Happy Tax Day, Key West – continuing efforts to get to the bottom of what all really happened in the Happy Thanksgiving, Charles Eimers, sorry you had to die because you were suspected of being homeless story; and Key West the Newspaper Publisher Dennis Reeves Cooper arrest flashback to unreported intrigue surrounding Judge Wayne Miller, who signed the arrest warrant, not getting raked over the coals by Dennis and other local newspapers and the national media, as did happen to then KW Police Chief Gordon “Buz” Dillon, who, with Judge Miller’s approval, had Dennis arrested for reporting on an ongoing Internal Affairs investigation Dennis had initiated with a complaint against KWPD officers

The Shadow knows

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Don Emilio, formerly a vicious part-time van dweller in Key West, when he was on vacation from Sicily, replied to yesterday’s Happy Valentine’s, Key West PD: it seems if your poor maligned police officers take the 5th in the Charles Eimers wrongful death civil rights lawsuit recently filed against those officers and the City of Key West, that’s about the same as those officers and the city testifying that they killed Charles Eimers post at www.goodmorningkeywest.com:

Thank you Sloan. For saying out loud what everyone is thinking.
Emilio

Hatman

The colorful Hatman, recently of Key West, another vicious van dweller criminal already missed by many, replied to yesterday’s post:

morning Sloan. I guess I left just in time to miss all the KWPD sweating. DAMN.
chief Lee said aspersions were cast upon the reputations of the officers involved. I think we all know the answer to the question: would Mr. Eimers rather have aspersions cast on him or 4 KWPD goons? What the KWPD goons did to Mr. Eimers was a HUGE amount more than merely being sullied. And remember, the KWPD is ingrained in the art of LYING about anything and everything; no one should EVER believe a KWPD officer would tell the truth about anything !!!!

Rodd, formerly the Key West Hatman

Then came a copy of an email from Rodd to Key West Police Chief Donnie Lee:

Donie Lee

Subject: You should be fired

you are totally incompetent and a disgrace to humans everywhere. You know your officers lied about Mr. Eimers because you know they lie about anything and everything. I cannot count how many times they lied in court, or in documents, in cases involving me and it seems every time it was always whitewashed. “Oh no, they didn’t lie”. When you say that, you are continuing the charade of the KWPD not lying.

Rodd, formerly the Key West Hatman

Popeye

Kurt Wagner wrote this morning, before seeing today’s taxings, which I wuz still working on when his arrived:

Mornin’ Sloan, Now that Hatman was run out of town, I might be on the KWPD’s most wanted/hated list. At least they never caught me. (yet) They will get their chance someday. I’ll have to find a pic to send to you. Kurt

Among others, Rodd and Kurt might find interesting my half of an email exchange started last Saturday by an unknown correspondent,

The Shadow

who began his/hers with, “This is confidential”, which is why you only get to read my side of the email exchanges – considerably more Charles Eimers karma fun follows this fun flashback:

Feather Talk

My first reply:

[Police Chief] Buz Dillon manned up to me about having messed up having Dennis Cooper arrested. Buz knew about the First Amendment, but his anger took control. I figured there probably was even more of a back story. You come to expect that after practicing law a little while, and probably after just living a little while.

I had my own experience with Cooper reporting only part of a story about something which had passed between him and me, the other part of the sorty would not have made him pretty. So, after he declined to print my reply to what he had written about me, including my caveat that I would publish the whole story, if he did not print my reply, I published the whole story to my email contacts. That was before I had websites.

After that, Dennis had no use for me.

When I ran for mayor the first time, 2003, a friend of mine said he was a friend of Dennis’, too, and I should go see him, he would back me for mayor. I told the friend he was mistaken, Dennis would not care to see me. The friend kept pushing, I kept resisting. I told him the story above. The friend kept pushing, he just knew Dennis would be happy to see me. So I said, okay, I will drop by to see Dennis.

I went to Dennis’ newspaper’s office off of Fleming Street, knocked on the door. Dennis opened it, saw me, said, “You fuck! Get the hell out of here, I’m calling the police!” I left, but shortly thereafter wondered if I had lost my mind? Why didn’t I stay there and see if the police actually came, and if they did, if they did anything?

