Citizen Review Board Concerned About Eimers In-Custody Death

Charles Eimers Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

Charles Eimers Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

“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 department.

“There is particular concern over the use of prone restraint,” says Tom Milone,  “We’re considering reviewing the procedures in light of the incident with Charles Eimers and the growing concern about the risk of using that method in the sand.”  The CRB has asked the police department to explain the existing polices at their next scheduled meeting.

The question, says David Paul Horan, attorney for the Eimers’ family, “is where do you use the prone restraint method?  Would you use it in the water?  Should you use it in the sand?” Continue reading

THE POWER OF THE CRB [Police Citizen Review Board]

Dennis Reeves Cooper on Fox O'Reilly show

Former KWTN Publsiher Dennis Reeves Cooper on Bill O’Reilly’s show on the Fox News Channel in June of 2001

If you are a longtime reader of Key West The Newspaper, you know that, after 18 years of publishing The Blue Paper, I retired last November. Since that time, I have been finishing up several personal projects– like sorting out 18 years of back issues to donate to the history department at the library. I also have a Peace Corps application pending– I have at least one more adventure left in me. So while I am waiting to go to Africa or somewhere, I told Naja and Arnaud Girard that I would be happy to make some editorial contributions to their new on-line venture. Those contributions might be news stories or opinion pieces– or re-publication of special stories that have appeared in KWTN over the years. This week, I have some comments about a story currently in the news.

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There was a page one article in the Key West Citizen last week about a local man being turned away when he went to the police station to file a written complaint against a police officer who has allegedly been harassing him for at least a year. Scooter deliveryman Kenneth Lawrence told the Citizen Review Board (CRB) that when he went to the police station to file a complaint against motorcycle officer Randall Hartle, Sgt. Robert Allen simply refused to take his complaint.

The members of the CRB voted unanimously to recommend to Police Chief Donie Lee that he formally reprimand Allen for “deficient service” and they asked that Lee meet with CRB Chairman Larry Beaver and Executive Director Sue Srch to discuss changes to the police complaint process.

As a longtime police watcher, here’s my take on this. Continue reading