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suspected homeless man Charles Eimers, R.I.P.
Today in Citizen’s Voice - www.keysnews.com:
“The Mayor has complained that the CBS report about the murder of Charles Eimer’s was ‘one-sided.’ Mr. Mayor, it’s only one-sided because the city and police have yet to release any information including the autopsy results. Law Enforcement needs to quickly come clean with the facts.”
“After reading the Citizen this morning and the Mayors comments it is obvious, Key West ‘You can’t handle the truth.’”
From kill-em-softly Kurt Wagner yesterday:
ha, ha -
Did you receive 2 copies of my post today?
I ask, because when I called myself sending it to my email contacts, my copy didn’t come through, and so I sent it again, and again my copy didn’t come through, but later today, both of my copies came through – never saw anything like that before, wondered if that was the angels way of telling me they didn’t like it?
I busted my ass putting that post together, probably had 8 hours in it, counting yesterday’s writing. excluding time hours spent doing the various field researches yesterday with homeless people and prior with Naja and Arnaud.
Hi Sloan, Yep, two copies about ten minutes apart. Kudos for an excellent job on today’s blog, and good advice about doing field research instead of sitting home. Anyone who wants to write about the homeless should be homeless for at least a few weeks. Kurt
Thanks, am surprised, then, that the second email got through, because I have a limit, imposed by Outlook, on the number of emails I can send out each day.
I did not see this article in the Citizen today, until after I’d published today’s post. Below the article is my report of going to St. Paul’s today to hear the pianist.
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
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This ‘piano man’ plays to heal
Plans free ‘meditative’ concert June 25 as debut
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff
When not in use, the Bible-black grand piano that sits inside St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Duval Street is hidden by a dark protective cover that drapes even the keys from view.
The fitted cover is topped with a framed sign that asks visitors to refrain from playing the instrument unless first granted permission by a church leader. Rod Rodriguez, a Texan and longtime drifter who landed in Key West a couple years ago, is one of those who has permission to make the piano sing.
“Like a black stallion,” Rodriguez called the Yamaha on a recent afternoon, as he gently uncovered the piano before opening the top to expose its belly of strings and hammers. “A granddaddy.”
Rodolfo Paz Rodriguez, 49, born in Lubbock, Texas, the youngest of four children raised by a bricklayer father and a protective mother, treats the piano as if it were a fragile figurine.
After all, he said, it’s a 30-year-old dream — and prayer — realized. He says he hasn’t touched a piano in more than 20 years, and it wasn’t for a lack of trying.
Rodriguez, who sleeps at the city’s overnight homeless shelter on Stock Island, plays his own compositions on the piano inside St. Paul’s for about an hour every day, starting at 2 p.m.
“I thank God every day for that little blue mat,” he said, referring to the thin vinyl mattress handed to him nightly at the Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter (KOTS).
“I lived in at least 30 different cities looking for happiness. I couldn’t find it. I got here broke on a Greyhound. I thought I’d have a good job, live on the beach and drive a moped.”
Rodriguez said he has worked in restaurants off and on most of his life — that harried industry is where his nickname comes from.
“It’s easier for people to say, ‘Rod,’ I’d like more iced tea,’” he said.
But working a job now stresses him out so that he can’t play his music the way he wants to, he said.
Without sheet music or formal training, Rodriguez performs a seamless set of pieces that he describes as “meditative,” for an audience that changes daily, and includes tourists from across the globe. Admirers find it difficult to describe Rodriguez’s music in words.
“His piano playing is unique,” said Alex Symington, who met Rodriguez by happenstance and has visited St. Paul’s to hear him.
“My wallet has hundreds of phone numbers from all over the world: Hungary, Germany, Japan, Switzerland,” Rodriguez said.
They sit and listen, Rodriguez said, and often talk to him afterward. Many are moved to tears by the songs and tell him stories of sadness and grief.
“Crying is healing,” Rodriguez said. “You’re letting them release what they’re keeping inside.”
Some hand him cash, big denominations at times. Some suggest he travel, or at least record his work.
