Mar 042016
 
Homeless Log Date: 3 March 2016, Key West Asteroid

by Sloan Bashinsky……. During this past Tuesday night’s city commission meeting, City Attorney Shawn Smith advised the mayor and city commissioners that the U.S. Department of Justice had determined there was no prosecutable offense in the Charles Eimers death in police custody case, which the blue paper broke and continued vigorously investigating and reporting through and past the city settling, on advice of defense counsel, with Eimer’s estate for $900,000, which was $100,000 under the city’s insurance policy limits. Arnaud Girard’s first of many “cartoons” [continue reading…]

 March 4, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am ~ Column ~, Island Voices, Issue #156 1 Response »
Dec 042015
 
Eimers Death In Custody. Could It Happen Again?

Commentary by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Two years ago, on Thanksgiving morning, paramedics were called to assist an old man on South Beach. KWPD officers on scene told them that the man had been running away from police on the beach and had suddenly collapsed in the sand and when they got to him he had no pulse and they began CPR. An investigation by The Blue Paper was going to bring to light a very different story, including two bystander videos showing the suspect, [continue reading…]

Aug 282015
 
FDLE AGENT KATHY SMITH GETS AWAY WITH IT!

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. FDLE reprimanded Special Agent Kathy Smith with a 5-day suspension. Agent Smith was accused of having intentionally signed a false affidavit in order to secure a $461,000 bank loan. Agent Smith became engulfed in controversy in 2014 while leading the investigation of the in-custody-death of 61-year old tourist, Charles Eimers. According to her critics, a serious conflict of interest had caused her to participate in a KWPD cover-up of Eimers’ death: Special Agent Kathy Smith was investigating officers who, on [continue reading…]

Jun 262015
 
Cop Involved in In-Custody Death of Charles Eimers Arrested For Assault

Key West Police Officer Nicholas Galbo, one of the officers involved in the in-custody death of Charles Eimers, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault. Officer Nicholas Galbo, 32, was charged with battery after his live-in girlfriend, Ashlynn Jones, 18, called the police. Police responded to the call at 10:40 p.m. when Jones called and complained that Galbo had thrown her over his shoulder to the ground and held her pinned during an argument. According to the victim, an argument escalated to the point where she [continue reading…]

Jun 122015
 
FDLE Special Agent and Ex-Husband former KWPD Captain Saved By Statute of Limitations

by Naja and Arnaud Girard…… A long awaited investigative report on a scandal that greatly tarnished both FDLE’s and KWPD’s image in the community is finally complete. FDLE Special Agent Kathy Smith and her ex-husband, former KWPD Captain Scott Smith, could have been prosecuted for the criminal acts of perjury and mortgage fraud in connection with a $461,500 bank loan they’d obtained for a Big Coppitt home. Could have… had the acts been discovered much sooner, that is. It took over six months for FDLE investigators and Assistant [continue reading…]

Apr 172015
 
CHIEF BLASTS BLUE PAPER AT ACLU MEETING

by Naja and Arnaud Girard… The Florida Keys Chapter of the ACLU held their annual meeting last Monday at the Harvey Government Center.  A panel of criminal justice experts explored the issues involved in “Policing Paradise.” DID YOU LIKE THIS STORY?  SUPPORT THE BLUE PAPER Help us continue to bring you local investigative journalism…  Click on the image to make a donation [NOT tax deductible].

Apr 102015
 
Feds Currently Investigating In-Custody Death of Charles Eimers

The Department of Justice sends word to CRB that they are currently investigating the Thanksgiving 2013 in-custody death of Charles Eimers. For all Blue Paper coverage on the Charles Eimers case click here. DID YOU LIKE THIS STORY?  SUPPORT THE BLUE PAPER Help us continue to bring you local investigative journalism…  Click on the image to make a donation [NOT tax deductible].

