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Yesterday afternoon, a fellow I do some business with in Key West told me of recently being shaken down by Key West police, who took a good bit of money out of his business’ cash register and would not give it back. I told him to go to last night’s city commission meeting and, during closing citizen comments, tell that to the mayor, city commissioners and city attorney. I said I would speak to them about it, too.
I went home, took a nap, had aggressive dreams telling me to stay out of that situation, but no reason as to why. I awoke, called my friend, told him what I’d dreamt, it didn’t seem to be against him, but I would not speak for him at the city commission meeting. He said okay, he would be there to speak anyway.
Then, I received this email forward from Tom Milone, who is a member of the Citizens Police Review Board:
Begin forwarded message:
From: Citizens Review Board <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: May 20, 2014 at 3:52:47 PM EDT
To: CRB members
Subject: Fwd: RE: Eimers v. City of Key West, et.al.
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: “Darren M. Horan” <Darren@horan-wallace.com>
Date: May 20, 2014 3:06 PM
Subject: RE: Eimers v. City of Key West, et.al.
To: “Citizens Review Board” <email@example.com>
Cc: “Darren M. Horan” <Darren@horan-wallace.com>, “David P. Horan” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Just the night before, I had dressed the CRB down, as reported in yesterday’s citizens review board and homeless proceedings – Key West, mostly post at this website. Horan & Wallace represent the Eimers family in a civil rights lawsuit filed in federal court against the City of Key West, 13 city police officers, et. al. I now knew I was supposed to speak to that during citizen comments, and that’s why I had dreamt about not speaking about my friend’s situation. I biked to by my friend’s place of business and told him about the dream, and what I would speak to during citizen comments. Then, I headed to Old City Hall.
There wasn’t much on the agenda last night.
The invocation was given by the KWPD’s chaplain, who asked that the city leaders be guided by God.
Key West High School’s stellar baseball team, second in the state this year, was honored and yesterday was declared Key West High School Baseball Day.
David Lybrand was presented with an award for trying to help the city go green. He had recently resigned from the city’s sustainability committee, after the City Commission had voted to return to two days a week garbage pick up. David basically said to stick the award where the sun didn’t shine, but he did not say it that way. He simply said the city needed to go back to one day a week trash pick up, which the City Commission had learned increased recycling by city residents.
The commission meeting moved quickly toward ending. It was time for closing citizen comments. My business friend was not there. He may have come later, to find the meeting was over. Sitting beside Tom Milone, I said, “Pray for me,” as I left my seat to go to the speaker’s station. I had struggled with what I would say. Influenced by David Lybrand’s deft move, and by my fear of acting like a fanatic, I decided to tone down what I had been rehearsing, which was:
“As God’s witness, in God’s court, I charge you, Mayor Cates and the city commissioners, with the murder of Charles Eimers, because you set the aggressive tone for city police dealing with homeless people; and because, after your police killed Eimers, and you saw them trying to cover it up, you said nothing publicly, no expression of remorse, no apology to the Eimers family, and by your silence you approved his murder.”
Here’s my best recollection of what I said instead:
“This afternoon I received an email forward from Tom Milone, which contained an email from David Paul Horan saying CBS will cover the death of Charles Eimers last Thanksgiving Day between 7 and 9 a.m. tomorrow morning, nationally. Eimers was suspected by city police of being homeless, which he was not. Some time ago, at a city commission meeting, I told you that Eimers’ death was the direct consequence of the city’s homeless policy, which you set, whereby city police are to make homeless people as miserable as possible, hoping to get them to leave this area. CBS got into this case because of the blue paper, Key West the Newspaper. But for the blue paper and a bystander’s cell phone video, which totally contracted the police department’s version of what happened on South Beach last Thanksgiving, the death of Charles Eimers would have passed silently into the night. You know you have a terrible problem in your police department. Yet, as far as I know, you have not publicly expressed remorse for what happened to Charles Eimers’ on South Beach last Thanksgiving Day. You have not apologized to the Eimer’s family. That is outrageous. It is unconscionable. I think you should resign.”