‘Only in Key West’
Drifting through state after state for many years, Rodriguez said he couldn’t find a piano anyone would let him play. He would ask at churches, but was always turned away. New Orleans, Las Vegas, Houston, Dallas, Austin, Provo are among some of the cities he tried to call home.
“They all told me no,” Rodriguez said, dressed in white down to a visor that makes him look like just another tourist. “I got no for 30 years, then I come to Key West. Key West is full of open-minded people. That’s the beauty of it.”
Rodriguez grew up in a home that had a piano. Meant for his sister to take lessons on, Rodriguez said he could begin to pick out chords from the moment he sat down at the keys, at age 6.
These days he plays only his own songs, which he credits to God.
“I’ve never taken lessons in my life,” he said. “Since I don’t know how to read music, they’re all in my head.”
It’s his calling, he says, a gift from God that he is meant to share. To him the churches are cathedrals.
“Only in Key West can you have cathedrals with open doors during the daytime,” he said. “That’s why God brought me here.”
I don’t know if that’s accurate. I have gone into churches and cathedrals in America during the day time, whose doors were open. I have done it overseas, too.
Both St. Paul’s and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church allow Rodriguez to regularly play his music on a piano. St. Peter’s is where he works on writing his songs, as it is quieter and off the beaten tourist path, he said.
Rodriguez said he walks two miles daily on the beach and has access to the weights and machines at a local gym, which he won’t name during an interview. He also doesn’t bring up a 2013 arrest he had in Key West for felony fraud, related to a pawn shop transaction, according to court records.
The arrest didn’t bring any conviction; instead, Rodriguez took a plea deal that withheld adjudication. He was placed on probation.
“The church is a beacon for people seeking redemption,” said the Rev. Larry Hooper, who knows of Rodriguez’s record and homelessness. “If I make a mistake, I’ll make that mistake on the side of grace.”
Hooper says Rodriguez’s talent is an offering in the classic sense.
“Like so many offerings, we put bread on the table for communion, it’s blessed and broken and it’s given back,” Hooper said.
A musical debut
Rodriguez wants his music to reach people who are healing from physical or emotional pain. Those in hospice centers, he suggests, or people weathering chronic illness.
“I want to create my own music therapy,” he said.
To get the word out about his music, Rodriguez has scheduled a free performance for 7:30 p.m. June 25, not at St. Paul’s but at a second church that allows him piano time — St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 800 Center St.
“What I want to do is bring donations to that church,” Rodriguez said, adding that he would like to eventually make it a monthly event.
While he can gush about music, his faith in God, his love of living in Key West — a place where he notes a grown man can ride a bicycle for transportation without fear of harassment, like in some big cities — Rodriguez doesn’t like talking about his living situation.
His past is the past, he seems to say as he answers biographical questions in short statements. He’s been through addiction, he says, loneliness, poverty.
Those dark times make him unafraid of others’ pain, though, and at St. Paul’s his music has prompted people to share their stories with him.
Recently, a young woman sat in a St. Paul’s pew as Rodriguez played. He said after three songs she approached him. She was grieving the deaths of both her mother and her best friend, and she had spent the days asking God for a sign.
“I was her sign,” Rodriguez said. “It’s for His glory. I’m going to play every day for the rest of my life.”
This story reminded me of a similar story someone had sent months ago, which I published.
Dec 2, 2013
‘I showed a video of him playing to a piano teacher and she pointed out …
I wondered if it was the same homeless man, not living in Key West? Turned out, it wasn’t.
I got to St. Paul’s about 2:20 p.m. and heard the piano playing as I entered the front foyer. Due to my mother converting from the Baptist to the Episcopal church when I was 11 or 12, I went through the Episcopal Confirmation, against my will, and sat through many boring sermons, against my will, which I tuned out by imagining I was somewhere else doing stuff I liked doing, or wished I was doing. As I grew older, I had other more moderate experiences with Episcopal churches.