Feb 062015
 
Underwriting Key West’s Police Brutality

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D.* Tulane University Emerita…………. The Key West Citizen wrote on January 30—after The Blue Paper had broken this news many hours before—that a $900,000 settlement had been “hammered out” in the Charles Eimers’ wrongful death suit against the City of Key West. Key West’s Police Chief Donie Lee finds the payout a “difficult decision to accept” but understands that the city’s insurer made a “business decision.” Spokeswoman Allison Crean claims that, “No taxpayer dollars are involved in the settlement.” She adds [continue reading…]

 February 6, 2015  Posted by at 1:05 am * Featured Story *, Issue #100, MOST POPULAR ONE 22 Responses »
Jan 232015
 
Eimers Case: Accusations of Perjury and Destruction of Evidence Could Land Default Judgment In Favor of Eimers Family

by Naja and Arnaud Girard [SEE VIDEO DEPOSITIONS BELOW] Attorneys in the federal wrongful death case filed by the Eimers family against KWPD officers and the City of Key West were heard for the first time before Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman on Plaintiffs’ Motion For Sanctions. In their motion the family accuses Defendants of perjury and destruction of evidence. The City filed a 24-page response to try to curb the damage done by an unexpected video that appears to contradict sworn statements made by several police officers involved [continue reading…]

 January 23, 2015  Posted by at 1:30 am * Featured Story *, Issue #98 15 Responses »
Jan 092015
 
Florida Senate Examines Police Brutality & Excessive Use of Force...

by John Donnelly How many times have FDLE Investigators discovered evidence that indicated a law-enforcement officer had committed a crime? On how many occasions were ‘criminally deficient cops’ brought to trial and found guilty? The following excerpts (In bold black print) were taken from a brilliantly authored document that was prepared by Chairman Allison DeFoor’s “Project on Accountable Justice”. It was examined on Monday (1-5-15) by the Florida Senate. This manuscript identifies in part, a disturbing ‘investigative relationship’ that exists between the Florida Department of [continue reading…]

 January 9, 2015  Posted by at 12:28 am Issue #96, John Donnelly 8 Responses »
Jan 022015
 
Medical Examiner Admits He May Have Been Misled by FDLE’s Agent Kathy Smith / Key West Marches For Police Accountability

by Naja and Arnaud Girard By the final days of 2014, the in-custody death of Charles Eimers had left many Key Westers with an uneasy feeling. “It’s as though every agency we rely on,” said community advocate Christine Russel, “failed, one after the other, to shed any light on what happened. Instead, the cloud over that man’s death has only gotten bigger and darker.”

Jan 022015
 
Why I March

by Alex Symington……. I took part in a march for police accountability last Sunday with about fifty other concerned citizens of Key West. It isn’t as if I WANTED to. I had plenty of more interesting things I could have done on a Sunday afternoon; projects backed up or books to be read or just a nice civilized afternoon nap with my dog. Movies, shopping, biking, sight seeing, picture taking, visiting friends or hanging out at the beach. You name it; it probably is more [continue reading…]

 January 2, 2015  Posted by at 12:35 am Issue #95, Letter to the Editor 2 Responses »
Dec 262014
 
Thank You Citizen Review Board!

Thank you, Tom Milone, Joe Pais, Robert Cintron and the CRB for taking the action you did to involve the DOJ in the Charles Eimers case and the Matthew Murphy case! Finally, these two families might get some justice in the deaths (might as well say Matthew is deceased, since he is described as being in a vegetative state, a place of no viable brain activity) of their loved ones. I know Tom has been trying to get the CRB to take action for a while [continue reading…]

 December 26, 2014  Posted by at 12:35 am Issue #94, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Dec 192014
 
CITIZEN REVIEW BOARD SHOWS ITS TEETH!

by Naja Girard… UNANIMOUS!  REQUEST FOR DOJ TO STEP IN ON EIMERS CASE / BOARD WILL PROBE DEEPER INTO TASING OF MATTHEW SHAUN MURPHY “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 [continue reading…]

 December 19, 2014  Posted by at 12:55 am * Featured Story *, Charles Eimers, Issue #93 16 Responses »
Dec 122014
 
Internal Affairs: Officer Gets 5 Day Suspension For "Lying" About Killing Charles Eimers

by Naja and Arnaud Girard 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 [continue reading…]

Dec 122014
 
Officer Lovette’s Taser Recording Undergoes Enhanced Forensic Scrutiny / New Admissions Detected Regarding the Alleged Tasing of Charles Eimers

by Arnaud and Naja Girard… 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 [continue reading…]