I stopped speaking, went back to my seat. During their ensuing closing comments, the mayor and city commissioners said nothing about the Eimers case. The mayor ended the meeting. Walking out the front doors, I told Tom Milone, “I hate my job.” I felt awful. I thought:
Actually I am fond of the mayor and commissioners, but they have done something terrible. Maybe I chickened out, maybe I should have ended my remarks with:
“Meanwhile, as God’s witness, in God’s court, I charge you, Mayor Cates and the city commissioners, with the murder of Charles Eimers, because you set the aggressive tone for city police dealing with homeless people; and because, after your police killed Eimers, and you saw them trying to cover it up, you said nothing publicly, no expression of remorse, no apology to the Eimers family, and by your silence you approved his murder.”
And maybe I also should have tossed in, “Next time you give out a city award, give it to Naja and Arnaud Girard,
who publish the blue paper, for stopping you and your police from getting clean away with it. And, make Thanksgiving Day the Charles Eimers Day for the City of Key West.”
The Citizen’s report today on last night’s commission meeting makes no mention of the blue paper or what I said during citizen comments last night. Nor does the Citizen’s article on the CBS program today, which looks like it was written by the KWPD’s public relations department:
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 Add to FacebookAdd to Twitter
‘CBS This Morning’ reports on Eimers’ death
Police chief interviewed
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff
A national television news network is set to air a story this morning on Charles Eimers, 61, who died in a hospital Dec. 4, six days after Key West police officers held him facedown in the sand during an arrest.
CBS This Morning airs from 7 to 9 a.m. A Miami-based producer did not return a telephone call by presstime requesting a comment or time of airing.
Key West Police Chief Donie Lee was interviewed about Eimers’ death, which is under review by the state, marking the first time national television has reported on the case, said city spokeswoman Alyson Crean.
A news crew was in Key West the week of April 28.
The Eimers family sued the city in federal court April 11 for wrongful death, accusing 13 police officers of killing the man who was originally stopped on Thanksgiving morning over an illegal lane change on North Roosevelt Boulevard.
Before the officer had concluded the traffic stop, Eimers reportedly drove off in his P.T. Cruiser, leading police on a slow-speed chase through Old Town that ended on the beach where Duval Street ends.
A bystander’s smart phone video shows Eimers raising his hands in the air and dropping to his knees as police officers close in on him at the beach.
But during the handcuffing of Eimers, who was facedown on the ground, he turned blue. Officers immediately turned him over and began life-saving measures, police reports state.
Paramedics said Eimers had no pulse when they reached the scene, but Lower Keys Medical Center staff revived him in the emergency room.
Eimers remained on a ventilator until he died Dec. 4.
The Florida Law Enforcement Department is investigating the in-custody death, which has kept the medical examiner’s final autopsy report — and opinion on cause of death — sealed.
Treavor Eimers of Michigan is Eimers’ oldest son and the lead plaintiff in the family’s lawsuit, filed by Key West attorney David Paul Horan.
The family’s suit names 13 Key West police officers, who the city’s attorneys claimed in court papers last week did not violate Eimers’ constitutional rights.
Even if they did, the motion to dismiss states, police officers are entitled to “qualified immunity,” a legal protection meant to prevent police from harassment or threats of lawsuits for simply doing their jobs.
Here’s a link to the most recent blue paper article, which contains links to the bystander’s video and all prior blue paper articles on the murder of Charles Eimers last Thanksgiving Day: The Eimers Investigation: Did They Lose The Book? Arnaud Girard did the “cartoons”.
I dunno, maybe if I were not a mayor candidate this year, maybe if I were just a private citizen, I would not have toned it down last night. Nothing good can be said of politicians. Nor of cowards. Nothing.