When I reported all of that to Dennis’ and my mutual friend, the fellow was dumbfounded, couldn’t understand. I told him he did not know Dennis very well. Dennis’ then girlfriend told me she was trying to heal him. I didn’t say I thought that was an odd reason to be his boyfriend. She eventually moved away, and he was pretty tore up over it. I think he moved to where she was for a while, but eventually he came back to KW.

As more time passed, I noticed Dennis didn’t cover very well, if at all, anything that was personal to him, or about people he was close to. Selective reporting, I suppose it could have been called. The angels who run me, though, said Dennis was stalked by Officer Sanchez, who arrested Dennis for D.U.I., for which Dennis was convicted. It may have been that Cooper was driving under the influence. Maybe that was a weird karma for his getting off after he ran his car into a palm tree, or was it a fire hydrant, and he got home before the police caught up with him, and not having seen him driving the car, they could not arrest him for D.U.I.

Whatever, I will try to obtain the arrest report, and will drop by the police HQ tomorrow and set that in motion. Perhaps, however, the real story is not so much that Dennis protected this careerist, but assuming the careerist was a police officer, sworn to protect and serve, honor the laws of the land: (a) signed the warrant for Cooper’s arrest; and (b) then wanted to be protected, but from what? If his name was on the arrest warrant, he was in plain view anyway. That’s a bit confusing to me.

As is a bit confusing, you made no comment about the Eimers’ case, which is on the front burner right now and appears to concern 13 KWPD officers obstructing justice, among other things.

As is a bit confusing, making yours to me confidential. I suppose you feel you have good reason for that, like. I suppose the careerist, who signed the arrest warrant for Dennis’s arrest, felt he had good reason to kept out of what Dennis reported.

My second reply:

I was thinking yesterday was Sunday when I replied to you, will try to get a copy of the arrest warrant tomorrow.

I suppose, then, the careerist was/is a local judge, or perhaps a past State Attorney. Don’t know why that didn’t occur to me yesterday. If so, it’s hard to imagine how that didn’t get hashed out in the local and national press back then, even if Dennis Cooper didn’t go after it. It’s hard to imagine, if the careerist’s signature was on the arrest warrant.

As Dennis was fond of saying, stay tuned.

As I recall, journalism as a contact sport was the title of what I wrote, which so upset Dennis. [Dennis’ mantra for Key West the Newspaper was, “Journalism as a contact sport”.

You have pricked my interest. Am looking forward to seeing who and where this goes.

My third reply:

I was sent by the KWPD to the Clerk of the Courts because the file was so old. I now have a copy of the arrest warrant. The signature was scrawled, but the file clerk, who said she had worked there over 30 years, said it was Judge Wayne Miller’s signature, she knew it well.

Judge Miller

A KW friend in the know told me this afternoon that he’d heard somewhere that Judge Miller had said they had slipped the warrant by him. Hard to swallow, given the considerable details in the warrant, what Cooper was being arrested for, publishing it in Key West the Newspaper. Judge Miller knew who the defendant was. Hard to imagine Miller didn’t get called out on it. He would have, if I had been in Key West then. I was in Helen, Georgia from late April to right after 9/11 that year. Totally out of the KW loop. Then, I spent most of the rest of that year in Birmingham, and again in Helen, still out of the KW loop. I think I first heard about Cooper’s arrest when I returned to KW in early September 2002, and the big drive to get the CRB created was underway, Cooper leading that charge. That’s when I met him, joined that crusade in a less visible way mostly. After the referendum passed, it came to me one day to get out of the formation of the CRB because I was pretty prejudiced against the KWPD, and it didn’t feel right to me to participate in influencing who ended up on the first CRB. By then, Buz Dillon and I were starting to get to know each other. I told Dennis in a pre-CRB formation meeting in Old City Hall that I was pulling out, and why, and that he should pull out for the same reason, he was too biased against the KWPD to participate in choosing the first CRB members. I said he’d done a great job getting the referendum passed, but he should let others take if from there, and I left the meeting. Dennis chased me out of the meeting giving me hell. Then he wrote about it, telling only half of what had passed between us, the part that made me look the way Dennis wanted me to look. That’s when I emailed him and told him he owned me a fair reply in KWTN, which he would publish verbatim, or I would publish the whole story myself. I heard nothing back. So I published the whole story, and it really pissed him off. I heard that email of mine went viral in City Hall, Bob Tshenkle (spelling?), the city attorney, told me they really liked what I had written about Dennis. As time passed, I wrote stuff they didn’t really like. The tides keep going in and out, in an out.