Well, entering the St. Paul’s nave, I picked out a pew on the back left side and went to it and pulled down the padded kneeling bench and knelt on it. After a few moments of silence, I said to God, “I need help.” I meant, help for me. I eased off the kneeling bench, pushed it back up, and sat back on the pew seat.
I sat listening to the homeless pianist, his music seemed original, all of it seemed related, I wondered if if each song was brand new, or if he had different scores programmed into his brain? I knew I would ask him that, if I got a chance. I also knew I was going back and find the other homeless pianist online, who also did original scores, and listen to him. My recollection was, everything he played was new when he played it.
Then, I felt moved to count the rows of pews, 40, plus 5 off to each side, even as I started thinking, a lot of homeless people could sleep nights on those pews and in the open space on the west side of the nave. I got up out of the pew and surveyed the situation and figured maybe 120, or more, homeless people could sleep nights in there. I knew I would say something about that to the pianist, if I got the chance.
Yeah, I was feeling a little diabolical about then.
When 3 o’clock came, I left the pew where I was sitting and walked down to the pianist. He saw me coming, was between songs, and turned to face me. Still walking toward him, I said, “I wonder how many homeless people could sleep in this little-used church at night? It’s mostly a tourist attraction.”
He said, “What?” I repeated what I’d said, and added, “Jesus was homeless, it’s his church.”
He said, “No homeless people can sleep in the church at night because the church is locked in the evening.”
I said, “That is not what I asked. If the church is not locked at night, how many homeless people can sleep in it?”
He said he didn’t have anything to do with that, he just played music.
I said, “Well, as I sat there listening to you play, that’s what came to me: How many homeless people can sleep nights in this church?”
I asked if each time he plays is original, or has it been played before? He said all of what he plays is original; it is filed away somewhere in his mind. I said, but what he plays, which is his original music, has been played by him before? He said, yes.
Already, I was calculating in my mind how many homeless people could sleep nights in St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, which was built by Bahamians, and is the church I attend when I want to attend church. So, I pedaled my bicycle to St. Peters and out front was a message on a chalk sandwich board, “Open for prayer and meditation. Hallelujah.” In I walked, counted the pews, looked at the empty space on the floor, calculated 100 homeless people could sleep nights in there.
Since Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church was nearby, I pedaled over there, and seeing the front door open, I went into the nave and calculated about as many homeless people could sleep nights in there as could sleep at St. Paul’s. I went around to the office on the side and asked if the nave was open during the day, and was told, yes, until around 4 p.m.
Dang. All three churches are open during the day, then locked in the evening. Dang, those three churches alone could sleep most of Key West’s homeless people at night. Those three churches which belong to Jesus, the folks running them are just caretakers.
Dang. I didn’t even go into any of the other heaps of churches in Key West. Dang. Several thousand needy people could sleep nights in all of those churches, which Jesus owns and the folks running them are just taking care of.
That would solve Key West’s homeless shelter problem pronto, and the church people would get a bonus of doing unto the least of Key West’s people what they all would do for Jesus, if he were among them – assuming they didn’t mistake him for Charles Eimers or a radical Arab socialist bum and call the cops, or just shoot him.
I told you I was feeling a little diabolical.
That aside, after listening to the Vancouver homeless pianist again, I felt his playing all is new and I liked what I heard of his a little better than what I heard today in St. Paul’s. Even so, for two homeless men to be doing something so similar in two different geographic locations is not a coincidence. I wonder if there are other homeless men or women like them?
I wonder, dang, would that be diabolical, if homeless men and women will somehow be used in ways that they become role models for the rest of society to become different?
Also, today, I had late lunch today at Mary Star of the Sea’s soup kitchen.
Mostly, I talked with a Cuban ex pat I know pretty well, from playing chess against him and watching him and Patrick the Terminator go at it at Patrick’s Trumbo Point Housing Authority apartment project.
Maybe I will write up some of Juan’s and my conversation later. What I want to say now is, what really stood out in what I figured were close to 100 people waiting to be fed, and then being fed, was just how peaceful it was there. No arguing, threatening. No loud drunk talk. Just a lot of what seemed to be really grateful people.
