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 sand, putting the weight of up to four officers on his back, and shocking him with a Taser stungun.

The Medical Examiner, however, in his final autopsy report, states that “the FDLE investigation concluded that his face was not forced into the sand, but rather, as he struggled, his face moved back and forth across the sand. Audio recordings from the event revealed that Eimers repeatedly said “No.”  Such verbalization would not have been possible if he had been smothering in the sand.”  The Medical Examiner acknowledged, however, that his face appeared coated in sand in photographs taken at the hospital, but that “No sand was found in his airways.”

Because of these elements, the Medical Examiner ruled out asphyxiation as the cause of Eimers death.  The use of a Taser as a contributing factor and blunt force trauma were also ruled out leaving one last possibility:  cardiac arrest.

According to Scheuerman, the stress caused by the struggle between Eimers and  police officers likely caused Eimers to suffer cardiac arrest.

Cardiac arrest, unlike a death by asphyxiation, is considered “accidental”, which the Medical Examiner defines as “without intention, unexpected, and unforeseen.”

The official cause of death for Charles Eimers, in the opinion of the Medical Examiner, is “Accident.”

Needless to say, this opinion is not convincing for Mr. Eimers’ family or his lawyers.  “It’s frustrating but not surprising,” says Eimers’ son Treavor,  “We have taken on every layer of corruption that has been thrown at us.  We’re just trying to get at the truth.”

Attorney, Darren Horan, who, along with his father David Paul Horan, represents the family in a wrongful death suit filed against the City and 13 police officers, believes the Medical Examiner would likely have concluded that a homicide had taken place had he been given all of the available evidence.  “The report was based on a very small and select portion of the evidence. Several witnesses who were not interviewed by FDLE have come forward and more witnesses and evidence will be revealed in the future.  The Medical Examiner’s opinion is based on an FDLE investigation that, unfortunately, was sorely lacking in crucial information.”


To access all Blue Paper coverage of the death of Charles Eimers click here.

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  1. Unbelievable. The Bubba System strikes again. I hope the FBI gets in on this one. The Medical Examiner’s report stinks to high heaven.

  2. Re last paragraph in M.E.’s report, hypoxia (low blood oxygen) – I’m not a medical expert, but could not hypoxia result from smothering? Could not heart attack result from smothering?

    Convenient for KWPD, no toxicology report due to length of time between admission to hospital and delivery of body to M.E.

    Hard for me to ignore M.E. took a job somewhere else, before his report was made public.

    This autopsy reminds me, of the autopsy on the pilot of an airplane that crashed on final approach into Bates Field, Mobile, Alabama, in closed in weather. This is a longish story, but perhaps in point.

    The pilot was not instrument rated, did not alert the control tower that he was not instrument rated, told the tower he did not have an approach plate, which is a “map” for that field containing vital information for making an instrument approach and landing. Information such as the localizer frequency, without which a pilot cannot even find a runway in socked in weather such as that night at Bates Field.

    After being given the localizer frequency by the air traffic controller, who off to the side told his fellow controllers that he had a pilot on final approach who didn’t have an approach plate (unheard of, basically, for an instrument landing), the aircraft then flew into the ground and crashed and broke up, killing the pilot and two passengers. One passenger was his girlfriend and the other was his scuba diving instructor – they were returning from diving on Key Largo. The widow of the scuba diving instructor was my client.

    The local M.E., upon examining the pilot’s corpse, found advanced coronary artery disease, and perhaps unable to think of any other reason for the airplane crashing, ruled death of the pilot was due to heart attack. Thus, the airplane crash and the death of the two passengers also was due to the pilot’s heart attack.

    In Alabama, a M.E.’s determination of death was, by law, prima facie evidence of cause of death, which could be rebutted in litigation by other evidence of cause of death. It looked to me the cause of death was the airplane crash, secondary to pilot arrogance, since the pilot was not instrument rated and did not tell the air traffic controller, who, having been so advised, would have declared an emergency and told the pilot to maintain wings level and gain altitude and go back up on top and then let the air traffic controller talk the pilot down to the runway.

    The kicker was, the recording of the air traffic controller’s conversation with the pilot and with the controllers fellow controllers. The controller’s lament that he had a pilot on final approach without the approach plate was deleted from the recording the Federal Aviation Administration provided to the FAA’s in house lawyer and to the US Attorney co-defending the case.

