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Amigo Todd German called me yesterday morning to say he had a different take on my not being able to feel the Key West energy vortex any more, as reported in yesterday’s redneck mystic chauvinist pig jingle bells for good and naughty little boys and girls, in Key West and beyond post at www.goodmorningkeywest.com.
Todd said maybe I don’t feel the vortex, because I have become one with it, it’s a relatively thing. I said, interesting, I wasn’t kicking that idea out, but the Cuban Conch woman on White Street Pier the other night, who had told me she knew about the vortex, still feels it, and she’s lived here all of her life. Todd said, maybe she has not evolved. I said maybe not, I got that sense when talking with her. Todd said, it’s like being in a tornado. And being mushed, I said. And being one with the tornado. I’m impressed.
Later, I thought, hmmm, my email address is keysmyhome@hotmail. I lost the firstname.lastname@example.org email address several months ago, when hotmail did something weird and I was not able to fix it. I could take the keysmyhome email address as the angels, saying I am one with the vortex vibration, and I probably ain’t gonna be leaving to live anywhere else anytime soon, which I suppose will not be good news to some people, and other people might be glad I’m still around, but not necessarily because they are head over heels in love with me.
For example, yesterday, I bumped into Dan Dombroski,
who heads up the local Boys and Girls Club. He said he reads me every morning. I said, to remind himself that he’s a little insane? He said, to remind himself there is at least one person more insane than he is!
A little birdie told me last night that it was sitting on a telephone wire yesterday, minding its own business, when it overheard someone say, not all that long, ago fired city Manager Bob Vitas held off renewing Police Chief Donie Lee’s contract, pending the outcome of the Charles Eimers case investigations.
I swanned back, given how wound up City Commissioner Tony Yaniz
was to lead the charge to fire Vitas, and given how wound up Yaniz was to lead the charge to defend the KWPD in the Eimers case, that I could not help but wonder if all the other reasons Yaniz gave for Vitas being fired were smoke screen for Vitas not renewing Lee’s contract?
Adding to my wonderment was the little birdie then said it also had heard, as it sat on the telephone wire, that Vitas ran by the mayor and each of the six city commissioners Assistant City Manager David Fernandez retiring and drawing a pension, and being rehired to run the city’s utility department, and no way Vitas would do something like that on his own, with all the experience he’d had in city governments before he came to Key West. But the seven then pretended Vitas had not gotten their nods, and maybe that was because putting the city’s waste contract out for the lowest bid, instead of for a Request For Proposal, which was the seven’s decision, had blown up in the seven’s faces, and since when did the seven, or their predecessor sevens, ever take responsibility for their own screw ups? I said, not in my memory had that happened.
I bet Dan Dombroski has heaps of fun reading about that not entirely improbable skullduggery, and I bet he ain’t the only person who has heaps of fun with it. I kept thinking all along Yaniz was protesting too much about Vitas, and about the holy innocence and sanctity of the Key West police. Maybe with Cuba-US relations normalizing, finally, way too long that happening, thank you President Obama, even if I don’t like your foreign war policy, Yaniz will give thought moving back to his native country.
Meanwhile, I bet Yaniz is tickled duo pink
about what went onto the Key West the Newspaper (www.thebluepaper.com) Facebook page yesterday. Now CBS has reported the Charles Eimers case twice.
Here is the CBS video on the Charles Eimers Key West death-in-custody case that aired this morning on CBS This Morning…
And I bet Yaniz is tres tickled pink
that, last night, led by Tom Milone
and Joe Pais (apology, I couldn’t find a photo of Joe), the Key West Citizen (Police) Review Board (CRB) voted 7-0 to accept the Charles Eimers case, and to draft a letter to the US Department of Justice (DOJ), asking it to investigate the Key West Police Department, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), State Attorney Catherine Vogel, and the Monroe Medical Examiner who performed the autopsy.
Tom had prepared an exhaustive “legal brief”, which he presented, containing myriad and overwhelming reasons why the CRB should accept the Eimers case on its own motion. Pais, a former city commissioner, said, if you google Key West Police Department, all you see is the Charles Eimers case. Pais unabashedly read from the transcript of Officer Gary Lee Lovetee’s damning recorded comments, saying Lovette’s F-bombs unedited. First time I ever heard a city official say the F-bomb at a city government meeting. But why not? It’s what Lovette himself said, as he and the other cops laughed while they killed Charles Eimers.
The only newspaper journalist at the CRB meeting was Naja Girard, co-publisher, with her husband, Arnaud, who also does the blue paper’s lovely “cartoons”,
of Key West the Newspaper (www.thebluepaper.com), which broke the Eimers case. I told the CRB during citizen comments last night, but for Naja and Arnaud, there would be no Eimers case, and they deserve a Pulitzer for journalism.
For the first time I attended a CRB meeting, citizens were allowed speak to each action time, as well as during closing citizen comments. There were 6 action items, and I spoke to all 6, as well as during closing citizen comments. I told a few stories, including how the CRB came into being via a massive grassroots voter referendum, which passed overwhelmingly against the total resistance of the city government, the police department and the police benevolent union. And that Todd German, the CRB’s first Chairman, had told them about a year ago that they had the right to launch their own investigation, when circumstances demanded they do that, and circumstances certainly demanded they do that in the Charles Eimers case, and thank you for doing it.
Might have been my all-time best legal dog and pony show. My University of Alabama School of Law professors and the US District Judge for whom I clerked might have loved to have been t there. But then, I bet they were there, egging me on :-).
The CRB’s attorney, Robert Cintron,
said he was eager to assist the CRB in preparing its letter to DOJ. After the meeting ended, Robert, who sits on the Citizen Editorial Board, told me he was not happy the Citizen did not have a reporter there. CRB meetings are not video recorded, but only are sound recorded. A shame, because that might have been the most important city government meeting since I arrived in Key West, in late 2000. Probably no might have been.