Including an older couple, who told me they were new down here, to whom I had introduced myself by saying I ate maybe 200 or even 300 meals in this soup kitchen, when I had to do that, and they didn’t look like most of the people there today. They said they had retired on the mainland and had come to the Keys, hoping to be able to make ends meet, but have not gotten that all the way going yet. Right now, they are staying on Big Pine, but come down to Key West some. I told them about the Salvation Army Thrift Store on Big Pine, and Habitat for Humanity’s low price great furniture store. They knew about Habitat but not the Salvation Army.
I saw Frisbee Dave and walked over and spoke briefly with him.
His plate was piled sky high and over-flowing on the side with bread and pastries. I asked if he got all the food because he waited until late to get at the end of the line? He said he tends to go last in line at the soup kitchen. I said, what’s the hurry? Where are we going? Exactly, he said. I said, his friends on the mainland (who worry about him) don’t understand that. He grinned, said, no, they don’t understand. We need to get together another time and really have a talk. I said, sure. I patted him on the shoulder and walked away, as he said pretty loud, “I love you, Sloan!”, and I said back, “I love you, too, Dave!”
I went inside the kitchen again and asked how many they had served today. 98, 88 yesterday. I asked if that was about right for this time of year? Yes. 150 in the winter? No, the highest number they’d had was 140. looked to me that maybe 90 percent of them were homeless, a few lived in vehicles.
I think Key West might find trying to stop churches from feeding hungry people is not going to get a whole lot of traction. You tell a church person he/she cannot feel homeless people, you put that church person up against Jesus. That ain’t going to go far, I don’t think.
I wonder how church people will cotton to letting homeless people sleep in the homeless man Jesus’ churches at night? Most homeless people are likely to be more reverent in a church, than somewhere else, but some homeless people are not like that.
Maybe the angels have their own ways of dealing with such homeless people, and with church people who will not let homeless people sleep in the homeless man Jesus’ churches at night.
THE YOUNGER WOMAN I KNOW IN NORTH GEORGIA, WHO IS IN SHAMAN TRAINING, WHICH THE ANGELS ARE DOING TO HER, CALLED ME AFTER READING YESTERDAY’S POST AT WWW.KEYWEST.COM. SHE SAID, WHEN SHE GOT TO THE CHARLES EIMERS BEING FACE DOWN ON THE SAND PART OF THE POST, SHE STARTED GAGGING AND CHOKING, AND IT WENT ON A GOOD WHILE, AND FINALLY SHE STARTED COUGHING UP STUFF OUT OF HER LUNGS, AND IT WAS VISCOUS AND SEEMED TO HAVE LOTS OF SAND OR GRIT IN IT, AND IT TOOK HER A GOOD WHILE LONGER TO COUGH AND GAG IT ALL OUT OF HER LUNGS. I SAID, “THE ANGELS HAD YOU RE-LIVE CHARLES EIMERS’ DEATH. THAT WAS THEIR WAY OF TELLING YOU AND ME THAT HE INDEED TOOK SAND UP HIS NOSE AND INTO HIS MOUTH AND HE COULD NOT BREATHE. WELCOME TO SHAMAN TRAINING.” SHE SAID SHE WAS NOT AMUSED, BUT SHE AGREED WITH WHAT I HAD TOLD HER.
That is not a prediction of what the Medical Examiner will say killed Charles Eimers. In fact, based on what Key West the Blue Newspaper Co-Publisher/Editor Arnaud Girard told me the other night at his and Naja’s home, the Medical Examiner will not be able to establish a precise cause of death, because he did not timely receive Eimers’ body and the tissue samples previously taken from Eimers’ body by the hospital already had been disposed of. While I hope that, too, is not an accurate prediction, hardly an isolated coincidence is this article in today’s Citizen – www.keysnews.com:
Thursday, May 29, 2014
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Medical examiner resigns
BY ADAM LINHARDT Citizen Staff
Monroe County Medical Examiner Dr. Hunt Scheuerman announced Wednesday that he is resigning on June 20 to pursue a teaching position at East Tennessee State University.