    However, the pilot’s liability insurance carrier had somehow obtained a copy of the entire uncut tape, and had given it to the widow’s lawyer, who then had referred the case to me. The lawyer and I were good friends. His law firm was a prestigious Birmingham firm. It did not do that kind of litigation. It also had gotten all the insurance money for the widow, and the lawsuit was going to be steep and tough.

    Even so, we had the FAA in a lie. Plush, Birmingham cardiologist told me there was no way he could imagine the M.E. concluding the cause of the crash was a heart attack. The pilot’s heart was found in a field, ripped out of the body cavity. No telling what that had done to the heart, the cardiologist had said. Plus, the heart most likely had developed ancillary blood vessels, to bypass occluded heard blood vessels, the cardiologist said – it happened all the time. The cardiologist loaned me the book he and all medical student have to master in med school, written by a heart doctor guru.

    At the trial, the FAA’s puffed up doctor testified under oath that his opinion was the pilot had suffered a heart attack and that was the cause of the airplane crash (and not the pilot not being instrument rated, and not the air traffic controller not declaring an emergency, because he knew the pilot was not instrument rated, there was no other explanation for the pilot not having an approach plate and waiting until the last moment, on final approach to tell the controller that, and not staying on the localizer).

    On cross-examination, I asked the FAA’s doctor (whore) if he had done the autopsy? Well, no. Had he himself seen this heart which had had a heart attack? Well, no. Had he read the heart guru’s book, which all medical students have to read? Well, yes. Did he know that a heart develops ancillary heart blood vessels to counter occluded heart blood vessels? As is stated right here on page such and such in the heart doctor guru’s book? Well, yes. Was he aware of the muscles and body tissues and ribs and sternum through which the pilot’s heart was ripped and deposited on the ground distant from the pilot’s body? Well, yes. Was he aware of the ripping that would have done to the pilot’s heart? Well, yes.

    The formerly pious arrogant bastard talking down to the U,S. District Judge and to me now was shrunk down in his seat, peeking at me over the side of the witness stand box, hanging on to the top of it with his fingertips, terror in his eyes. The FAA lawyer and the Assistant US Attorney were slack-jawed and wide-eyed, staring at me. Right about then, the U.S. District Judge announced he was ruling for the Plaintiff on the medical.

    Alas, the U.S. District judge disregarded all of the aforementioned evidence and ruled for the Defendant FAA. Bates Field’s radar only indicated the horizontal motion of the aircraft and not the vertical motion. There were radars which indicated both horizontal and vertical, but not at this airfield. The judge said there was no way for the air traffic controller know the aircraft’s altitude, that it was flying into the ground. So, I had not made out my case. Judgment for the FAA.

    I tell you truly, that case broke my heart. I, a young lawyer, with no prior experience in any of the fields of expertise, with no significant trial experience, had beaten the FAA and the Assistant US Attorney to a pulp. I had proved the case.

    My first expert, a seasoned corporate pilot flying next behind the non-instrument rated pilot, next in order to land at Bates Field, testified at trial, under oath, that he had heard the entire exchange on the radio between the doomed pilot and the air traffic controller, and had told his passengers that the pilot ahead of them was not instrument rated and was attempting an instrument landing.

    My other expert, a retired FAA air traffic controller, also himself an instrument-rated private pilot, testified that the air traffic controller knew the doomed pilot was not instrument rated and should have declared an emergency, told the pilot to maintain wings level, and climb, etc.

    During the lead up to the trial, the FAA had played games with my retired FAA air traffic controller, who had applied for his instrument rating certification. The FAA wouldn’t approve his instrument rated certificate even though he had passed all their requirements. I filed a motion with the U.S. District Judge about that, and before long my expert had his instrument rating certificate.

    As I said, that case broke my heart. I won it. I hope the Eimers case filed by Key West Attorney David Paul Horan has a different outcome in federal court. I hope the U.S. District Judge in the Eimers case does not go looking for a way to let the KWPD off. I hope State Attorney Catherine Vogle and her office and the Grand Jury do not go looking for a way to let the KWPD off.

    What killed Charles Eimers was several KWPD officers on top of him, pushing his face down on the sand, causing him to resist mightily trying to breathe, resulting in hypoxia, which left him brain dead, among other ways of dead, secondary to those cops believing he was homeless.