Right now, it’s looking like I will publish the arrest warrant stuff tomorrow, subject to it being tweaked or overridden in dreams tonight.

My fourth reply:

I have no idea how Judge Miller kept his name out of the other local press and the national news stories. You have explained why Cooper did not rake Judge Miller over the coals, but the details of what passed between them are missing and perhaps known only to the two of them. I wish you had not made this confidential, because your and my emails tell the drama pretty well, and also my own history with Cooper. I’m now going to try to put something together for today’s rummage sale – it’s tax day, in my spirit code, taxes represent karma, debt. It occurred to me to dedicate today’s on Judge Miller and Dennis Cooper to Hatman, who recently left the Keys in the after shock of his van-dwelling trial before Judge Miller, which Key West the Newspaper did not see in the way I saw it.

——————————————-

All of the above was prompted what I wrote in last Saturday’s God’s angels, et. al., file suit in Federal Court against 12 Key West police officers and the City of Key West for the wrongful death of Charles Eimers on South Beach last Thanksgiving Day, after he was profiled by police officers as being homeless – he wasn’t homeless but died because the police thought he was post at www.goodomorningkeywest.com:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~You may or may not know that Police Chief Gordon “Buz” Dillion and I became good friends, which he initiated after hearing me speak to the city commission about homeless people. Buz was frank, he did not like his police officers being used to enforce KW’s homeless policy. He felt his officers should be doing the police work for which they were trained. He got very upset over some of his officers going cowboy and, for sport, making homeless people’s lives unnecessarily harder than they already were. Buz had prayer meetings with Jesus with those cowboy cops, reined them in. He kept me in the loop, informed what he was doing in that regard.

~We had lunch maybe once a month and talked about a variety of things you’d never read about in the Key West Citizen. Buz told me what had really happened between him and Dennis Reeves Cooper. Buz had gotten fed up with how the Citizen and the Keynoter were reporting cop shop news, so he started feeding all cop shop stuff to Dennis to air in Key West the Newspaper. They were buddies, in a conspiracy to cut out the Citizen and the Keynoter. Buz said, alas, Dennis got wind of an Internal Affairs investigation and reported on it in Key West the Newspaper without taking with Bus about it. Bus said that really pissed him off, he felt betrayed, and he had Dennis arrested and jailed. In hindsight, a dumb thing to do, Buz told me of jailing Dennis, but that was what really had happened.

~That eventually led to City Manager Julio Avael asking for Buz’s resignation, as Avael was getting pressure from many quarters, including Dennis Cooper.. Buz and I had lunch about that time, he was all out of sorts, not behaving like the Buz I knew. I finally asked him what was going on? He said he would tell me after lunch, while we were driving around Key West. I said okay.

~So, while we drove along South Roosevelt Boulevard toward North Roosevelt, Buz said friends were telling him to fight it, he might be able to keep his job. But, Buz said, he had told Julio when Julio had hired him, that if Julio ever wanted his badge, all he had to do was ask for it, he did not have to do a hatchet job to get rid of him. I said a man’s word is his bond. Buz agreed. I said it looked to me he needed to keep his word. Buz said he agreed, and he said suddenly he felt like himself again, he was not going to fight it. And Buz did not fight it, and he got a nice severance package and moved to the south Florida mainland with his family after receiving a nice send off and rifle salute from his troops in his honor.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Naja

Naja Girard, co-publisher of Key West the Newspaper in its most recent incarnation (Dennis Reeves Cooper no long involved except as a contributing writer), wrote to me about the taking the 5th in the Charles Eimers case part of yesterday’s Happy Valentine’s, Key West PD: it seems if your poor maligned police officers take the 5th in the Charles Eimers wrongful death civil rights lawsuit recently filed against those officers and the City of Key West, that’s about the same as those officers and the city testifying that they killed Charles Eimers post at www.goodmorningkeywest.com:

Hi Sloan,
We don’t know whether whether or not, when interviewed by FDLE, the officers plead the fifth or gave a full interview – they may very well have given testimony – just wanted to point that out.
Naja

I replied:

Thanks, I know that, and maybe we’ll find out sooner or later what the officers told FDLE, and which officer told what to whom.