Dec 052014
 
Eimers Grand Jury Investigation: FBI Helped State Attorney Booby Trap Her Own Case

VIDEO: KEY WEST’S LACK OF EMPATHY  IN STARK CONTRAST WITH NY AND FERGUSON by Naja and Arnaud Girard 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 [continue reading…]

 December 5, 2014  Posted by at 12:00 am * Featured Story *, Charles Eimers No Responses »
Nov 282014
 
DEATH IN PARADISE:  Charles Eimers Memorial, A Year Later

CANDLELIGHT VIGIL ON SOUTH BEACH FOR CHARLES EIMERS 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 [continue reading…]

 November 28, 2014  Posted by at 12:00 am * Featured Story *, Charles Eimers No Responses »
Nov 222014
 
NOWHERE TO RUN: New Video Devastating to KWPD Credibility

by Naja and Arnaud Girard A wrecking ball crashed through the City’s defense to the Eimers police brutality case on Friday.  At a scheduled deposition Chief Lee was expected to provide bureaucratic information about the City’s procedures and policies in the wrongful death case filed by the Eimers family against the City of Key West and 13 police officers. But instead he spent over two hours freefalling into a seemingly endless pit opened by allegations of  “perjury” committed by his officers.  At issue was the [continue reading…]

 November 22, 2014  Posted by at 12:00 am * Featured Story *, Charles Eimers No Responses »
Nov 212014
 
Kathy Smith, FDLE's Lead Investigator in the Eimers Investigation Put on Administrative Leave

by Naja and Arnaud Girard…. FDLE Special Agent Kathy Smith was escorted out of her Marathon office on Wednesday.  She has reportedly been put on paid 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 [continue reading…]

 November 21, 2014  Posted by at 12:00 am * Featured Story *, Charles Eimers No Responses »
Nov 142014
 
FDLE and KWPD:  Partners in Crime?

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. It’s a hell of a thing when an FDLE Special Agent commits perjury.  A hell of a thing. Kathy Smith, lead FDLE agent in the Eimers death-in-custody investigation and KWPD’s Chief of Operations at the time of the arrest, appear to be partners in a perjurious plot to obtain a strangely advantageous home loan. This casts more doubt on FDLE’s “independent” investigation of the death of Charles Eimers. It is especially troubling considering that so much direct evidence including dashcam [continue reading…]

Nov 072014
 
CHARLES EIMERS UPDATE: Police, Death, and Missing Videotape

No trial yet, but the weeklong depositions of Key West police officers involved in the in-custody death of Charles Eimers were filled with eye-popping revelations and admissions about possible excessive force and cover-up.  Officers had to admit that only one of the long-awaited 9 [or so] police cruiser dashcam external microphone recordings is available, multiple dashcam videos have gone missing, and crucial footage captured by Officer Gary Lee Lovette’s Taser has been erased.  Finally, allegations surfaced that a witness saw police officers on scene deleting [continue reading…]

 November 7, 2014  Posted by at 12:00 am * Featured Story *, Charles Eimers No Responses »
Sep 192014
 
BLUE WALL OF SILENCE COST CITY ALMOST $300,000!

by Dennis Reeves Cooper….. By now, you have probably read in the daily paper or heard on the radio that the City of Key West has agreed to pay former Key West cop Matt Klosowski $ 287,500 to settle a six-year-old whistle-blower lawsuit. But you probably don’t know the rest of the story. The real significance of this story is that the Mayor and City Commissioners now know that the Blue Wall of Silence is alive and well inside the Key West Police Department. The [continue reading…]

Sep 122014
 
BODY CAMERAS FOR COPS?

By Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Apparently, enough is enough. Use of  excessive force by police officers, that is– real or imagined. More and more police departments across the nation are equipping officers with body cameras that can record both audio and video. The increasing use of this new technology has two goals: (1) Help try to catch cops who might use excessive force during arrests and other interactions with citizens; and (2) To try to protect cops from false allegations by citizens. Just last week, the [continue reading…]

Sep 052014
 
VOTER ALERT: IN THE WAKE OF THE EIMERS GRAND JURY SCANDAL, STATE ATTORNEY VOGEL IS UP FOR REELECTION IN 2016

State Attorney Catherine Vogel’s office is corrupt. This statement might appear to some readers to be an attempt on my part to be a bit sensational. But it’s not. Informed government-watchers reading this are more likely to simply yawn and silently ask, “So what’s your point?” I have been reporting to my readers for years the varying degrees of corruption on the part of the various residents of the State Attorney’s Office (SAO). I have repeatedly pointed out that prosecutors knowingly allow police officers to [continue reading…]

Aug 272014
 
Grand Jury Clears All Officers in Death of Charles Eimers / Vogel Brings in Expert Police Officer Defense Witness

Commentary by Naja Girard……. “This allows the prosecutor to say I didn’t take the decision.  The Grand Jury did it.  The people did it.  But of course, how vigorously the prosecutor presents the case is everything.  It’s just the prosecutor presenting a case to these Grand Jurors.  If the DA doesn’t want an indictment or has questions it could be a very different thing.” –       Dan Abrams, “Nightline” anchor and Chief Legal Affairs anchor for ABC News, when speaking about the Grand Jury proceedings in [continue reading…]

Jul 252014
 
REENACTMENT POINTS TO ASPHYXIATION

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. “Your safe word is “no” and if you can’t talk, move your arms.” The woman lies down on the beach resting on her stomach, hands behind her back.  To be clear, we’re not shooting a bondage movie.  This is South Beach, at the end of Duval Street, where 61-year-old Charles Eimers died last Thanksgiving Day while being arrested by Key West police officers. The woman on the sand is Naja Girard of The Blue Paper.  We were trying to understand, through [continue reading…]

Jun 272014
 
Medical Examiner Rules Death of Charles Eimers Accidental

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. “Mr. Eimers was at risk of a sudden death, at any time, due to either a chaotic cardiac rhythm or worsening of his congestive heart failure,” wrote the E. Hunt Scheuerman, M.D., the Monroe County Medical Examiner. Charles Eimers, 61, a Michigan native, died after losing consciousness while being restrained face down in the sand by Key West police officers last Thanksgiving Day. Numerous eyewitnesses came forward accusing the police of excessive force, of holding Eimers head down in the [continue reading…]

Jun 272014
 
Ten Questions About The Charles Eimers Autopsy Report

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all believe that Charles Eimers’ death was just an accident – somehow the 61-year-old tourist was simply a ‘walking heart attack’ and when police tried to arrest him he stressed out and his heart gave up. We have a few questions about the final autopsy report: 1.  What About The Civilian Witnesses? Eimers’ “face was not forced into the sand,” wrote former Monroe County Medical Examiner, E. Hunt Sheuerman, “but, rather, as he [continue reading…]

 June 27, 2014  Posted by at 12:00 am * Featured Story *, Charles Eimers No Responses »
May 092014
 
The Eimers Investigation:  Did They Lose The Book?

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement [FDLE] is apparently beginning to feel the heat about the agency’s handling of the Charles Eimers death investigation. Last week the agency dropped its eternal “no comment” rhetoric and tried to convince the press that there is no conflict of interest between FDLE and KWPD in connection with the case. The facts: Both Keynoter and CBS reporters received statements from FDLE attempting to explain away the controversial appointment of FDLE’s Kathy Smith as the [continue reading…]

Apr 252014
 
THE EIMERS CASE:  WITNESS INTIMIDATION?

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. There is now reason to believe that two plainclothes officers:  KWPD Detective Todd Stevens and another unknown officer, posing as FDLE investigators, deliberately intimidated eyewitnesses who were present during the violent arrest last November of 61-year-old Charles Eimers. Anyone who has paid the slightest bit of attention to the story of the tragically fatal Thanksgiving Day arrest on South Beach has heard the Chief of Police deflect questions over and over by saying that FDLE is conducting an independent investigation [continue reading…]

Apr 182014
 
The Eimers Investigation: Shocking Link Between FDLE and KWPD

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. When Charles Eimers turned blue and lost consciousness while in the hands of Key West police officers on Thanksgiving morning, KWPD was informed immediately by Lower Keys Medical Center staff that Eimers would never leave the hospital.  Chief Lee decided to treat the case as a ‘death-in-custody situation’, which meant FDLE had to be called in to investigate. Lee didn’t make the call himself, though; he asked one of his officers, Captain Scott Smith to do it.  Captain Smith did [continue reading…]

