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

Issue 92 KWPD Whitewash for web

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 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]

Speaking under oath about the struggle that ensued, Sgt. Frank Zamora would admit that he had had his knee on the man’s back. Officer Gary Lee Lovette would admit that he had had one shin across his shoulder and the other up against his head. Officer Gabriel Garrido would admit that he had also been “controlling the upper torso.” Officer Calvert is seen on a bystander video joining in by lifting the man’s leg in the air.

The bystander video, which surfaced last month, shows Eimers unconscious with his face completely covered in sand. In fact, even after he’d been all cleaned up, a photo of his face taken at the hospital shows the interior of his nose still full of sand.

5362 Pics 009


A simple reenactment revealed that asphyxiation in the dry sand was the only possible outcome of that police procedure, yet KWPD Internal Affairs concludes, “there was no evidence of positional asphyxia or that Mr. Eimers stopped breathing due to an airway obstruction.” The use of prone restraint was proper and “determined not to be a contributing cause of Mr. Eimers’ death.”

At a time when the entire country is soul-searching about community policing methods and when police officers are learning de-escalation techniques and receiving sensitivity training, amazingly enough in Key West the police Internal Affairs department lays blame on the family of the victim. Apparently they feel Charles Eimers’ son should have informed KWPD of his intention to take his father off life support prior to doing so on December 4th. “Doing so may have saved Detective Stevens and the department from embarrassment,” they wrote.

The Internal Affairs report does little to reassure those who have wondered whether the body was deliberately sent for cremation before autopsy. Officer Todd Stevens admitted during his deposition that he had had an 8-minute conversation with Eimers’ son Treavor the day after Eimers was removed from the ventillator [December 5th]. KWPD claims the department only found out Eimers was dead on December 10th, after an email inquiry from The Blue Paper stirred things up, yet they still waited another 24 hours to inform FDLE and the Medical Examiner.

The Medical Examiner then informed Dean-Lopez funeral home on December 11th not to cremate the body. Was there a chance the body could have disappeared into ashes during those last 24 hours of KWPD holding tight to their secret?

So many questions are left without answers.

Who lied to the EMS and the doctors about Eimers “collapsing and having no pulse when officers arrived?’

Why were all of the officers in agreement in not getting contact information from the civilian eyewitnesses?

What about the missing parts of the dispatch audio recordings, where an officer reports that Eimers was tased?

Why was Eimers de-arrested?

Why was there no Response to Resistance report even though Eimers’ face was bloodied?

What happened to all of those missing dashcam videos? All of the officers had lawyered up within a few hours of the incident but somehow the department is satisfied that the videos were destroyed because “the recordings were not immediately identified as evidence.”

What happened with Lovette’s Taser video? Why does the recording begin after the crucial moments have passed?  Lovette testified he beleived it was recording during the incident.

In the end only Officer Lovette is sanctioned with a 5-day suspension because he “lied” about an “in-custody murder” and the “killing” of Charles Eimers.

But what if he was telling the truth? At KWPD is telling the truth, perhaps, the most serious transgression of all?


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



Help us continue to bring you local investigative journalism…  Click on the image to make a donation [NOT tax deductible].

teamwork hands

Facebook Comments

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

  1. Naja, on my end of your email blast of this week’s issue, the links do not work, I had to got to to get into this issue, and the links there for Nina’s “I can’t breathe” and the two Eimers’ articles worked. Nice loving cops in Lovette’s (pun not optional) video, laughing as they kill Eimers. If a jury believes Eimers was tasered, that might lead the jury to believe that’s what killed him, by stopping his bad heart, instead of him not being able to breathe. Sloan

  2. so, even the cops admit he lied.

    isn’t falsifying a government report(police report) a crime?

    isn’t perjury (deposition under oath) a crime?

    so come on DA, whadda waiting for??

  3. Article in today’s Citizen (

    Mayor recognized as ‘Rural Leader’
    Key West Citizen – Friday, December 12, 2014
    Key West’s mayor is one of “Small Town America’s 100 Most Influential People,” according to a new online magazine called “Rural Leader.” Mayor Craig Cates’ picture appears in the bottom left-hand…

    I’m still wondering how many blue paper readers, who are outraged by the death of Charles Eimers, voted for Mayor Cates this year, or for Margaret Romero, knowing those two were backing KWPD all the way?

  4. I’m constantly amazed at the manner in which the KWPD sidesteps responsibility and justice when it comes to their own cops. All of your questions are valid. But the biggest one to me, is why do cops continue to get nothing more than a slap on the wrist when the murder someone? It is NOT in their job description, as they’d like you to think.

    1. Sue, my short answer is, demonic possession. However, an email today from a Vietnam combat veteran, whom I first met in late 2000, in the St. Mary’s soup kitchen line, might tell it pretty well.