I’m sitting on something new, which could be nuclear.

Something happened the other day to cause me to want to see the arrest warrant whereby Dennis Reeves Cooper was arrested by Buz Dillon, and to look at who signed the arrest warrant. I have a copy of the arrest warrant in front of me, which the criminal court files clerk in the Clerk of Court’s office made for me this morning. She said she had worked there over 30 years and she knew the signature on the arrest warrant, the signature was scrawled, was Judge Wayne Miller’s signature.

The arrest warrant was based on F.S.S 112.533 (3), violation of which is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Quoting from a Florida Attorney General’s Opinion:

Section 112.533(3), Florida Statutes, permits a chief of police to discuss with and disclose to the city manager information obtained in an active internal investigation of a law enforcement officer, if the policy of the local law enforcement agency conducting the internal investigation authorizes such disclosure. However, any individual who receives information obtained as a result of the investigation would be bound by the confidentiality provisions contained in section 112.533, Florida Statutes.

My read is the Statute applies to people working inside the police department and to the city manager and people working under him/her. The statute does not apply to someone outside of that container, who somehow gets wind of an IA investigation.

It is alleged in the warrant, I put it into italics, any typos, omissions, my own inadvertence:

“On June 7, 2001, the Key West Police Department , Office of Chief Gordon A. Dillon, received a fax copy of a letter written to Chief Dillon from Mr. Rod Caswell for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement from the defendant, Dennis Reevs Cooper. This faxed letter conatined information concerning a complaint filed by the defendant against Inspector Robert A Christensen, and active police officer, in good standing, with the Key West Police Department.

“The defendant filed a formal complaint with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, dated May 29 (I think, the last number is covered with marked “COPY” black ink added by the file clerk), 2001, against Inspector Christensen stating that Inspector Christensen falsified information in an August 21, 1997 correspondence to Mr. Leon Lowry of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Bureau of Standars and Training. The defendant was sent a copy of the correspondence sent to Chief Dillon by F.D.L.E. requiring a response to the investigation within 45 days of the date of the letter.

“Having full knowledge that the incident is currently and actively under investigation by Chief Dillon, the defendant released to the public, by way of publication, The Key West Newspaper, on two separate occasions dated June 15 and June 22, 2001, specific information concerning the investigation. The two articles discuss aspects of the investigation in detail and reveal the name and names of the accused officers. The article further outline specific events that could substantially jeopardize the success and completion of the active investigation.”

The warrant was signed 22 day of June, 2001. Bond ROR (own recognizance), scrawled signature over JUDGE, CIRCUIT/COUNTY COURT IN AND FOR MONROE COUNTY, FLORIDA

I recall hearing Judge Miller tell Hatman during his fairly recent trial that he, Judge Miller, was a pretty smart fellow. If Judge Miller was so smart, if he knew about the First Amendment and the acute protection it gives journalists, then why did Judge Miller sign the arrest warrant against Cooper?

My next questions are, did Judge Miller also get raked over the coals by Cooper in KWTN, and by the other local and the national media, and by the Florida Judiciary? Or was only Chief Dillon raked over the coals? I was in Helen, Georgia that summer, and knew nothing of the arrest of Cooper until quite a while later.

I’m not telling all that happened, which caused me to get a copy of the arrest warrant.

I am now trying to get a sense of out what to do with this.

Share the above with Dennis Cooper and Judge Miller, and let them respond, or not?

Publish it, and invite them to respond, or not?

In my line of work, no response is the same as taking the 5th, which is admission of the allegations.

Which wends back to what I published today from Tim Gratz. Regardless of what the cops told FDLE, after the lawsuit was filed by the Eimers family, it was time to go into what might happen if cops in the Eimers case take the 5th during the civil litigation, and how that might work against the city.

