Apr 102015
 

by Naja and Arnaud Girard…

Left in a vegetative state after being tased under questionable circumstances by KWPD in 2011, a suit has now been filed on behalf of Matthew Murphy and his young son. See the documentary video for details of this tragedy.

 

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Arnaud and Naja Girard
Arnaud and Naja Girard, owners and editors of the new, digital, Key West the Newspaper (The Blue Paper) previously reported for the former Key West The Newspaper, Key West’s longest running independent weekly, published by Dennis Reeves Cooper, Ph.D., from January 1994 until November 2012. The Girards are perhaps best known for their discovery of and extensive research surrounding the US Navy’s 1951 claim of ownership of Wisteria Island but are also responsible for top investigative stories including breaking news coverage of the highly controversial in-custody-death of Charles Eimers on Thanksgiving Day 2013, the catastrophic police tasing of Matthew Shawn Murphy, and the property tax scandal involving Balfour Beatty to name a few. Arnaud and Naja have lived in Key West since 1986.

  15 Responses to “Matthew Murphy Files Suit: Catastrophic 2011 Tasing”

  1. ahhh police chief lee rides again with no documentation/photos of the entry barbs. how very rare this occurrence of missing or no evidence. [sarc]
    perhaps the hospital records of old will show the entry wounds of the two barbs.

    lee’s dereliction of duty and distain for the oath he took is obvious. he needs be demoted to traffic cop…..oh wait that might just be a promotion? no he seriously needs to be fired!

    • Seriously Lee is last thing people need on the streets. Fire him or let him resign. Maybe some other foolish city needs him. Why does he simply not stand up to his force and fire them when needed ? If he did his job right people would not be going after him. It can’t be that hard to hire a new cop in Paradise.

  2. Really good journalism as always. This piece is so sadly timely with all the police brutality going on in this country.

    • Now we have a young boy with no father. All because of a thug type cop that uses taser first then asks questions. This is not only about Key West and it must stop. Lets get over so much hate and racism.

  3. Are we really expected to believe there were no photos taken of where the teaser barbs entered Mr. Murphy’s body or is this just more evidence that has been lost or destroyed? We know from the murder in South Carolina that cops will lie to cover their a**es. Of course we already knew that here in Key West from the Eimers grand jury depositions. Donie Lee has to be the most incompetent Police Chief in the country but he continues to have full support of our Mayor and two Commissioners. I can’t help but wonder why that is. Lee needs to be fired along with a few lying thug cops. Maybe when the Murphy family wins another large payout from the city that will happen, although I’m not holding my breath.

  4. Brilliantly covered and presented. Naja and Arnaud, from the start, magnificent work. I’m infuriated by the negligence and violations of the law that appear clearly to have occurred.

    Perjured sworn statements seem to have been captured on video, on a number of occasions, by Key West’s finest. They apparently have no problem with obfuscation and obstruction.

    Cates, the city commission and city manager continue to employ police officers and a chief that are and share responsibility for inflicting grave harm and death upon innocent American citizens.

    They have demonstrated culpability in these injuries and killing. Is it possible to bring criminal charges and a civil suit against them?

    Is it possible for Mr. Murphy’s attorney to contact the Justice Department and simultaneously proceed on two fronts, in securing some justice for Mr. Murphy, his son and the mother of his child?

    Blessings & Respect

    • My hope is the feds will be looking into all of the past problems. They can find more than enough to put Lee out of office and some of his thugs behind bars. I do not place all of the blame on Lee but he has taken no action on the perjury issues of his officers. This really upsets me because I have visited for over 40 years and at one time lived in KW. Because of the recent problems a once great party town is destroyed. Tourists safety is at question. Lee took a job he is not fit to hold.

  5. Donie Lee is not incompetent, he is running the police department the way the mayor and the six city commissioners want him to run it, evidenced by the fact that he is still their police chief, even after the Charles Eimers case. If you wish to call for resignations, call for the mayor and the six city commissioners’ resignations- all of them, because all of them have backed KWPD all the way, not just the mayor and 2 of them.

    I personally called for all of them to resign, during closing citizen comments at a city commission meeting last year, because, I said, none of them had showed any public remorse nor made any public apology to the Charles Eimers family for the KWPD killing Charles. The Key West Citizen reported what I told the mayor and commissioners to do: resign, and why. As far as I know, I am the only person in Key West who told the mayor and six city commissioners to resign. I suppose it’s hard to do that, if you voted for the mayor and your city commissioner. I suppose it’s easier to call for the resignation of the police chief. However, the buck stops with the mayor and the six city commissioners, who, to this day, have not apologized to the family of Charles Eimers for KWPD killing Charles. So don’t expect them to apologize for what KWPD did to Matthew Murphy, nor to fire their police chief over it.

