“Garbage in. Garbage out.” That’s how Tom Milone, Vice-Chairman of the Citizen Review Board [CRB], described the concept of the Board relying on  investigative reports furnished by KWPD, FDLE, and SAO [State Attorney’s Office] when it comes to local police brutality cases.

The CRB voted unanimously on Wednesday night to make a formal request to the US Department of Justice to investigate not only the in-custody-death of Charles Eimers, but also the agencies that produced what he called, “tainted, compromised, and unreliable” investigations. Continue reading

Nina Newton Sings “I Can’t Breathe”

nina singing

I Can’t Breathe

Waiting in the clouds

For my life to begin

For my heart and my fear

For my voice, for my scream

I can’t breathe

Continue reading

Internal Affairs: Officer Gets 5 Day Suspension For “Lying” About Killing Charles Eimers

Issue 92 KWPD Whitewash for web

Issue 92 KWPD Whitewash for web

KWPD Chief Donie Lee published the department’s Internal Affairs review of Charles Eimers’ in-custody death on Monday.

Officers were found to have acted professionally while using techniques that are proper for “actively resisting subjects.”

“I thought denial was a river in Egypt. Now we learn it is an island at the end of U.S. 1.” [Citizen’s Voice, Key West Citizen, 12/10/2014]

An unarmed man kneeling on the sand with his hands up, lays on his stomach as ordered by police. He lets them handcuff him until he is heard yelling loudly, “Ow! You’re hurting me!” He then appears to become agitated.  [warning disturbing photo in body of article] Continue reading

Officer Lovette’s Taser Recording Undergoes Enhanced Forensic Scrutiny / New Admissions Detected Regarding the Alleged Tasing of Charles Eimers

Issue 43 Charles Eimers for FB

According to KWPD there was no Taser fired during the fatal arrest of Charles Eimers on Thanksgiving Day of last year. But after a few months of forensic clean-up and enhancement by the Eimers family’s legal team, Officer Lovette’s infamous taser recording speaks again and it’s not pretty:

Officer Lovette:  “Listen. I tased a motherf***er in custody today. I don’t care. I already called my PBA rep.”

Unknown person: “For what?”

Officer Lovette:  [unintelligible] when you kill someone PB is first. I already called.”

So, was Charles Eimers tased or not? Continue reading

A Tale of Two Grand Juries

I can’t help but draw a parallel between Michael Brown’s death at the hands of a law officer in Ferguson, MO and the death of Charles Eimers at the hands of law enforcement in Key West, FL. Michael and Charles belonged to two different demographics, yet both are demonized and profiled by law enforcement. Michael’s profile was that of young black male “thug” and Charles’ profile was that of “homeless”. As evidenced by video from around the entire country I see a common and not-so-subtle shift in perception of these two groups and their treatment by civilian police. Continue reading

Eimers Grand Jury Investigation: FBI Helped State Attorney Booby Trap Her Own Case






“It’s a very painful day for so many New Yorkers,” said New York City’s Mayor, Bill de Blasio last Wednesday following the Grand Jury’s decision not to indict a police officer accused of choking to death an un-armed black man, Eric Garner. A similar decision recently caused violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri over the fatal police shooting of un-armed black teenager, Michael Brown, and three months ago, in Key West, another grand jury cleared 13 Key West police officers of any criminal liability for the death of Charles Eimers despite the fact [and contrary to KWPD’s initial claims] that Mr. Eimers had been initially compliant with police.

Continue reading

“Don’t Shoot Me, Bro!”

Dear Naja,

This is in response to last week’s article on the public memorial service for Charles Eimers on Thanksgiving night at South Beach. The service was appropriate and reflective of Key West’s philosophy of “One Human Family”. I’m sure his family appreciated our gesture.

Regarding the tangential issue of police brutality which is associated with Eimer’s untimely demise, I came up with an idea that could identify like-minded citizens on their commitment toward anti-violence.

