That article contains links to the two prior articles and the video shot by a bystander, which video, for the first time I’m aware of, is reported in the Citizen today. After the blue paper’s first article was published three Fridays ago, the Citizen and the Keynoter reported on this case. I understand from the blue newspaper’s publishers, Naja and Arnaud Girard, that more blue paper coverage of this tragedy is coming, and more is not pretty. They did not elaborate.
It could take a month or longer for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to deliver its findings on the in-custody death of Charles Eimers, who turned blue after being held facedown in the sand by Key West police officers during an arrest Thanksgiving morning.
Eimers, 61, a Michigan native, died Dec. 4 at Lower Keys Medical Center, having lost consciousness while being subdued by four officers, who all said he was resisting arrest after leading police on a car chase from New Town to South Beach.
Police have described Eimers as having had heart problems in the past, but no cause of death has been determined yet by County Medical Examiner Dr. E. Hunt Scheuerman.
FDLE’s investigation of Eimers’ death is an automatic review that does not indicate any wrongdoing, Police Chief Donie Lee said.
“I don’t know what Mr. Eimers died of,” said Lee. “We have nothing to do with the investigation. It’s standard operating procedure. Any in-custody death by KWPD, FDLE will conduct the investigation.”
No autopsy report is ready for release either by Scheuerman, who said this week his office wasn’t notified by police about the Dec. 4 in-custody death until Dec. 11.
An FDLE agent contacted the medical examiner, who requested the body’s transfer to his Marathon office.
“He ended up going to Dean-Lopez Funeral Home,” said Scheuerman of Eimers. “That’s where he was when we were notified of his death by FDLE on Dec. 11.”
That’s when Dean-Lopez delivered the body to Scheuerman’s office.
I heard, not confirmed, one of the officers involved in the incident, last name Dean, is related to the Dean of Dean-Lopez, and works at that funeral home, as well as for KWPD.
Scheuerman said he agreed with FDLE Special Agent Supervisor Kathy Smith that Eimers required an autopsy by his office, and requested the body from the Key West funeral home.
Seems this autopsy is taking a while to be done?
“It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes doctors or hospitals for one reason or another don’t always know what’s going on with law enforcement,” said Scheuerman.
Scheuerman said he did not know how the hospital classified the death. A hospital spokesman has said all patient information is confidential under federal law.
Key West police and the funeral home confirmed Eimers died Dec. 4 at the hospital on Stock Island.
The body spent the next seven days at Dean-Lopez, 418 Simonton St., before Scheuerman called the funeral director.
“Refrigerated but not embalmed,” said Steven Reeves, funeral director at Dean-Lopez, who was the one to pick up Eimers’ body from the hospital Dec. 4. “He was going to do be cremated.”
Dean-Lopez handles all the body removals per contract with the medical examiner’s office, located in Marathon.
By Dec. 11, a doctor had already signed Eimers’ death certificate, putting down “natural causes” as the determination, Reeves said.
How could a cause of death be made without an autopsy?
“He was not aware the man had been in custody, that’s why he went ahead and signed it,” said Reeves. “Anybody that dies in custody — it’s automatically a medical examiner case, even if they’re in prison.”
That doctor later amended Eimers’ death certificate, replacing “natural causes” with the fact that it was a medical examiner’s case, Reeves said.
Good move, Doctor.
Treavor Eimers was in town when his father died, said Reeves.
Police said Charles Eimers had been pulled over on North Roosevelt Boulevard Thanksgiving morning for changing lanes erratically and then took off before the officer had finished running his license.
Eimers steered his silver P.T. Cruiser downtown while patrol cars began tracking him, driving onto the sand at South Beach before stopping and getting out
The South Beach incident baffles the Eimers’ family, who recalled Charles Eimers as a gentle man. The son and a daughter want answers from both the medical examiner’s office and the state police.
Eimers’ son, Treavor, is a certified registered nurse anesthetist, who is questioning the police’s actions that holiday morning.
The younger Eimers alerted a Facebook page called “Policing the Police” about his father’s in-custody death in Key West, attaching a copy of the smart phone video a stranger took that day of a man visibly surrendering on South Beach as officers approach to handcuff him.
The smart phone’s video shows Eimers putting his hands above his head as he drops to his knees. Then one-by-one, officers approach him, covering Eimers’ body from view.
He dropped to his knees and lay face down on the sand in the video, as three officers approached with weapons drawn. A fourth officer arrived. They put their hands on him and he started wiggling and moving his legs and feet fast. One officer walked back to his cruiser. The video ended.
On Dec. 7, the son, without comment, changed the profile picture on his Facebook page to a snapshot of his father. In the photo, Charles Eimers is smiling into the camera. The backdrop is a wide green expanse of lawn and trees. A hammock can be spotted in the corner, along with the blurry image of a child in the distance running.
I added the photo. Good detective work by the Citizen, which apparently only learned of the video when the blue paper’s first article let Key West know what had happened on Thanksgiving Day. Maybe Charles Eimer’s son wanted people to see his father as he remembered him.
State decides if police were wrong
The state reviews in-custody deaths as an independent service.
“We’re looking for criminal intent, if there was any criminal wrongdoing that occurred,” said Samantha Andrews, a spokeswoman at FDLE’s Tallahassee office. “Each case is going to be different.”
FDLE’s job is not to review a police department’s policies.
“We’re not going to investigate policy decisions for agencies,” Andrews said. “Agencies have their own internal affairs units that investigate those types of things.”
FDLE does not comment on active investigations.
In 2013, the agency was asked to review six in-custody deaths across the state, while in 2012 the caseload numbered seven, FDLE said.
None of those cases resulted in criminal prosecution, Andrews said.
Over the past decade, FDLE has reviewed three Key West in-custody deaths, which are now all closed cases.