Scheuerman has been the county medical examiner since his appointment in October 2009 by then-Gov. Charlie Crist.
“My wife and I love it down here; I just had an exceptional opportunity come up at East Tennessee State University where I’ll be teaching pathology,” Scheuerman said. “I love to teach and have done some teaching when I can wherever I’ve been. This is an opportunity to be in a formalized program where I’ll be teaching medical school students as well as resident pathologists.”
Monroe County State Attorney appointed Dr. Thomas Beaver to be interim medical examiner until a new examiner is appointed by Gov. Rick Scott as per Florida law.
Scott isn’t expected to make a selection until early fall, because the Florida Medical Examiner Commission isn’t meeting until that time. That’s the board that will send Scott its recommendation.
Beaver previously served as associate medical examiner in Panama City, and chief medical examiner in both Daytona Beach and Seminole County, simultaneously. He is certified in anatomic and clinical pathology as well as forensic pathology.
He was most recently employed as chief forensic pathologist in Alameda County, Calif.
Scheuerman succeeded Michael Hunter, who left to be the medical examiner in a north Florida county. Scheuerman had been serving as interim medical examiner in Monroe County since July 2008.
Prior to coming to the Keys, Scheuerman was an associate medical examiner in Jacksonville.
“My wife, Alesha, and I loved our stay in the Keys,” Scheuerman said. “We have lots of friends who have been great, and we’re going to carry those folks in our hearts to Tennessee.”
East Tennessee State University is located in Johnson City, Tenn.
A similar, but much shorter article, is in today’s email BLAST from KONK Life – www.konknet.com.
According to Key West the Newspaper articles on the Eimers case, Dr. Scheuerman is, or was, the Medical Examiner in the Charles Eimers case. No mention of that in the Citizen and KONK Life articles. Another entry into the Bubba Justice Hall of Fame?
Received a longish dressing down from Naja Girard yesterday,
re parts of yesterday’s homeless field research vs. staying in safe houses – Key West, mostly post at www.goodmorningkeywest.com, to which dressing down I replied this morning:
Thanks for writing, and for using “my” method, which reports everything I published and everything you wrote to me, preserving the context. I’m still mulling yours.
Meanwhile, an article in today’s Citizen begins:
“Monroe County Medical Examiner Dr. Hunt Scheuerman announced Wednesday that he is resigning on June 20 to pursue a teaching position at East Tennessee State University.”
Yes. I just saw that in the Citizen. I’m going to try to get a call in to see if he has finished his report on Eimers. It is possible that he has completed it and handed it over to FDLE. I hope so – wouldn’t want to see yet another level of lack of information on the part of the medical examiner that makes the cause of death determination and signs the final report.
I hope he did complete and sign the autopsy. But didn’t I read in one of your early articles, or in a Citizen article, that he could not complete the autopsy until the FDLE investigation was finished? I hope he is leaving the Keys because he buried KWPD in his autopsy and wants to be far away when it is made public.
The dressing down:
I’m going to do this your way. Your article below – my comments in bold italics:
Naja told me about a week ago that she had heard Chareles Eimers had told the cop who stopped him for changing lanes on North Roosevelt Blvd, that he had come down here to do God’s work. Hold that “the Lord works in mysterious ways” thought.
Naja and Arnaud told me night before last at their home that they had gotten 10,000 page views on the CBS: “DEATH IN PARADISE” article since last Friday, when the blue paper is published each week. That’s 10,000 pageviews in two days which included the story about KWPD tasing Matthew Shaun Murphy in 2011. Apparently people really find it offensive when a young father is tased by police and somehow ends up permanently disabled and lying in the same hospital bed three years later.
MY MISTAKE, I SHOULD HAVE JUST SAID 10,000 PAGE VIEWS
Naja again lamented how they don’t like doing police stories. I said, real journalists do what’s in front of them regardless of whom, or what, they are investigating, even the mayor, even the chief of police, even their friends, even their own mother. The angels gave you, Arnaud and Naja, the Eimers case, by making sure the bystander shot the video which blew to smithereens the KWPD’s version of what happened, and by keeping Eimers’ body from being cremated, so there could be an autopsy.