There could be a new, viral “solidarity gesture” among American citizens who oppose over-zealous authority figures, especially practitioners of brutality. Whenever like-minded friends meet in public they can raise their hands in a gesture of surrender and say: “Don’t shoot, Bro.” to each other. Or, if you’re really good friends say: “Don’t tase me, Bro.” Continue reading


Dear Editor:

The shocking lack of an indictment in the NYC case of Eric Garner’s death at the hands of the NYPD saddened and sickened me. As the son of an NYPD detective and the recipient of an NYPD Holy Name Society scholarship to high school, I have always defended the professionalism of the NYPD. This miscarriage of justice underscores a number of deeply seated problems that, as we all know, are as much of a problem here in Key West as they are in NYC. It should be pointed out that there is still an ongoing internal NYPD investigation and more importantly, a pending Justice Department inquiry which many expect will lead to a trial. When unarmed people die at the hands of police officers, independent investigations should be mandatory. One can only hope that the Federal investigation and likely prosecution in NYC will enbolden the Eimers family and the Federal Government to do the same thing here.

Enough is enough. Local grand juries, disappearing evidence, eyewiness accounts that go ignored, “the Blue Wall of silence” and self-serving media trying to protect local images, have all got to go. If the only thing that can set all this right is the embarassing spectacle of the the Federal Government censuring local “authorities,” in another Bubba Trial, then “bring it on.” This isn’t about discos, and cocaine, and mistresses, and partying. This is about accountability for an armed force we pay to “protect and serve” and dare I say it…”liberty and justice for all.”

Bud Navero



A hundred or so Key Westers gathered on Thanksgiving night on South Beach for the anniversary of Charles Eimers’ death. Tourist for a day, Mr. Eimers met with a controversial death on November 28th of last year within 24 hours of his arrival in Key West.

“I myself am just not ready emotionally to attend,” wrote Joshua Eimers, Charles’ youngest son.   Instead, the family sent a wooden cross and a heartfelt message which was read aloud by Rick Boettger. Continue reading

An Open letter and Prayer for Charles Eimers and His Family

Dear Charles,

A year ago today you came to our little island city. I did not know you personally, but like many of us, you dreamed of living in a tropical paradise…To wear flip-flops and T-shirts in January, soak up the sun on a beach and maybe even make friends back home in the north a little bit jealous. Many of us happy, long time citizens of Key West got here just like you; alone, with not much money, but a dream that we could carve out a little piece of paradise for ourselves and live among Key West’s “One Human Family”.

We are here tonight trying to make sense of your tragic passing on this beach where you might have wiggled your toes in the sand instead of losing your life in it. Many of us are confused and angered by this senseless loss of life, but we didn’t gather here tonight to express anger. We are called here by the much stronger principle of love. Love is the common thread that weaves through us all. Without love; family, friends and community could not exist. Every spiritual leader and prophet throughout history has love at the center of their tenets. Martin Luther King tells us, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. (and) Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” So tonight we are driving out the darkness with the light of candles and driving out the hate with our love for you and your family. Continue reading


eimers memorial screen grab


A hundred or so Key Westers gathered on Thanksgiving night on South Beach for the anniversary of Charles Eimers’ death. Tourist for a day, Mr. Eimers met with a controversial death on November 28th of last year within 24 hours of his arrival in Key West.

“I myself am just not ready emotionally to attend,” wrote Joshua Eimers, Charles’ youngest son.   Instead, the family sent a wooden cross and a heartfelt message which was read aloud by Rick Boettger. Continue reading


Issue-58-Mr-and-Mrs-Smith-for-web-800x586FDLE Special Agent Kathy Smith was escorted out of her Marathon office on Wednesday.  She has reportedly been put on administrative leave pending investigation of mortgage fraud.

The Blue Paper reported last week that Agent Kathy Smith and her ex-husband Scott Smith [at the time a Police Captain employed by KWPD] appear to have signed a false affidavit associated with an advantageous mortgage.  They borrowed $ 461,500 on a house they had purchased in 2004 for $ 132,500.  The home is now in foreclosure.  In the affidavit the Smiths swore to the lender that they had been “continuously married” even though they had divorced four months previous.

