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.”


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  1. Naja & Arnaud,

    Magnificently put together. Natural, smooth flowing, beautiful narrative, melodic voices; it’s a sheer joy to experience your creative genius.

    I feel pity for Mr. Lee. His lifeless and soulless appearance is sad. He is an empty vessel. He cannot perform the duties ordinarily expected of a police chief. Those propping him up are culpable in what has, and will transpire.

    I have made serious mistakes and did not know how to remedy the error of my ways. However, at some point friends, colleagues or family intervened and got me moving in the right direction.

    I have compassion for Mr. Lee. He doesn’t have any real friends. No one cares enough about him, to speak the truth to him. They’ve not spent the necessary time with him, so that he might divert his journey from the path of self-destruction that he is on.

    Mr. Lee, if you so desire I will speak with you. In confidence, not one word of our conversation to be uttered again. You are being threatened and bullied by those whom you are shielding and providing cover for. Taking counsel with your fears will bring darkness and despair into your life. You will not last long that way, as the artificial structures protecting you are going to be torn down.

    Get out ahead of your secrets and formulated an effective remedy that may save your career and prevent you from destroying everything that you’ve worked to build.

    Through your silence and inability to effectively take charge of the matters that you are faced with, you’ve allowed yourself to become a tool for the mayor, city commissioners and manager. They will permit you to destroy yourself while protecting themselves, then discard you like a used tissue.

    A sign of wisdom and strength would be to seek some counsel from a Self-Realized (Self-Actualized) soul; or go to the God of your understanding, before you are lost.

  2. I respect Chief Lee’s decision to be on the panel of the ACLU annual meeting, but he was on the defensive again when he opened with the snarky statement police don’t have the “luxury” of spending weeks, months, sometimes years making decisions, but have only moments… I suppose several minutes of sticking Charles Eimers’ face in the sand wasn’t enough time to realize they we’re killing him. The public anal cavity search of a Bahama Village resident took several minutes and was no snap judgement, but a well thought out methodical punitive humiliation, a rape in actuality. The SWAT like raid on a house in Bahama Village that terrorized a little girl…Was that a decision made on the fly, as well. Nope, another well thought out plan of action…No forced snap decision, again.

    In defense of the police, it was pointed out that too much is expected of the police. They should be concentrating on real crime, but are forced to take care of the mentally challenged and drug and alcohol addicted, as well. The public monies that used to be allocated for mental institutions and drug and alcohol rehabs vanished in the eighties and by default all those people became the responsibility of law enforcement and the prison system.

    Add the racial disparity in arrests and convictions and it is plain to see that we support an institutional and systemic racism. The system is broken and a national problem that is felt locally.

  3. Take a look at Donie Lee in that video, he is clearly very unhappy and perhaps embarrassed as he should be. He took an oath to uphold the law, be accountable and most importantly control his officers. In his own words he is not in control. It is very clear he is unable to perform the job. He is guilty of theft for taking money for a job he is not doing. Am reasonably sure he intended to when he was hired. It is time for him to step down and let KW find an honorable man that is not a puppet. Lee had his chance many times to get his department under control but failed. Lee if you care at all about Key West then please resign now. Shame on the residents for voting in such a mayor and council. They are all only after a huge paycheck and little doubt that they are well taken care of by developers and business owners for favorable votes. This type of government is entertainment on the Dukes of Hazard but not real life. Many of your officers belong in prison. As was mentioned some are scared to be in Key West. What in the hell do you think a tourist is seeing ? Accidents can happen but these are not accidents. Eimers clearly was surrendering, he did not run, was unarmed. Your thugs murdered him. Be sure of one thing, it is only time till Paradise will be HELL. I once had an image of a town where we were safe to walk down Duval. I always felt safe at Fantasy Fest because what we saw were very tolerant cops that seemed to have a great attitude and did talk to a few. To us this was a perfect town. Maybe we were not so safe. The last person we thought of as a danger was the cops.

    By now severe damage has been done to the image of Key West. And this will start costing businesses money. At an average we usually drop 400 to 500 a day when we visit. How many thousands of tourists can you afford to not attend ?

    I am waiting to see how Fantasy Fest goes this year. How many Eimers costumes will we be seeing ?

    I am bit puzzled as to why more people are not speaking up. Are they scared ?
    For now we are waiting on the Feds. When it is over Lee will be gone and maybe even do time. A more corrupt city would be hard to find.