Likewise, the angels gave you Matthew Murphy’s case to report last Friday – Young Father Tased By Key West Police Officer Remains Hospitalized Three Years Later .
At that point, Arnaud said something breathtakingly metaphysical about Matthew Murphy, who got tased by a KW cop three years ago on Duval Street, and has been in a hospital ever since.
What Arnaud said was, Matthew and his fiance and their young son were staying with one of the fiance’s relatives in Bahama Village, and on two successive days the fiance said she wanted Matthew and her to go to Duval Street, and both times Matthew said he was getting vibes not to go, because if they went, they would be harassed by police. When the fiance said again on the third day that she wanted them to go to Duval Street, Matthew agreed to it, and they went to Duval and he got tased by a cop and still is in a hospital three years later. This is not what Arnaud said to you – you rearranged it so you could fit Matthew’s girlfriend into your story of some tortuous forever – fighting off angels, demons, and the fires of hell. Arnaud told you that she said that Matthew kept saying he felt like he was going to get into some kind of trouble with the police – he had begun mentioning that feeling a few days before the incident. They decided to go downtown on Friday night instead of on Saturday night and to walk and stay at her mom’s in Bahama Village rather than take the car – believing that would keep them safe. They were only a few blocks from her mom’s house when they were verbally assaulted by the not at all charming local couple who called Matthew a “nigger lover”. Ultimately what broke the camel’s back and what made Matthew finally lose his cool completely, was when one of them screamed across the street to Matthew [who had just become the father, three months earlier, of an incredibly beautiful baby boy], “That’s how you make monkey babies!” I think I would’ve wanted to punch someone in the head myself – and I’m not a 27 year old man.
NAJA, THAT IS PRETTY MUCH WHAT ARNAUD TOLD ME, AFTER I GAVE ANGELS CREDIT FOR YOU AND HIM EVEN HAVING THE CASES TO REPORT. AND, THIS BELOW IS PRETTY MUCH WHAT I TOLD YOU AND ARNAUD AFTER I HEARD IT.
I said the fiance will have that on her for the rest of her life, and some day she will have to tell her and Matthew’s son how it came to be that they went to Duval Street against his father’s instincts and wishes, and his father got tased and taken out of his son and fiance’s life. Here you go – the fires of hell – its all the fiance’s fault…
PLEASE LAY OFF MATTHEW’S FIANCE – THANK YOU! I THINK SHE’S BEEN THROUGH ENOUGH.
YES, SHE’S BEEN THROUGH HELL. SO HAS MATTHEW. SO HAS THEIR SON, BY LOSING HIS FATHER. AM REMINDED OF THE HORRIBLE FIGHT MY FIRST WIFE STARTED, AND IN WHICH I JOINED, AND THEN BAILED OUT, OVER HER TAKING OUR INFANT SON TO HER PARENTS’ HOME IN ANOTHER STATE, TO SEE HER BROTHER OFF TO THAILAND WITH THE US AIR FORCE. THEY HAD TRAINED HIM AS A BOMBER MECHANIC, AND HE WAS GOING TO SERVICE B-52′S BASED IN THAILAND, FLYING OVER VIETNAM. THE NEXT NIGHT, OUR SON SLEEPING BESIDE