    1. Saying it another way:

      Eimers died accidentally. Meaning, it was all his fault his heart stopped beating after hypoxia (lack of oxygen) set in, as, face down on the sand, he struggled mightily to escape and run away, after he had docile as a lamb surrendered and lay face down on the beach. Did I miss something? Yeah, he caused his heart to stop beating by giving the cops the impression he was homeless. I wonder how the Medical Examiner would have fared, if he were to have switched places with Eimers and the cops had thought he, the Medical Examiner, was homeless.
      Ciao maim

  3. The FBI, DOJ won’t get involved until the state attorney is finished with her investigation. If there will be one. Or if she asks for FBI, DOJ investigation. KWPD, FDLE had 7 months to do damage control. Now we have 27 days to locate and interview witnesses. The public needs to demand a full, truthful, complete investigation. The list of wrongdoing by KWPD, FDLE is astounding, yet it’s falling on deaf ears. We have to draw attention to this so outside law enforcement takes over. It’s going to take an uproar. What’s done in the dark will come out in the light.

  4. We have a deadline to gather witness account and anymore evidence that’s out there. I ask everyone with knowledge to step forward and fight for what’s right. We feel like it’s us against the world. We have people waiting for 7 month’s to tell the truth. And nobody will listen. I feel empty inside. I don’t know what else to do.

  5. I think it’s safe to assume that after a week iof intensive care in hospital there would be no sand in his nostrils. Notably the good doctor has resigned and left town. Given the other anomlies reported, there is no getting around the appearance of a coverup on this man’s death.

  6. You could set up a “People’s Court” and ask all the known and unknown witnesses to come and testify before a “volunteer grand jury” . Have a notary there to testify to all the testimonies. Photos a must . Signatures a must. Good luck.

  7. how convenient the kw citizen online story ‘edits out’ the front end part of the video showing mr eimers getting out of his car and walking about 10 feet and passively getting on his knees and then his belly as the ‘police’ approach from multi-directions to do thier dirty deed.
    a thoroughly disgusting portrayal to hype thier ‘establishment’ story line. fits as good as the medical-examiner’s reported difference of accident vs homicide being ‘subtle’ as noted in his report. i wonder which version if any of the video the good doctor watched as he seems to rely heavily on the fdle report of taint smoke and mirrors produced by the now well known firm of coverups r us!. a pox on all the guilty parties.

  8. Sloan, I notice you’re usually the first person to comment on here. It’s usually 5000 words long. One after another. And you’re running for Mayor. If you want the people of Key West to think you’re a leader and someone who’ll do the right thing, why don’t you gather and hold a peaceful protest at City Hall. Or better yet the state attorney’s office. Let them know that the public isn’t going to stand for corruption.

    1. I’m often the first person to comment because the angels get me up way too early to suit me most days, and there’s the blue paper’s latest on in my inbox waiting on me to comment on in keeping with dreams not long before. I will sleep on your protest suggestion, it might be a good idea, but perhaps the angels might tweak the theme, or not, if they think it’s a good idea. The way to send a message on the Eimers case is to vote out of office the six city commissioners and current mayor at the earliest opportunity, and the State Attorney, if she waffles on the Eimers case. I would tell you that regardless of my running for mayor, which was the angels, not my idea. Left up to me, I’d never run for public office. I’ve got one for you. Who are you? Why are you hiding behind a pen name? I ask the other regular pundis who weigh in on blue paper articles the same thing? Sister, for example, raised an important issue lately about whistleblowers coming forward, no matter the personal risk to themselves. But who is Sister? John Donnelly uses his own name. Alex Symington uses his own name. What’s with the pen names? I don’t think that got anywhere near 5000 words. The point, by the way, of my writing that long spiel today about that case I tried in federal court in Birmingham, was to introduce lay people and armchair lawyers who really aren’t lawyers to the hazards of litigation known to all lawyers who are not at their first rodeo, and to highlight offer insights to coronary disease and medical examiners seizing in it, in lieu of compelling facts actually explaining the cause of death.

    2. The angels asked me to ask you why you took out after me like that, when I have been putting my life and my soul on the line in the Eimers case since they enabled the blue paper to break it? And, they asked me to ask you why you want me, and not you, to gather a peaceful protest at city hall, since it’s you who wants that to happen? Of course, to do that, you’d have to show your face and be at risk to being asked for your identification by maybe city officials, police, journalists, other people, and maybe you’d have to apply for a permit. And what would I be asking for in that protest, for which I have not been asking from Key West for many years, and look at how that went? So, looks like the angels changed their strategy and sent Charles Eimers down here to stir the pot in a new way, which was not in the least peaceful, and look at how well he did. He got Key West on CBS and in federal court. Well, Naja did tell me that Eimers told the cop who made the traffic stop that he had come to Key West to do God’s work.