      He came back from Vietnam, got married, started and ran a business, and was a firefighter, as well, and finally retired and has a small pension and, since I have known him, lives either in his van or with friends wherever he goes and hangs out. He still has flashback nightmares and rough post traumatic stress from Vietnam.

      He sees and hears plenty in Key West, like it just shows up and he absorbs it, sort of like he’s “The Shadow.” He’s had his share of rough run-ins with KW cops, including, he told me, a KW cop who came into his van with a gun drawn, in the nighttime, while he was in there asleep, and woke him up and scared the hell out of him.

      He wrote today, verbatim, unedited by me:

      It bothers me that so many people are on the side of the police all over this country I believe there line of thinking is if I support them in my mind and they will know this and never bother me yet I have spoken to many residents about the P D (not) and they tell me they will not come out of there houses and yet I ask them to go to you tube and see the violence all over the country, they won’t , one couples answer was ,,,we just watch the discovery channel.
      Heard lees comment on u s 1 radio this morning Dec. 12 and claims he doesn’t care that or if the justice dept. comes to investigate the cops. (QUOTE)



      The American people are on the side of the wrong movement and also here in this small town and when this government goes into there bank accounts some day and takes all there money only then will they realize they have been on the wrong side .
      I am so thankful that I am not coin operated and I see what’s really happening to the American people by instilling fear in them to comply and convince them that the walk to the FEMA camp ovens has to go forward with its agenda.


      When will the American people wake up and see what is happening to themselves and this once beautiful country.

      1. I wrote back to “The Shadow”:

        Damn well spoken, amigo.

        In Officer Gary Lee Lovette’s taser video recording, you can hear him and the other cops laughing, after they kill Charles Eimers.


        The other new blue paper article ain’t pretty either, here’s its link: INTERNAL AFFAIRS: OFFICER GETS 5 DAY SUSPENSION FOR “LYING” ABOUT KILLING CHARLES EIMERS

        It ain’t hard to see several of the cops were up to no good, when they disobeyed direct orders to break off following Eimers and they turned off their video recorders. They knew they were going to a rumble, and they didn’t want it recorded. But for Lovette turning on his taser, which he claimed he never fired, because he was concerned about one of its darts hitting a fellow officer, we’d not know they were laughing when they killed Eimers.

        Then came the massive cover up. How Lovette’s taser video survived is … a miracle?

        This entire case stinks rotten. The karma is equally rank.

        Someone out at Higgs Beach tonight, whom you know, said Lovette needs to be killed for it to be justice. I said, no, that would rob karma of having its say. Let Lovette experience the karma, that will be justice. Let them all experience the karma. They earned it. All of them, including Donie Lee.


    2. The police and their unions have political power.If the states attorney were to bring charges, the police across the entire state may retaliate.Crime is an industry. Most people have no idea what arrest conviction ratio means. If local police get ticked off over a cop being charged they would stop making arrest of non violence offences. There would be no work for court personnel and more important, the lawyers offices would be empty. Nobody would be making any money off the law racket.

  5. Riveting Article….An ‘Elderly and Innocent American Citizen’ is torn to shreds by individuals calling themselves police officers. These crimes are all documented and recorded via two videos, witness statements and several close up pictures of the crime.

    Some of the police officers involved with this ‘in-custody death’ repeatedly perjure themselves concerning their part in this innocent man’s killing. During the police chief’s deposition, after viewing the video, he confirms that his officers perjured themselves under oath and in their sworn statements.

    This alleged orchestrated cover-up from the start has been sloppy and amateurish. I’m disappointed by their lack of creativity. I’m taken aback that they attempted to run this absurd, awkward and revealing sham by law-abiding citizens.

    They are clumsy because it has become ‘standard operating procedure’. It’s the way that a corrupted and militarized ‘police state’ responds to individuals that they don’t care to protect and serve. It’s simply business. Circle the wagons, close ranks and move on. Unfortunately for them, they forgot the value of SILENCE and Video Recorders.

    Corrupt and criminal enterprises are immobilized and incapacity, because THEY ALL HAVE SOMETHING ON ONE ANOTHER…

    None of them are ‘choir boys’. Their leaders and supervisors can never take effective disciplinary action.

    City Manager (police chief’s boss?) better get his mind right or he is going to go down with the rest of the co-conspirators. It’s distressing that he would destroy himself behind this nonsense.

    I’m surprised by the level of negligence demonstrated thus far by the State Attorney’s Office. Crimes were televised via video, pictures and perjured statements. FDLE supervisors and special agents violated THEIR OWN ‘Ethical Standards For Conducting A Criminal Investigation’. Still no action and no leadership in correcting this blatant injustice. A series of crimes that occurred right before our eyes…

    Why does someone want to throw away their lives and careers? Perhaps, at its root, it’s a subliminal desire for atonement.

    The ‘wheels of justice’ grind slowly. However, they will not stop until the grinding is done…..

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.