license was going to be revoked.  It had to do with lack of insurance for a car, but his insurance is current and paid for, says P, “Maybe it’s just another coincidence.”

KWPD spokesperson Alyson Crean explained that the police cruisers parked in front of P’s house were merely responding to a car accident that had taken place across the street when an 87-year-old man mistakenly ran his car into his wheelchair bound wife and her caretaker.  “Okay. That may also be just a coincidence,” says P “but there was another squad car with an officer looking straight at me when I returned home later that night.”

And Thursday morning P’s employee found a toy policeman had been placed in front of the door to P’s shop with the gun pointed toward the inside of the store.  “If they think they’re going to intimidate me they have it coming,” says P, who called the Eimers’ family attorney, Darren Horan, to inform him of the event.  “I will not be intimidated.”

From the very first day of the tragic arrest, witnesses have complained about feeling intimidated by KWPD officers. When we first interviewed witnesses at the beachside café last December they were all under the impression that two FDLE agents had been conducting an investigation.  The agents were described as forceful and threatening. “They said my record would be scrutinized,” said Bill, a bartender.  He also said that another witness had been told that FDLE would not have him write and sign a statement because of some past personal issue.

In fact, those “FDLE agents” were not employed by FDLE, they were Key West police officers Todd Stevens along with another officer who is yet to be named.

One witness, Joelle, a hostess who reportedly had initially said that she saw Eimers being tased by police, allegedly changed her story after talking with a police officer she’d had lunch with.  When we met her she stated that she had been “ordered” not to talk to us. Witnesses who did talk to us said the police had chased eyewitnesses away after the arrest and didn’t get contact information.

Then, according to several employees, management at the beachside café ordered all employees not to discuss the case.  When CBS News producers came to investigate they called the corporate headquarters of the resort to question that policy.  Employees were then informed that they could discuss the arrest without fear of retaliation.

Two other critical eyewitnesses also reported they were feeling intimidated.  Just outside their hotel room, prior to going to the courthouse to be questioned, they reportedly came face to face with one of the officers they had seen during Eimers’ arrest.

It would be interesting to know whether information about these events, concerning possible intimidation of witnesses, has been provided to the Grand Jury.

Stay tuned.

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To access all Blue Paper coverage of the death of Charles Eimers click here.

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16 comments on “THE EIMERS CASE: Witness Claims Police Intimidation Tactics Will Not Deter Him

  1. Another terrific article/coverage.

    Alyson Crean received mention in an article in the Citizen yesterday, on a different case. I excerpted this part of the article,

    ————————

    At 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, officers responded to a report of an elderly man passing out behind the wheel of a car which rolled into his wheelchair-bound wife he had just dropped off, according to police spokeswoman Alyson Crean.

    Octavio Alpizar, 87, and his wife, Angela, were taken to the hospital, where they stayed overnight, Crean said.

    The woman’s caregiver was also injured.

    “He struck both people,” Crean said. “[Police officers] were all at 1111 12th St. starting at 10:30 a.m.,” Crean said. “Whenever there is a critical crash, they do an extensive investigation.”

    ———————————

    And whenever KWPD officers kill a suspected homeless man, they intimidate witnesses, do an extensive cover up, and obstruct justice.

  2. Holy Mackerel. KWPD stinks. For Chief Donni Lee to allow his officers to behave in this manner is unconscionable. THIS is the exact reason why every officer involved should have been placed on leave immediately. Allowing these officers access to all the benefits and perks of their position, to be able to have police access to the witnesses is unbelievable. No where else does this happen without even a slap on the wrist. The FBI needs to step in and protect these witnesses. They need to get a message to KWPD that this behavior will not be accepted without consequences. Is it coincidence??? COME ON!!!..KWPD’s policy of shooting first, asking questions later (if the suspect lives), should apply to the treatment of it’s own officers. Whether just Lee Lovette or other sociopaths employed by KWPD, they have made the departments standing in the community one of fear and distrust. Disgusting use of excessive force and intimidation the day of Mr. Eimers murder and now with the witnesses. Are we under KWPD’s imposed martial law?????? WAKE UP CHIEF LEE!!! YOUR DEPARTMENT STINKS TO HIGH HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!!!