The litigation filed, I suppose the Emiers family’s trial lawyer can start deposing the cops, regardless of the FDLE investigation? Unless those depositions are sealed by the judge who got the case from the computer, I imagine the depositions are public record? Unless there is a state law saying the depositions, or the publishing of them, has to wait the conclusion of FDLE’s investigation?

That is all interesting, but right now, in this moment, I want to find out if Judge Miller got as much raking over the coals as Chief Dillon got over the arrest of Dennis Cooper, and if not, why not?

I was told why not, by the way, but it was in confidence and there may be no way to prove it unless it comes from Judge Miller or Dennis Cooper.

Stay tuned.

Sloan

P.S. Another question I’ve had for some time is, why Dennis Cooper never seemed inclined, as far as I could tell, to go after the KWPD over the way its cowboy cops roughed up homeless people? Dennis went after the KWPD for lots of what he perceived to be conduct unbecoming, but not when homeless people were involved. Or did I miss something?

tom-milone.jpg

Tom Milone also replied to the Charles Eimers family lawsuit part of yesterday’s post:

Hey,

The Eimers lawsuit was filed in Federal District Court and is assigned to Judge Jose Martinez.

Tom

In a prior life, Tom was a court clerk for a judge in Pennsylvania – I replied:

Did I say it was filed in state court? If so, Arghh!!! and thanks, too many things on my plate right now.

I learned today that Judge Miller signed the arrest warrant to pick up Dennis Reeves Cooper back in 2001, for Dennis publishing about an IA investigation. I have the arrest warrant in front of me. I was in Helen, Georgia that summer, learned about the matter some time later. Do you know if Judge Miller ever got raked over the coals for signing that arrest warrant? The warrant is pretty detailed, what Dennis did to justify being arrested. If Dennis was protected by the First Amendment, you’d think a circuit judge would know that? You’d think a circuit judge would not sign the warrant? You’d think a circuit judge who signed the warrant would never hear the end of it from Dennis, the other newspapers, the national newspapers? What do you recall? Thanks

Tom wrote:

I don’t recall Judge Miller being criticized in any way for signing the arrest warrant.

To this day, I don’t understand why Judge Miller signed the warrant. It is my understanding that the statute that Dennis was alleged to have violated was declared unconstitutional prior to Judge Miller signing the warrant.

Tim Gratz

Also yesterday, relevant Charles Eimers case excerpts from email back and forth with ex-mainland lawyer Tim Gratz , the attachment in his is not included below:

See last par on 5
US Supreme Court says adverse inferences can be drawn
But see the police case on page 6
I would just leave this issue alone for now
I have had an adverse dealing with Officer Delvalle who was one of the officers on the beach but will only discuss it with you on a confidential basis

Tim

I replied:

As I read bottom of page 5 and top of page 6, US Supreme Court cases have said taking the 5th alone cannot be sufficient for guilty verdict in civil litigation, there has to be more evidence to go with the taking of the 5th, to support guilty verdict in civil litigation.

That is contrary to what you wrote to me yesterday. I suppose I will have to publish a correction tomorrow, which is not a thrilling thought, given the acute gravity of what I’m publishing and the need to be dead on target when I open my mouth.

I can’t promise confidential on your interaction with the KWPD officer, not knowing what you might tell me. If it has no bearing on the Eimers case, or with the public welfare, what’s the point of me knowing about it, if you want a lid kept on it? If it bears on the Eimers case, or on the public welfare, why would you want a lid kept on it?

I am wrestling with that very problem in something someone else told me the other day, in confidence, without asking me how I felt about it being in confidence before I opened the email saying it was in confidence, before opening a pandorian box of potentially epic proportions in Key West.

Tim wrote:

Sloan, hold off. No correction is needed. Here is the “bottom line” of the Baker case:

(Quoting) Our conclusion is consistent with the prevailing rule that the Fifth Amendment does not forbid adverse inferences against parties to civil actions when they refuse to testify in response to probative evidence offered against them: the Amendment “does not preclude the inference where the privilege is claimed by a party to a civil cause.” 8 J. Wigmore, Evidence 439 (McNaughton rev.1961).