Special Agent Kathy Smith was the lead investigator in the death of Charles Eimers.  FDLE’s failure to secure Eimers’ body for autopsy, to return calls to witnesses volunteering information and to collect and protect crucial evidence, made the investigation ever more controversial. Continue reading



Colombia!  The missing iphone video of Charles Eimers’ death was in Colombia!

“Once we had the phone number,” says Darren Horan, it took less than 48 hours to get a copy.”  He is one of the five lawyers representing Charles Eimers’ family in a suit against the City of Key West and 13 police officers who were involved in the fatal arrest of the 61-year-old tourist, Charles Eimers, last Thanksgiving.

On November 28, 2013, while KWPD officers were busy arresting Eimers on South Beach, a couple from Colombia was filming the incident with their iphones.  Nearly a year ago the first bystander video went viral and shattered the initial official police version of events describing an old man running away from police on the beach and collapsing due to a sudden heart attack.  But in that video, aside from the controversy it raised about police action, there was one nagging detail:  an unknown man was shown also filming the incident.  But no one could ID that second tourist. Continue reading

Candlelight Memorial For Charles Eimers: A Message From Son, Joshua Eimers

charles eimers memoriam

Gweko Phlocker has organized a Candlelight Memorial to honor Charles Eimers and his family on the one year anniversary of his death [Thanksgiving Day].  The event will begin at 6:00 pm at South Beach [at the foot of Duval Street] where Mr. Eimers died.  Here is a link to the facebook event.

On Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 9:02 AM, Joshua Eimers wrote to Gwecko Phlocker:

“I’m the youngest son of Charles Eimers. I wanted to reach out to you to say thank you for organizing this. Although my family and I won’t be there in person we’ll be there in spirit. As will Charles John. I myself am just not ready emotionally to attend. I’m welling up as I type this to you. My father was a great man who impacted countless lives. One of the most selfless and caring people that I had the pleasure of calling dad. He’s dearly missed by many. Thanks again for doing this it means a lot to us that our father’s death hasn’t been simply forgotten. Our wounds are still fresh. Thanks and God Bless.”  ~ Joshua Eimers [from Facebook Event page]  ……………….  click ‘full article’ to comment [or view comments] Continue reading

We Are All One Percenters

sperm crown

Today I am going to relate your brief life as a spermatozoa to what I expect will be the lack of a crowd at the Thanksgiving memorial to Charles Eimers. I have an important insight to the nature of your own personal life which I am sure you never thought of, and which you will never forget once I explain it. It will also explain and make us all feel better about the triumphant rise of the New Plutocracy in the good ol’ U.S. of A.  [Don’t know who Charles Eimers was?  Click here]

An unarguable fact is that every person alive on earth has won a lottery about a million times as unlikely as winning the Super-Power-Ball-whatever jackpot. Here are the numbers: of a woman’s one million eggs, only 300 get a shot at ovulating. And these are chased by an average man’s 525 BILLION lifetime sperms. So here is the image of myself I cannot forget: I only exist because I was one of 3/525,000,000,000 of my dad’s sperm to get together with one of 3/300 of my mom’s eggs. Continue reading

My Heart Will Be There For All Of You And The Eimers Family

Thanks as always for your great reporting! The Eimers case is still such a sad thing to read about. Such a senseless death at the hands of the KWPD. And to learn the cops deleted a tourist’s video of the murder – no other way to describe it from this layman’s point of view – is very upsetting. I believe the sooner Donie Lee fires the responsible cops, the better. Having known him when I lived there, it is still difficult for me to wrap my head around his condoning this kind of behavior from his officers, and if he doesn’t do something about it, then maybe I have been wrong about him all these years and the city commission should step in and get a new police chief. I hope it doesn’t come to that, because I still want to believe he’s one of the good guys. I hope one day the Eimers family will receive some kind of justice for their father, who only wanted to experience paradise now that he was free to visit Key West. He experienced paradise, all right, and was sent directly to Heaven! I hope you all have the Thanksgiving night candlelight service. I will be unable to drive down for it, but know that my heart will be there with all of you and the Eimers family.

God bless,

Peggy Butler