    • lee has been told that time and time again in many ways and keeps his eyes closed and ear plugs in like the great wink and nod’er he is! as for lovette from what i have read he simply belongs in a cage. the wagons have been circled and i sure hope the grand jury has access to all the facts including the telling video on the beach which surfaced 2 weeks after the fact and the grossly false initial police reports.

  3. P…I am sure Charles’ family is very appreciative of your courage. Sure hope your surveillance camera caught the person who placed the figure on your doorstep. And I hope you have plenty of friends to watch your back…maybe a loyal dog too.

  4. Every jurisdiction in the US, along with renowned and notable individuals from around the world, have their eyes focused on the fact that an innocent and defenseless elderly man was killed while in police custody.

    From their perspectives, the uncooperative and remorseless efforts, which have been put forth in stonewalling and whitewashing an honest examination of the details that caused Mr. Eimers to death, are infuriating.

    The cost of this apparent cover-up will break the spirit and coiffeurs of the City.

    I know Governor Scott and Attorney General Bondi, take this tragedy seriously. They are closely reviewing and monitoring every facet of this bumbled, muddled, and possibly criminal inquiry.

    When I find myself in a hole, for one reason or another, I stop digging.

    I know some outstanding members on our State Attorneys’ team, please make your mark on the right side of history.

    • John, I may have a different perspective of the resistance in this city and its leaders, because of the mayor’s race.

      During the Lodging Association candidate forum last week, we got to ask our opponents a question. I asked Mayor Cates and Margaret Romero if they ever will apologize to the Eimers family for KWPD killing Charles Eimers? Craig said his heart goes out to the Eimers family, but he is waiting on the investigation results to be published. Margaret said she didn’t see the police did anything wrong.

      During opening remarks at the Lodging Association forum, I had said, if elected, the first thing I will do officially is apologize on behalf of Key West to the Eimers family for KWPD killing their father, whom the police had profiled as homeless. That’s why he died, they thought he was homeless.

      My read on the Lodging Association audience’s mood was apathy. Milling around after the forum, nobody said a word to me about the Eimers case.

      Much the same at the Chamber of Commerce forum this past Wednesday, after I said during closing comments (we had no opening comments at that forum), what I would do first, if elected.

      Neither forum asked us about the Eimers case. I interjected it.

      We were not asked about the Eimers case during the Pirate Radio mayor candidates debate yesterday morning. I interjected it.

      We were asked about the homeless problem at all three events. Only I interjected the Eimers case.

      Governor Scott recently initiated an Internal Affairs investigation of the Florida Department of Environmental Protections over several alleged misfeasances/malfeasances in its role in Cudjoe Regional Sewer System’s grinder pump permitting. Perhaps he will do same in Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Perhaps he will ask Florida Bondi to investigate FDLE, KWPD, perhaps using a Grand Jury.

      Meanwhile, I imagine a great deal hinges on the local Grand Jury’s investigation and findings.

      I found myself thinking this afternoon that one, perhaps more KWPD officers committed crimes against Charles Eimers on Southbeach. However, what happened between KWPD officers and citizen witnesses after Eimers succumbed on South Beach, and the ensuring machinations and lying and covering up and attempts to get rid of the corpus delecti, Eimers’ body, were just as serious crimes. As might well be what FDLE investigators then did, or didn’t do.

      I hope the local Grand Jury does not focus just on the police who were on top of Eimers at South Beach. I hope the Grand Jury digs into everything the KW police did after Eimers succumbed. I even hope the Grand Jury digs into FDLE’s role, but it might be Bondi is better equipped to do that.

      When I talked about a month ago with our former State Attorney Dennis Ward about FDLE being investigated by State Attorney Catherine Vogel, Dennis said he thought Bondi had jurisdiction, but maybe Vogel could investigate FDLE.

  5. Critical to any examination of behavior that may be criminal, is the integrity and rectitude of the subsequent investigation.

    Wrongfully accused, wrongfully convicted, along with criminal conduct that is not prosecuted; in most instances, originates from investigators who through incompetence, or deliberate malice, steer the investigation in a self-fulfilling manner.