HER, DIED. IT WAS RULED CRIB DEATH, NOW CALLED SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME. SHE LIVED WITH THAT FROM THEN ON. NO WAY SHE, NOR I, COULD HONESTLY RULE OUT THAT THE BOY WOULD NOT HAVE DIED, IF SHE HAD NOT MADE THAT TRIP AGAINST MY WISHES. FOR, YOU SEE, RIGHT BEFORE SHE GOT THE PHONE CALL FROM HER BROTHER AT THEIR PARENTS’ HOME, SAYING HE WAS HEADED OVERSEAS, SHE AND I HAD JUST FINISHED A LONG, SERIOUS TALK ABOUT OUR CONCERN FOR OUR SON’S SAFETY; WE FELT HE NEEDED EXTRA PROTECTION; WE DIDN’T LIKE TRAVELING WITH HIM; WE DIDN’T LET ANYONE ELSE HOLD HIM. IT WASN’T RATIONAL, IT WAS JUST A FEELING. AND WE AGREED, WE WOULD NOT TRAVEL WITH HIM ANY MORE. IT WAS HEARTFELT. IT WAS DEEP. AND RIGHT AFTER THAT. THE PHONE CALL CAME FROM HER BROTHER. YEARS LATER, AT DIFFERENT TIMES, IN DIFFERENT WAYS, THE ANGELS TOLD ME THAT INDEED KILLED OUR SON. NO, I DON’T EXPECT YOU TO BELIEVE THAT. I DON’T EVEN CARE THAT YOU DON’T BELIEVE IT. BUT IT DID KILL OUR SON. AND IT’S BEEN CHEWING HIS MOTHER UP EVERY SINCE, EVEN IF SHE DOESN’T KNOW IT’S CHEWING HER UP. IT CHEWED ME UP, TOO. BUT NOT IN THE SAME WAY SHE IS EXPERIENCING. AND, THE ANGELS TOOK ME THROUGH A HEAP OF HEALING OF IT, THE HEALING WAS REALLY EMOTIONAL AND DEEP AND SOMETIMES TERRIFYING. IT CHANGED MY WAY OF LOOKING AT JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING.
(There is a passage in the Gospels where the homeless man Jesus is teaching somewhere and someone comes to him and says his mother and brothers have come, and they want to speak to him. Jesus looks around the crowd in front of him and asks, who are his mother and his brothers? Then he answers the question: they are those who do the will of his Father in heaven. Then he kept on talking to the crowd. He did not get up and go greet his mother and his brothers. That pretty much told the crowd how Jesus felt about his mother and his brothers doing the will of his Father in heaven.)
Naja and Arnaud were really focused on proving the plaintiff’s side of the federal lawsuit local attorney David Paul Horan’s law firm filed for Eimers’ children against Key West and 13 city police officers.
Arnaud kept asking me for instances I knew of Key West police beating up homeless people. Arnaud and I kept asking you for instances of homeless people getting beat by police officers because you keep professing to be the homeless expert and you keep PROCLAIMING that Charles Eimers died because the City has a policy of treating homeless people roughly and that is the only reason that Charles Eimers died.
I, IN FACT, AM A HOMELESS EXPERT, BECAUSE I WAS HOMELESS IN KEY WEST OFF AN ON FOR SEVERAL YEARS. EIMERS DIED BECAUSE THE POLICE BELIEVED HE WAS HOMELESS. YOU CAN BELIEVE THAT OR NOT. BUT THAT’S WHY HE DIED. PROVING IT IN A COURT OF LAW IS ANOTHER MATTER.
I said I personally knew of no such cases, but I knew from many direct personal experiences with Key West police, and from lots of stories I’d heard from local homeless people, that Key West police are rough with homeless people, harass them, threaten them, in an effort to persuade them to leave this area.