Also fter the CRB meeting ended, I told the police sergeant, who attends CRB meetings, that I am not against police, we need them. He said he knew that, and we shook hands. I said he does a good job at CRB meeting, and former KW Police Chief Buz Dillon was one of my best friends in Key West. The sergeant looked intrigued. In fact, I said, Bus told me the rest of what had happened about him having Dennis Reeves Cooper arrested, which is what caused Dennis to work so hard to the the CRB created, and eventually got Buz fired, but Dennis never reported that part of what got him arrested, because it didn’t make Dennis entirely the good guy. Maybe some day we can have lunch together, and I tell you the rest of that story, I told the sergeant. He said maybe we could do that. Cooper founded the blue paper, and for many years reported cop stories, often very well, but not so well when he was the arrestee.
The citizen did not report the CRB meeting today, nor the 2nd CBS report. However, I did get a Facebook friend request yesterday, from the Citizen’s publisher, Paul Clarin :-). Maybe he, too, needs to know there is someone more insane than he is :-).
I bet Yaniz
is quatro tickled pink looking forward to seeing tomorrow’s blue paper report on the CRB meeting.
And I bet Yaniz is seis ticked pink
about this in yesterday’s Keynoter (www.keysnet.com):
Judge: Key West cops must respond to allegations they lied
BY ANTHONY CAVE
email@example.com December 17, 2014
Eight Key West police officers and the city must respond by Dec. 23 to attorneys for a man who died in police custody who allege the officers perjured themselves.
Police pulled Charles Eimers, 61, of Birch Run, Mich., over in his PT Cruiser at a North Roosevelt Boulevard traffic stop on Thanksgiving 2013. He later fled and led officers on a chase to South Beach, where he got out of the car and lay down on the sand before being taken into police custody. He died that Dec. 4 at Lower Keys Medical Center.
In a federal lawsuit against 10 police officers and the city, his family alleges wrongful death.
Monday in Key West, U.S. Magistrate Jonathan Goodman ruled the officers and city must respond to the attorneys’ claims the officers not only perjured themselves in depositions, but also destroyed evidence.
Besides the Dec. 23 response deadline, Goodman ruled that an in-person hearing will be held Jan. 12 at 10 a.m. at the federal courthouse in Miami to discuss the responses. The Eimers family attorneys have until Jan. 6 to file a response of their own.
According to claims in the most recent court documents, Officer Gary Lee Lovette, was recorded on his Taser saying, among other things, “We killed him so you don’t have to worry about it.” The Eimers attorneys also claim Officer Gabriel Garrido was recorded on Lovette’s same Taser saying “let’s get together and work that s–t out.”
“Plaintiff claims that this language illustrates a de facto conspiracy by the defendant police officers to manipulate the evidence and distort the truth,” the judge wrote.
Eimers family attorney Darren Horan said it’s clear the officers’ testimony is false based on the evidence.
Officers Matthew Johnson and Derek Wallis also are being sued for wrongful death.
And I bet Yaniz is seite tickled pink
about this in yesterday’s Citizen (www.keysnews.com):
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Keep us safe, but use a measure of decency
Our nation is currently in tumult over several episodes of lethal outcomes when police officers killed unarmed men. Sadly, Key West experienced a similar episode a year ago when a police pursuit and takedown resulted in the death of Charles Eimers.
In the investigations that followed that incident, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement found that officers acted appropriately, and a grand jury did not indict the involved officers. Thus with regard to the laws of the land, the police officers involved were not culpable and not charged with wrongdoing.
An internal police report released this month — more than a year after the incident on Nov. 28, 2013 — paints a sad picture of police procedure and noncompliance.
• Two officers chased Eimers in their police cars when ordered not to do so.
• Several other officers joined in the pursuit, at a high speed without their lights on, violating departmental policy and potentially endangering the public.
• The officers did not follow departmental policy with regard to video recording, turning their equipment off. Some body microphones were working and some were not.
• One officer ran with a drawn gun; another armed himself with a rifle.
• When another call came and six officers left the scene, it has been acknowledged there was no effective scene management.
• One detective did not keep in contact with Lower Keys Medical Center staff in regard to Eimer’s condition, and learned six days after the fact that Eimers had died on Dec. 10, 2013, never having regained consciousness after the takedown.
All this for one confused, middle-aged man who had been driving erratically.
The release of the internal report coincided with news of a five-day suspension without pay for Officer Gary Lee Lovette, who made many unprofessional comments and disobeyed an order not to chase Eimers.
This modest discipline just means that our police officers probably have little fear of discipline when they do not follow departmental policy, or when they use excessive force in the course of their duties.
Police Chief Donie Lee should make a concerted effort to keep the public updated on the training initiatives that were promised as part of the internal report. And he should make a commitment to the citizens that his officers will be expected in the future to follow department policies and orders.
We know that many police officers in Key West are intelligent, competent and committed to community policing and keeping us safe. And many of them are probably bothered by the black eye that the Charles Eimers incident has given the department.
We do not argue with the statutory protection given our police officers by the state and department. We understand that frequently they find themselves at risk in potentially dangerous situations on our behalf. But we do expect them to be trained well enough to obey orders, to exercise judgment, and to be compassionate when dealing with our visitors and citizens.
— The Citizen
Furthermore, this ex-lawyer on the lam from Alabam sayeth naught today, except perhaps I should at least mention that, in a nap dream yesterday, before I spoke with Todd German about the Key West energy vortex, he turned into a massive whirlwind of energy, which tore off to engage stuff I could not see.