    Most damning for the city in the video is what the two instigators say: Matthew Murphy was tased in the back, without warning, and the cops discouraged them talking about the incident, and the lack of witness statements. Also damning, no KWPD photo of the taser wounds.

    I attended the Citizen Review Board (CRB) meeting, when the Murphy case was on the agenda. Vice-Chairman Tom Milione, against some resistance from and with some backing by other CRB members, pushed for and got a vote for the CRB to ask the hospital on Stock Island for its records on Matthew Murphy, re where taser dart wounds were on his body. Tom’s argument was, if the dart wounds were on the front, then Officer Siracuse (spelling?) lied.

    As I recall, some time later, Tom told me that the hospital was not cooperating and the CRB was going to use the legal process to try to obtain those records. I called Tom last night and left a voice message, asking if those records had yet been furnished to the CRB, but as of now, I have not heard back from Tom. When I hear back from him, I will reported in a later comment under this article what he tells me.

    I told the CRB, during citizen comments in that meeting, that my concern was whether or not Matthew Murphy had been tased from the back, without warning, and if so, had Officer Siracuse lied about that? I also told the CRB that I’d like to know how many other times Siracuse had tased someone? Was he in the habit of tasing? How did his tasing record compare to other KW cops’ tasing records? I also said, if cops don’t have tasers, then all they have to shoot people with is guns, so I’m not against the cops having tasers. Nor do I hold cops responsible for this kind of injury that Matthew Murphy received, if, in fact, there was actually justification to use a taser.

    Actual justification. Yes, there is always risk using a taser, but it’s far less risk than using a gun.

    There is an ironic twist to this case, which I learned from Arnaud Girard, who, as I recall him saying, learned of it from Matthew Murphy’s girlfriend. Matthew’d had a premonition that something bad would happen, if they went to Duval Street, there might be trouble with the cops. I told Arnaud and Naja, that, too, should be in their report of the case, They disagreed. Personally, I think anyone who is on lower Duval Street late at night, or in the wee hours, is asking for something awful to happen to him/her.

  6. Thank you Arnaud and Naja for your continued exposure of these same sociopath police officer’s behavior…It’s always the same three or four cowboys shooting first and asking questions later. Chief Lee is obviously incapable of getting rid of these creeps…Imagine how wonderful this city could be without this handful of dangerous criminals in uniform. Key West could be a shining example of what an American city can be! It is a damn shame and it doesn’t have to be this way.

    • Alex, you need to stop criticizing Donie Lee, and you need to start criticizing your mayor and the city commissioners at city commission meetings, which are televised locally.

  7. Just got off the phone with Tom Milone. Tom said the CRB issued a subpoena to the hospital for its records on Matthew Murphy, and the hospital ignored the subpoena. Later, the CRB’s lawyer, Robert Cintron, got involved and spoke with the hospital’s law firm in Miami. The law firm said that was the first they’d heard of it, and they would see what they could do to get the subpoena honored – but no promises were made. I told Tom, just as important as learning where the taser wounds were on Michael Murphy’s body is learning if Officer Siracuse is taser trigger happy. How many other people has he tased? The CRB needs to know that, as does Murphy’s plaintiff lawyer. Tom agreed.

  8. One more thing…What is the message behind the double-down move of plastering “Back The Blue” bumper stickers all over all the city vehicles? These were used by the anti-CRB folks back when we were leading up to vote yea or nay for a Citizen’s Review Board back in 2002. What are the police and city so afraid of? Protecting bad cops as a rule has got to change if we’re ever going to live up to our American ideals. I “back the blue”, but not the bad.

  9. Thank you for covering this story, and covering it so well.
    Only the Blue Paper reports the real news. Sadly, not enough people download a copy, so all they read is mainstream spin.
    As Mark Twain was quoted, “If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.”
    Keep up the great work and the great public service. We appreciate you.

  10. I just re-read the comments and have to laugh at the CRB trying to subpoena Shawn Murphy’s medical records to see where the cop tasered him. I can understand requesting that information but to get his medical records is illegal, subpoena or not without Murphy’s POA authorization. Does the judge and requesting attorneys ever hear of the Privacy Act. Oh, I forgot we are talking key West. Now that Murphy’s family has filed a lawsuit they should have the records but back in the 1st quarter when that thread was made tells me you have some stupid judges and lawyers who think they can bully people…

    • Our understanding is the CRB’s attorney received permission from Matthew Murphy’s guardian [his father] to obtain those hospital records. What is really disturbing is that no photographs were taken by KWPD as it is a requirement under KWPD policies to do so.