Jun 262015
 
Trooper Out of Control

by Naja and Arnaud Girard… OIG Investigation Report just in… In February we reported on the shocking tasing of an older gentleman by a state trooper on US 1 near the 18-mile stretch. Before a bystander’s cell phone video was made public, the trooper, Eloy Arias, had written in his incident report that he had tased the man because he “attempted to run into the oncoming southbound traffic.” The video footage previously published by The Blue Paper [above], however, clearly shows the man,  Mr. Marc [continue reading…]

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].

Apr 032015
 
Racial Profiling in Paradise

by Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D…. What Traffic Tickets and “Disorderly Conduct” Reveal… What would you think if you were stopped by Key West police, on average, three times a year over 5 years—5 times in 2011 alone? To your credit, you had no stops for DWI. Your traffic infractions were for such things as not wearing your seat belt—a violation discovered after you’d been stopped for loud music; how about ‘failure to stop’ and ‘to yield,’ ‘driving at an ‘unlawful speed,’ and going the wrong [continue reading…]

Jan 302015
 
City's Insurers Agree To Pay Charles Eimers' Family $900,000 to Settle Excessive Force Case

by Naja and Arnaud Girard… Eight attorneys, eight police officers, the City Manager, the Chief of Police, and Joshua Eimers met yesterday in a conference room at City Hall to try to settle the civil rights lawsuit regarding the death of Charles Eimers. Eimers, 61, was the father of four who died a year ago on South Beach at the hands of Key West police officers. Yesterday, the case was tentatively settled when the City’s insurance carrier agreed to pay $900,000 to the Eimers children. [continue reading…]

 January 30, 2015  Posted by at 1:55 am * Featured Story *, Issue #99 37 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 »
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 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 »
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
 
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 »
Jun 062014
 
Citizen Review Board May Investigate Use of Police Taser on Matthew Shaun Murphy Three Years Ago

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. It was early morning July 6, 2000.  In a dark alley in Key West, Officer Michael Beerbower had Daniel Holte Stambaugh, 22, handcuffed in the back of his police cruiser. Beerbower was on top of Stambaugh’s co-defendant Jessie Gene Gregory, 19, also handcuffed.  Other officers were standing watch.  When they yelled, “Clear!” (it meant that there were no witnesses) Beerbower would allegedly then go on, alternately punching Gregory and then Stambaugh in the face. But that “private” police matter would [continue reading…]

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
 
IS THE USE OF EXCESSIVE FORCE A PATTERN WITHIN THE KWPD?

by Dennis Reeves Cooper……. Alleged use of excessive force by Key West cops has been the talk of the island since retired General Motors worker Charles Eimers, 61, died after a rough arrest last Thanksgiving Day on South Beach. But its not like this is the first time that “excessive force” and other police wrong-doing has been the topic of conversation here. For example, I went back and flipped through the headlines of just one year of back issues of Key West The Newspaper (the [continue reading…]

 April 25, 2014  Posted by at 12:00 am * Featured Story * No Responses »
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 »
Dec 132013
 
POLICE DENY RESPONSIBILITY IN DEATH OF TOURIST, THANKSGIVING DAY

by Naja and Arnaud Girard……. “Eimers exited the car and began actively fighting.” [Officer Lovette, KWPD] Within a few minutes the man in the video above [Charles John Eimers] would be dead.  According to official reports, no Tasers were fired, Eimers (61) worked himself into a heart attack while fighting police officers.  However, according to eyewitnesses, Eimers was tased until dead.  Reportedly in the words of one eyewitness, a police officer from New York, it was “legalized murder on the beach.” The video stops before [continue reading…]