    Garbage in, garbage out.

    To willfully and with forethought, initiate an investigation that is structurally unsound, is an egregious criminal act. To professionally accept and sanction such an act as an investigator, is a conspiratorial endeavor, designed to defraud our system of justice.

    A police department or state attorneys’ office, as constitutional representatives of law-enforcement and arbitrators of the law, to be complicit in an act of collusion, during a criminal investigation, which may have a pre-determined outcome, violates a plethora of state and federal statutes.

    Even the appearance of impropriety is a cause of grave concern.

    All parties to the Eimers’ investigation were forewarned and put on due notice. Each member, at each locale knew that the FDLE “Rules of Investigative Conduct” were being violated.

    Still, no adjustments or modification were made, so that the truth might be gotten at. No entity sought to remedy this malfeasance; granting the people relief and upholding the marginal investigative standards, that might proffer an accurate account of this tragedy.

    From “Key West The Newspaper”–”The Blue Paper”:

    “After reviewing policies sent by FDLE, the Keynoter headlined its article: FDLE: No Conflict In Agent Leading Probe of Man’s Death Even Though Investigation Involves Her Ex-husband. However, when FDLE forwarded its conflict of interest policies to the media, it conveniently left out the one which speaks directly to the issue: Rule 7.1 of FDLE’s “Ethical Standards of Conduct,” reviewable on their website. It reads:

    “Police officers shall, unless required by law or policy, refrain from becoming involved in official matters, or influencing actions of other police officers in official matters, impacting the officer’s immediate family, relatives, or persons with whom the officer has or has had a significant personal relationship.”

    It is difficult to comprehend how FDLE could find that being the ex-wife and mother of the child of one of the subjects of an investigation does not fall under the clear prohibition set out by FDLE’s Rule 7.1.”

  6. Just want to thank everyone that’s been involved. Naja, Arnaud, “P”, everyone. You’re very brave. And my family and I are extremely grateful. Thank you so much for standing up and fighting for us. The reenactment was a great idea. Hopefully it will open more eyes to the truth. I didn’t watch it. Treavor watched it and advised me not to. Just made him very angry and tremendously sad ’cause it’s a reminder of the terrible way our dad died. We’re all still deeply saddened by the gruesome death. Probably always will be. But it sure feels great when you have great people that have your back. Thank you so much!

  7. Sloan,

    As usual, cogent and precise comments. Your leadership qualities far offset any quirks one might have, concerning your spiritual relationship with the God of your understanding. Have we not the freedom to worship and speak of our God in a manner congruent with our beliefs?

    Thank you for your astute and penetrating contributions to the discussion.

    Perhaps the Lodging Association, Chamber of Commerce and Pirate Radio forum have prioritized their allegiances; rendering tribute and worship to their deity, the ‘almighty dollar’.

    Apathy, indifference and greed are narcissistic plagues that appear to be cannibalizing the remaining decency and attractiveness of Key West.

    Yes, everyone is beautiful in their own way, however, just because someone is in a position of authority, it doesn’t mean that they can get away with murder.

    I will not remain silent, when a Brother or Sister, appears, to have been injured or killed by an agency birthed to ‘protect and serve’ the public. An individual who voluntarily takes an oath to defend the rights delineated in our Constitution, cannot ignore their pledge.

    Governments, police departments and politicians are my servants. I pay their salaries. They are not my master.

    ” And that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth”.

    Unfortunately, It appears to have perished for Mr. Eimers.

    With all the injustice that can come from living an alternative lifestyle, along with the rugged individualism established by the pioneering nature of the ‘Key West’s Conchs’, I’m surprised by their relative silence on this matter.

    Through my years, I’ve come to find out that it takes only one person, to change the world.

    There are many extraordinarily brilliant and determined professionals advancing the cause of justice for Mr. Eimers. They will not rest until their goals and objectives are accomplished.