    Great paper that is not scared to print the truth.

  4. there you have it folks…loud and clear from the chief that…the blue paper has an agenda that he and the police department doesn’t like so up yours for any interviews!
    he cares less about truth and justice which is unmistakable in this interview and will continue to support lies deception and perjury in his department. one hell of a lawless unethical man plain and simple.

    clearly charles eimers died from suffocation on that beach. removing life support machinery six days later and then pronouncing death seems a little backward don’t it?

    1. The agenda the Blue paper has is to report the truth. That is the last thing Lee needs or wants. This is a shame that a man worked so hard to start as a cop and managed to become the chief and now has lost it to protect a bunch of thugs, If Cates and the city council want to stay in office they will sell him out.
      Google Lee and Key West and you will see a very ugly mess.

      1. jiminkeywest…

        i find it very difficult to believe that Lee “earned” his way into becoming police chief. the two performances the Blue Paper has shown of Lee on video reveal a man devoid of the requisite competence required to progress through the ranks and rise above all others (not withstanding the low bar standard for police hiring). i would guess that what brought Lee to the top, and what keeps him there, are his willingness to be compliant and a sycophant. he was given the job because they knew, and wanted, his performance to be exactly what it is.

        but you are exactly right on one thing: as soon as his presence becomes an inconvenience, out he will go.

  5. When I was at Naja and Arnaud’s home a little while before the ACLU fund-raiser,which the ACLU meeting turned out to be, if you were there and paying attention, I told Naja and Arnaud, and J.D. Adler, who also was there, that it’s time for them to go to city commission meetings, and tell the mayor and city commissioners they should resign. This can be done during closing citizen comments, when citizens can speak to the mayor and city commissioners about any topic, for 3 minutes. Naja took strong exception, like my idea was nuts. I suppose it is nuts, as I’m the only person I know who has gone to city commission meetings and told the mayor and city commissioners they ought to resign over how they responded to the Charles Eimers case.

    Don’t misunderstand. I think Naja and Arnaud did a terrific job with the Eimers case, and with other KWPD cases. I hope they keep doing it. I think they should get a Pulitzer for the Eimers case. I believe I was the first person to say that. And I kept saying it. However, as I said at their home before the ACLU meeting, I suppose it is hard to go to a city commission meeting and tell the mayor and city commissioners to resign, when you voted for them.

    Donie Lee is not dumb. He knows what’s going on. The mayor and city commissioners like Donie. They like their police. Otherwise, they would be raising bloody hell, in public, about Lee and those of his cops who don’t seem to have a clue what protecting and serving the people in paradise means. Not all of Lees cops are hoodlums, brutes. But too many of them are. And too many of them don’t have anything important to do. We know that, because they go out of their way to harass homeless people for such terrible crimes as drinking in public and lying on towels on the ground in public parks – that’s camping.

    A heap of Lee’s cops, what?, 13 of them, went out of their way to sock it to Charles Eimers, whom they believed was homeless, living in his PT Cruiser.

    We also know, because he’s still on the KWPD force, that Gary Lee Lovette, who bragged afterward about having killed Eimers, is the model the mayor and city commissioners and Donie Lee want for their cops. That, and, or, Lovette has something on all of them, which they don’t want seen and heard in the bright sunshine.

    There is nothing Key West people can do about what happens elsewhere, Charleston, Ferguson, etc. Here, though, in Key West, people who live here can put a great deal of heat on their elected officials, by going to city commission meetings, which are televised locally,and putting their elected officials feet, and the rest of their bodies, into the flames.

  6. OK will deal with what the man said about the PBA over rulling his firings or corrections. That may happen but don’t pass the buck. Fire them and your name is cleared as trying. Would have respect for Lee if he did. Then the finger is not pointing at him. Have no idea what type of cop you were before being the chief. The hat you wear now demands you control your thugs. This has hit national news so the cover up is over. Am also sure he has a lawyer telling him what to not say as this is far from over.

  7. The FDLE should march right up and down to MARATHON FL and check in on Rick Ramsay Sheriff Monroe County and a few of his good ol boys with attitude and axes to grind with the public that they are supposed to PROTECT and patrol for.

    Nuff Said!

    But we could say much much more… and just might 😉

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