  9. When you get stopped by the Police, and then Flee, The Police does not know why you are running except to get away from them, They will hunt you down, The Police does not know who you are or what your intentions are, on that video there was no bruto force, so If he had a bad heart why did he keep going, this would have not happend if he did not flee. bottom line, If this was somewhere else he would have been shot. Nobody to blame but him self…

    1. Eimers wasn’t driving like he was fleeing. What has bothered me all along is, why did he leave the traffic stop without his driver’s license? That made no sense to me, given the hassle of getting a new drivers license issued these days, especially not where it originally was issued. I wondered if Eimers was high on something? I wondered if the cop was playing with him? Later, a KW van dweller friend told me of having been harassed by a KWPD officer, who demanded his driver’s license. So, my friend said he gave the cop his driver’s license. The cop said he wasn’t going to give it back. My friend, a Vietnam combat vet said that was not going to happen. The cop was bending the license back and forth, finally creasing it. My friend did not back down. The cop returned the license. When my friend later went to the driver’s license office on South Roosevelt Blvd by the airport, he told a woman working where what had happened. She said KW police bend and even crease drivers licenses of people they think are homeless, so when the next cop encounters that person, he/she knows he/she is dealing with a homeless person. Naja told me Eimers’ driver’s license is in the evidence locker at the KWPD HQ. I wonder if the cop who stopped Eimers did the same thing, and Eimers didn’t stand his ground; he was new in town, maybe he thought the traffic stop was over and he simply wasn’t going to get his drivers license back, so he left, wondering what in the hell he had gotten himself into, coming to Key West? Naja told me that Eimers told the cop that he had come down here to do God’s work. Maybe he didn’t understand exactly how God had in mind that playing out, with Eimers being God’s EXHIBIT 1 for just how screwed up the KWPD and Key West are about homeless people. Looking at the bystander’s video, I don’t see a many fleeing. I see a man submitting docile as a lamb, as 4 cops with guns drawn close in on him. I see him going to his knees, then lying face down. I see cops swarm him, then I see his legs start kicking. What do you supposed caused his legs to start kicking, when he was surrendering? Could it be he was not breathing any longer? Could it be his survival instinct had kicked in? God sure did use Eimers, though, to expose what I have known about Key West for many years. All the way up to CBS. And it’s still underway. Who are you, SPER 1955? Are you a cop? I imagine I’m not the only person down here in Key West who would like to know more about you.

  10. I am confused once again.

    From thebluepaper Dec. 20, 2013 issue….

    “And now there is this ever more troubling revelation: contrary to the official theory that Eimers’ death was caused by a pre-existing heart condition, Eimers’ family was informed by the Monroe County Medical Examiner, Dr. E. Scheuerman, that Eimers did not die of a heart attack.”

    Were the Eimers family original told by the Med Examiner that Charles did not die from a heart attack as stated above? If so, why does the autopsy now state that he died of a heart attack?

    Sloan, I am an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, surrounded by mystery…no need to know my birth name.

    1. I’ve heard that same line before, Sister. You ask lots of good questions, but it seems a bit odd to me, at least, that you pushed for whistleblowers to put their lives at risk down here, but you do not even put your birth name at risk. Quite a few times Naja has lamented to me that she and Arnaud get lots of stuff other people want investigated and reported by the blue paper, but the informants don’t want their names attached to it, which, in many cases, is the end of it, because the informants are the eyewitnesses, without whose “testimony” there would be no point in Naja and Arnaud going forward with it. I lament back to Naja and Arnaud that I have the same experience with most informants. They are happy to slip tasty morsels to me, but most don’t what their name attached. I operate a little differently from Naja and Arnaud and publish anonymous tips when they seem important and the angels agree publishing same is needed. Let’s you and them fight is a very old pastime. And, I, too, have wondered since reading the autopsy about the Eimers initially being told their father did not die of a heart attack. Naja, can you shed further light on that? Thanks.

      1. I promise that if the information becomes pertinent I will let you know. Right now I don’t see the need. Sometimes I think it’s helpful not to have information about someone’s race, age or gender so that biases cannot be drawn. I did give you my gender…or it could just be my gender identity.