  8. Morning, John, others. Thanks, Josh, for weighing in. We are so very sorry for your loss, and are so very embarrassed and outraged. Alas, John, my quirks are all too real to me. The angels infused me with a horrible toxic something last night, rendering me wishing they would go ahead and finish me off. They took me to many places in dreams , before giving me a coded instruction in my sleep: “6 and 2″. 6 means Melchizedek. 2 Means Jesus. Combined, they mean rough going and straight talk. It means, John, that I am dealing head on with Evil, which I more often call Lucifer.

    Whatever is people’s understanding, or not, there is only one God, on which no religion or sect has a lock. God is beyond religion and sects, which attempt to shrink God down to something manageable and safe to them. Angels are beyond human comprehension, too. I endure them, because I have no choice; they own me, and, yes, that makes me real darn quirky.

    That aside, the “Attorneys: Eimers wasn’t as sick as coroner said” article in today’s Citizen, about Charles Eimers’ actual medical condition last Thanksgiving Day, leaves me feeling all the more that his time was up and he was used in the way that best served God in that moment: to expose Key West in a way it could not otherwise be exposed. Charles was the instrument the angels used, his soul agreed to it. Charles’ person signaled that by telling the cop who made the traffic stop, that he had come to Key West to do God’s work, which he then quickly proceeded to do.

    Perhaps I’m mistaken, but right now it looks to me that the most important thing is for the local Grand Jury to leave no stones unturned in its investigation. Speaking from having practiced law, I think the Grand Jury has powers to investigate, which are broader and deeper than a plaintiff lawyer has in civil litigation. I think the Grand Jury can subpoena witnesses, including the KWPD cops involved in the Eimers case. I don’t know if the Grand Jury can subpoena FDLE people involved in the Eimers case.

    I think the Grand Jury can subpoena any physical evidence, including Charles Eimers’ drivers license. I’d like for the Grand Jury to see proof that Eimers drove off without his driver’s license. I’d like the Grand Jury to see what shape the driver’s license is in. Does it look okay? Is it bent or creased? If bent or creased, why?

    Someone told me a while back that a KW cop took his driver’s license and said he wasn’t going to give it back. My friend disagreed. The cop started bending the license back and forth. When the licence was creased, the cop gave it back to my friend and left him. My friend said he went to the driver’s license office on South Roosevelt Blvd and told a woman staff worker what had happened, and she said KW cops do that to driver’s licenses of people they believe are homeless, to alert the next cop having dealings with that person that they are dealing with a homeless person.

    Maybe Eimers’ driver’s license is not bent or creased. That that needs to be determined, is all I’m saying, by the Grand Jury. And if the KWPD says it does not have Eimers’ driver’s license, what does that say to the Grand Jury?

  9. Hey John, your a very intelligent man and I value your Insight. I pray that people in higher authority are waiting and watching like you say. Your a born leader.you need to take the raines of key west. You are one of a select few that could change course. I’ve never meet you but the facts and values you post are one of someone who cares of humanity and has experienced it from both sides. Its time to throw your name in the hat.

  10. Blue In The Face,

    I’m honored by your very kind words and thoughtful sentiments. It reaffirms and energizes my drive to secure a just account of your father’s death.

    Without the relentless courage of Arnaud and Naja Girard, repeatedly detailing this tragedy, your father may have perished without anyone being held accountable.

    “The Blue Paper”, along with its many contributors to the comment section, have rallied on behalf of your father and his family; compelling law-enforcement and the state attorney to initiate an investigation and impanel a grand jury.

    This case has gained notoriety, as good people in power, are appalled and outraged by the manner in which your father died.

    Blue In The Face, comments by individuals such as yourself provides fuel that nourishes the spirit.

    It drives the hearts and minds of those seeking to secure a just resolution to the fatal injuries endured by your father, along with the anguish, torment and loss suffered by the ‘Eimers’ Family’.

    Blessings & Respect,
    John Donnelly

  11. Thank You John,

    Your word’s are encouraging. My family and I wait each week to read what’s new. The bluepaper and yourself are the few who dare to say what others wish they had the b@//$ to say. Your all very brave. Look at what others have had to face for speaking out on this. I hope they wouldn’t be dumb enough to try and intimidate or harass you. But they’ve shown they’re capable of much worse. Thank all of you for staying with this and be careful.

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