Apr 112014
 
CHARLES EIMERS FAMILY FILES SUIT IN FEDERAL COURT

Charles Eimers’ children have grown tired of waiting for answers from FDLE. They asked their lawyers David Paul Horan and Darren Horan to file a suit for wrongful death against the City of Key West and 12 police officers involved in the arrest of Charles Eimers on Thanksgiving morning.  The arrest resulted in a coma and death a week later when Charles Eimers was removed from life support at Lower Keys Medical Center. The lawsuit, filed this morning in U.S. District Court, alleges that officers [continue reading…]

 April 11, 2014  Posted by at 12:00 am Uncategorized No Responses »
Apr 042014
 
Anatomy of a Cover-Up

by Naja and Arnaud Girard… According to new information obtained by The Blue Paper, KWPD officers covered up the true circumstances surrounding Charles Eimers’ death. This could have sent paramedics on the wrong path and might even have jeoparidized Eimers’ chances of survival. For Charles Eimers, it was the first day of a new life.  He had finally retired after 30 + years working in an auto manufacturing plant in Michigan.  With a full pension and medical he was going to spend a winter in [continue reading…]

 April 4, 2014  Posted by at 5:03 pm Uncategorized No Responses »
Feb 282014
 
Citizen Review Board Concerned About Eimers In-Custody Death

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. “I am deeply concerned by the circumstances surrounding the in-custody death of Charles Eimers,” CRB [Citizen Review Board] member Tom Milone said Wednesday. The controversy about the Thanksgiving morning death on South Beach of 61-year old Charles Eimers continues to grow.  Thousands of people have reviewed the video of Charles Eimer’s arrest published by The Blue Paper and have been disturbed by the irreconcilable differences between the events shown in the video and the account initially proffered by the police [continue reading…]

Feb 142014
 
Charles Eimers Preliminary Autopsy Report Released

Monroe County Medical Examiner E. Hunt Scheuerman, MD on Thursday released his preliminary objective report following the autopsy of Charles Eimers. Charles Eimers, 61, tourist for a day in our island Paradise, died on Thanksgiving day while in the hands of Key West police officers.   The arrest took place on South Beach in front of multiple witnesses who reported a scene of violence:  tasers being used repeatedly on a man handcuffed facedown in the sand and tackled by 5 or 6 police officers. Eyes bloodshot, face [continue reading…]

Feb 072014
 
Charles Eimers Death-In-Custody Investigation:  TOTAL GRIDLOCK

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. An update into the death-in-custody of Charles Eimers reveals an investigation in total gridlock and it could remain that way indefinitely.  The main problem stems from the fact that apparently to date none of the officers present during the infamous Thanksgiving Day arrest has been interrogated by FDLE investigators.  How Charles Eimers ended up dead within five minutes of his altercation with Key West police is still not clear. Sources close to the case have informed The Blue Paper that [continue reading…]

Dec 272013
 
POLICE CHIEF DONIE LEE ADMITS EIMERS MAY HAVE DIED BY ASPHYXIATION

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. The tragic death of a 61-year-old tourist while in the hands of Key West police officers is becoming increasingly controversial.  After suggesting that Charles Eimers had succumbed to pre-existing “very serious heart problems” while resisting arrest, the Chief of Police admitted this week on US 1 Radio that Eimers may have died of asphyxiation. Thousands have now become aware of a video taken by a bystander of Eimers’ arrest on Thanksgiving Day.  It shows Eimers complying with police, laying down on [continue reading…]

Dec 202013
 
THANKSGIVING DAY TRAGEDY:  Increasing Doubts About What Really Happened To Charles Eimers

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. Charles Eimers was finally going to realize his dream: leave Michigan and spend a winter in Key West.  It was Thanksgiving morning and at 61 years of age Eimers had made it to the Southernmost City. But before his first day in the ‘tropics’ was over he would mysteriously die in the hands of police, on South Beach, at the foot of Duval Street. Eimers had been a GM man, living in Michigan all his life. Now, with four children [continue reading…]

 December 20, 2013  Posted by at 12:00 am * Featured Story *, Naja and Arnaud Girard No Responses »