Yes, it does state that some probative evidence must first be offered against them but when that happens and a party takes the Fifth in a civil proceeding adverse inferences can be drawn against them. I am sure Horan has enough to get past that threshold.
More research will follow shortly.
Thanks

I replied:

I agree, Horan has other evidence to lop onto any taking of the 5th. I’d hate to be the defense attorney and my defendant client in a damage suit takes the 5th – no way the jury is not affected by that. Especially, no way a Federal Court jury.

Tim wrote:

It would appear that I did overstate the rule at least a bit. A jury can be instructed to draw a negative inference from a party who invokes the Fifth in a civil case but there must be some other evidence as well. But perhaps you put it well this morning when you mentioned the res ipsa loquitur doctrine: that Eimers died in police custody standing in itself indicates that something went wrong unless the officers can offer a different theory.
If Atty Horan can get enough other evidence in then if a police officer takes the Fifth Amendment and the judge instructs the jury on the permission of an adverse inference that should be enough to establish liability. Of course ultimately either the trial court or appellate court will decide if the other evidence was sufficient.
Again I have confidence that Attorney Horan and his team of lawyers would be able to formulate a case where if a defendant refuses to testify that refusal will be the final “nail in the coffin” so to speak, provided a judge rules that the other evidence adduced was sufficient.
Caveat: ASs Chief Lee wrote to the Citizen, I do not want to prematurely judge the case against the police officers on the issue of whether they in fact caused Mr. Eimers death until all the evidence is in but it certainly seems clear from the video that officers did make misstatements about Eimers resisting arrest. And that in itself is very serious.

I replied:

It is so serious that it just might be a felony, as I understand that the officers made the same statements to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement before the officers knew of the video, which made them out to be liars on that slightly huge point.

If they lied about that, what else did they lie about? I always ask that question, if only in my thoughts, when I know someone has lied about something important.

I think I recall hearing that one of the officers, female, told a different story in her incident report, which did not agree with the other officers’ version.

Now remains to be seen, will her incident report and the other officers’ incident reports survive FDLE’s investigation? Or will we be hearing some day, “Gosh, we don’t know what happened to those incident reports?”

The bystander’s video of Charles Eimer’s being apprehended by several KWPD officers with guns drawn has to be making FDLE’s life miserable-squared. But for the video, the KWDP would have gotten clean away with it.

Sloan

Tim replied:

I agree with you that it was the Angels that caused the incident to be visually recorded.
I also agree with you that the lies and cover up are serious indeed.
What depresses me is that apparently all twelve officers were willing to go along with the lies.
If I was FDLE I would offer complete immunity to the first officer to come forward with the complete truth.
Best
Tim

Here’s a link to Key West the Newspaper’s (www.thebluepaper.com) most recent Eimers case article, which contains the video and a link to all prior KWTN Eimers case articles:

Anatomy of a Cover-Up

Eimvers cover up cartoon

BY ARNAUD GIRARD

Arnaud Girard

Arnaud told me that he has known one of the KWPD officers, who were on South Beach taking down Charles Eimers, since the officer was a little boy; they are close, the case is tearing Arnaud up to report, but, he said, it has to be reported. I said welcome to my world, I seldom get anything to cover, which I want to report. I said, what is important in the Eimers case is not what damages the the Eimers family might or might not recover from the police officers and the City of Key West; what is important is that what really happened is told. Arnaud nodded, somberly.

But for Arnaud and Naja, and the bystander’s video, there would have been no chance for what really happened being told. More is coming, Arnaud said, somberly. He, too, sees Charles Eimers suspected of being homeless is why Charles is no longer among the living.

Stay tuned.

Sloan Bashinsky
keysmyhome@hotmail.com

Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West

There is a different fun post today at www.goodmorningkeywest.com, which you should be able to reach by clicking on this link: Big Pine Key and below – area of super critical concern in grinder pump war

 

About Sloan

Darn, that would take a while. Try the autobiographical pages in the header. Ditto for header menu pages at www.goodmorningbirmingham.com. Hatched and raised there, eventually I ran away from home. Here's a short list: Born 1942; male; single; accused of all sorts of imaginable and unimaginable things, perhaps some true. Live on Key West of Weird asteroid. Publish something most days on this website, been at that since July 2007. That's heaps of catch-up reading, probably not recommended.
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