    2. There is no contradiction.

      Eimers did not suffer a “heart attack”. [See defintion below] The Medical Examiner told this to the Eimers family early on based on the objective autopsy. There was no evidence of blockage, he had some arterial blockage [most people at age 61 do] but not enough to have caused a “heart attack”.

      The Medical Examiner’s opinion says that he died of “sudden cardiac arrest” when his heart went into an abnormal rhythm called “ventricular fibrillation.” The Medical Examiner speculates that because Mr. Eimers had pre-existing heart issues the struggle with police was enough to cause his heart to go into v-fib, which then caused sudden cardiac arrest.

      When the heart stops pumping blood properly, oxygen can’t get to the brain and the brain is quickly damaged. Eimers was brain dead when he arrived at the hospital. Of course, another reason that oxygen does not get to the brain is asphyxiation. The objective autopsy does not rule out either scenario.

      Then comes the subjective autopsy which is based on testimony, and other evidence, as to what actually occurred just prior to Eimers turning blue and losing consciousness. The Medical Examiner did not have some very key information. FDLE provided the ME with information but they had not interviewed key witnesses. For example the woman from Maryland who states that she witnessed an officer holding Mr. Eimers’ head in the sand and that his face was blue and his lips were red only came forward last week as a result of the national coverage. The KWPD had allowed all the witnesses to leave without taking contact info – some witnesses reported that KWPD officers chased witnesses away from the scene. Other key witnesses who were never interviewed by FDLE claim that Eimers’ face was covered in sand with sand up into his nostrils.

      Police officers connected an AED [automated external defibrillator] to Mr. Eimers at the scene. The machine stated “No Shock Advised.” AED’s do that when the machiine does not detect a shockable rhythm. V-fib IS a shockable rhythm. The Medical Examiner’s report does not mention the AED at all.

      Heart Attack:
      A heart attack happens when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a section of heart muscle suddenly becomes blocked and the heart can’t get oxygen. If blood flow isn’t restored quickly, the section of heart muscle begins to die.

      Sudden Cardiac Arrest:
      Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. If this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs.

      SCA usually causes death if it’s not treated within minutes.

      Ventricular Fibrillation:
      V-fib occurs if disorganized electrical signals make the ventricles quiver instead of pump normally. Without the ventricles pumping blood to the body, sudden cardiac arrest and death can occur within a few minutes.

      To prevent death, the condition must be treated right away with an electric shock to the heart called defibrillation (de-fib-rih-LA-shun).

      V-fib may occur during or after a heart attack or in someone whose heart is already weak because of another condition.

      An AED (automated external defibrillator) is a device that analyzes and looks for shockable heart rhythms, advises the rescuer of the need for defibrillation, and delivers a shock if needed.

  11. Now that we have seen the Medical Examiner’s final autopsy, we know booze or other drugs were not found in Charles Eimers’ system. So he was not high on something, except perhaps God, when he was stopped by the cop on North Roosevelt Blvd. Maybe Eimers was enveloped in a rapture? Maybe he was taken over by an angel and dreamingly left the scene and slowly drove toward Duval Street and then turned left and headed to South Beach to meet his Maker, as pre-arranged? If it was Eimers time to go; if, as the Medical Examiner reported, Eimers could have died at any moment from heart and other problems, why not go out in glory, doing God’s work? I’m not joking. That would have been nothing for Archangel Michael, or Jesus, or Magdalene-Melchizedek to bring off.

  12. Questions…

    Has the NY police officer ever been located and report taken?

    Is there an eyewitness consensus as to what part of Charles’ body the officer’s knee was positioned on?

    Have any other videos surfaced of the event?

    How is it lawful that the med examiner can come to a conclusion which is not backed up by the objective autopsy? re; no evidence as to which came first, the anoxic encephalopathy or the cardiac arrest. Or am I misunderstanding this?

    Does the fact that the AED advised No Shock prove that the Ventricular Fibrillation claim is bogus and therefore the Med Examiner’s conclusion is FOS? And will the Grand Jury be able to be advised of this?

    How much weight do you believe the med examiner’s report will carry with the Grand Jury? Do they typically give it more credence than eyewitness testimony?

    I’m sure those of you in KW are discussing these things among yourselves but I only have thebluepaper to inquire. Thanks.

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