Those three deaths include Leonardo Hernandez, 44, of Key West, who was found hanging in his cell at the Stock Island jail in March 2012; and Clayton Ayers Link, 26, of Tavernier, who in June 2009 died nine days after deputies found him submerged in a tub at the Stock Island county jail. A Miami-Dade medical examiner ruled the death a seizure-induced drowning.
Once FDLE completes its report on Eimers, agents will present their findings to the state attorney’s office, which decides whether the evidence supports criminal charges.
FDLE in-custody death cases can sometimes take several months, said Carol Frederick, resident agent in charge for the Florida Keys.
To date, the only reports made available are the 11 from Key West police officers who were on the scene and asked to submit individual recollections. Police officers reported Eimers fought them while on the ground. At one point, an officer’s finger was cut by the handcuffs due to Eimers’ flailing, police said.
When several officers noticed Eimers’ face had turned blue, they recalled immediately turning him over and releasing him from handcuffs and a leg strap called a Hobble.
Police also await the FDLE’s final report.
“We’re waiting and we want answers just as bad as everyone else does,” said Police Chief Lee. “Based on what I know so far, I don’t think the officers acted inappropriately. As in any situation like this, once FDLE completes their investigation, we will do an internal affairs investigation to look into what happened.”
Staff writer Adam Linhardt contributed to this report.
Also in the Citizen today:
A Key West police officer who also works as the Key West High School resource officer has been placed on paid, administrative leave pending the outcome of a Florida Department of Law Enforcement criminal investigation, according to Chief Donie Lee.
The allegations against Officer Henry Arroyo Jr. and who levied them are not yet public record because the case is still under investigation, said FDLE Resident Agent in Charge Carol Frederick.
Key West police notified FDLE of the matter within the last 10 days, according to the FDLE.
“We’re in the infancy stages of the investigation and there is not much I can say at this time,” Frederick said Tuesday.
Any Key West police Internal Affairs investigation would occur after the FDLE completes its investigation, Lee said, referring all further questions about the matter to the FDLE.
Arroyo Jr. could not be reached for comment. Messages left for the union that often represents police officers — the Florida Police Benevolent Association — were not returned.
Key West High School Principal Amber Bosco said Tuesday that she was aware that Arroyo Jr. was placed on leave, but was unaware of the specifics regarding the matter.
“I don’t have an in-depth knowledge of the situation,” she said, declining to comment further.
Arroyo Jr. is a decorated officer who worked for city police from Sept. 20, 1999, until April 15, 2011, before returning Dec. 27, 2011, said city of Key West Human Resources Director Samantha Farist.
His current annual salary is $58,131, Farist said.
Arroyo Jr. was awarded the FBI’s exceptional service award for public service in 2000, according to city records. He also has two commendations from the department, as well as 10 letters of appreciation, records state. His only disciplinary note was from a 2011 incident in which he backed a police car into a parked scooter, said Key West police community affairs officer Steve Torrence.
Arroyo Jr. is a native Key Wester and Key West High School graduate. He’s also the cousin of Major League Baseball pitcher Bronson Arroyo.
Is the case for which Officer Arroyo is being investigated confidential? Is this Citizen article the next step in a City of Key West and the KWPD’s public relations attempt at damage control? But for the blue paper, we might not think to ask such questions.
ALL a SCAM !
So what did the “Administration” do…. (or get away with) last week?A&E’s official statement may surprise you..Check it out! –> http://goo.gl/9Cq3AG
Would you call this a WIN for conservatives??
Sloan Bashinsky I should not have been surprised to dream last night about this really long and involved thread. Mi amiga and alleged “French woman” Naja Girard, co-publisher of Key West the Newspaper (www.thebluepaper.com
), came in a dream last night trying to help me get a tractor trailer rig with a really long trailer, all designated #37, turned around and moved through various obstacles, some precarious. I awoke around 5 a.m., pondering that dream.
5 is my spirit code for the feminine. My last comment in this thread ended with how far left I am. Left, also is my spirit code for the feminine. 3 is my spirit code for the Holy Spirit in Christendom, the Divine Feminine generally. 7 is my spirit code for the mark of God on an event. France, or French, is my spirit code for love.
My thoughts then turned to St. Paul’s love passage:
1 Corinthians 13
New International Version (NIV)
13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
My thoughts then turned to Paul’s gifts of the spirit passage just preceding:
1 Corinthians 12
New International Version (NIV)
Concerning Spiritual Gifts
12 Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.
4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.
7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,[a] and to still another the interpretation of tongues.[b] 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.
15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues[d]? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.
And yet I will show you the most excellent way.
Then, my thoughts turned to, What the world needs now, is love, sweet, love.
Then, my thoughts turned to Jesus giving his disciples a Third Commandment, which was for them to love one another as he had loved them.
Looks to me most wars between nations, and most religious arguments, in Western “Civilization” since Jesus’ time were inspired by religious zealotry. The latest being the war between Islam and Christendom/Judaism, which God predicted in Genesis by telling Abraham that Ishmael’s seed would become a great nation and would cause Isaac’s seed trouble. Ishmael’s seed became Islam, Isaac’s seed became Judaism and Christendom.
Religious zealotry, rivalry between those three religions, and between sects within those religions, needs to stop. Love needs to be in charge. I’m tempted to say, Lots of luck. Even so, that’s what needs to happen: love needs to be in charge.
Sloan Bashinsky And, religious zealotry between people, and other unloving behavior, also needs to stop. Between all people, including me. Again, I’m tempted to say, lots of luck, but that’s what needs to happen.However, the angels told me years ago,Love without truth is mush,Truth without love is harsh,Two sides of the same coin,They live together,Or firstname.lastname@example.org