I said, the only way they, Arnaud and Naja, or the plaintiffs’ lawyers, will learn how Key West police are with the city’s homeless people is to go into the field and talk with homeless people. I said I had told them, Arnaud and Naja, that six months ago. I said, they will not learn about Key West and police by staying in their safe house thinking and talking about it. They need to go into the field and meet and talk with homeless people, like I still do every two weeks or so. And since you are the one claiming that you know for sure that the ONLY REASON Charles Eimers died was because the City has a policy of police officers roughing up homeless people perhaps when you go around every two weeks speaking with homeless people you might ask them whether or not they’ve been personally roughed up by KWPD officers…
EIMERS DIED BECAUSE HE COULD NOT BREATHE. HE WAS MADE UNABLE TO BREATHE BY POLICE BEING ON TOP OF HIM FORCING HIS FACE INTO THE SAND. (THE MEDICAL EXAMINER MAY OR MAY NOT AGREE WITH THAT.) THEY ROUGHED HIM UP BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT HE WAS HOMELESS. THEY WENT OUT OF BOUNDS. OFF THE GRID. BEYOND THE PALE. PSYCHOTIC. DEMON-POSSESSED. I TOLD YOU AND ARNAUD SEVERAL TIMES THAT I’D NEVER HEARD OF KW POLICE BEING THAT ROUGH WITH A HOMELESS PERSON, BUT I HAD HEARD MANY STORIES OF KW POLICE THREATENING AND CAUSING HOMELESS PEOPLE TROUBLE IN VARIOUS WAYS, AND I MYSELF HAD EXPERIENCED IT WITH POLICE IN KEY WEST. I TOLD YOU ARNAUD TO GO OUT AND TALK TO HOMELESS PEOPLE, TO SEE IF YOU CAN FIND A SIMILAR CASE TO THE EIMERS CASE. I ALSO TOLD YOU TWO THAT’S WHAT THE HORAN LAW FIRM NEEDS TO BE DOING. AND THAT DAVID PAUL HORAN HIMSELF TOLD ME, AS I REPORTED YESTERDAY, THAT HE FINALLY HAD COME AROUND TO BELIEVING CHARLES EIMERS DIED BECAUSE THE POLICE BELIEVED HE WAS HOMELESS. ARNAUD SAID THE SAME THING TO ME, IN YOUR HOME, ON OCCASIONS BEFORE THE OTHER NIGHT.
I said, believing Eimers was homeless, city police went over the edge, lost control. If they had not believed Eimers was homeless, he would not have died on South Beach last Thanksgiving Day. There’s the proclamation.
YEP, AND IT’S WHAT HAPPENED.
Arnaud said the police are rough on people who leave the scene, and Eimers did that. I said, leaving the scene had nothing to do with what happened to Eimers. And yet another proclamation – only your theory has value – although it is not backed up by any knowledge on your part of what is actually going on with homeless people in terms of getting roughed up by police.
NAJA, YOU ARE WELCOME TO HAVE YOUR OWN THEORY. YOU ARE WELCOME TO HAVE TEN THEORIES.
He was profiled by the first cop as being homeless, living in his vehicle. A witness friend of one of the cops on top of Eimers on South Beach gave someone a statement that his cop friend had boasted about elbowing the “bum” in the back of the head. Bum, in Key West, means homeless person. Those cops thought they were dealing with a homeless person. If they had known he was not homeless, they would have treated him differently; that’s all there is to it. Facts are true, but your last is yet another proclamation – you can’t prove what those cops were thinking and you don’t have other examples of police officers actually physically roughing up homeless people in the recent past.
YEP, THAT’S MY PROCLAMATION AND I’M STICKING TO IT.
I said when I spoke with David Paul Horan on the telephone recently, he said he’d had a hard time coming around to believing the reason Charles Eimers died was because the police thought he was homeless, but he had come around to believing it. I said, the reason he’d had trouble coming around to seeing it that way was because he had spent so much time searching for sunken treasure (he’d done very well at it). but he had not spent any time in the sewers, where I had spend a great deal of time, and now he was down in the sewers, below the sunken treasure, and he was seeing what I and every homeless person in Key West see, and know. I think we all BELIEVE that prejudice against the homeless may have had something to do with it in that the homeless are publicly denigrated in Key West [mostly via the Citizen's Voice] and are openly treated differently by the police who arrest them for drinking in public while not arresting everyone else drinking in public – but is there concrete evidence of pattern of physical abuse – in the not so distant past? You have not uncovered such facts even though you speak with multiple homeless persons every two weeks… what has your time “in the sewers” brought to you in the way of “facts” relative to the issue of police policy of physcially abusing homeless people?
AGAIN, NAJA, I TOLD YOU AND ARNAUD THAT I KNEW OF NO SIMILAR CASE WHERE KW POLICE WERE SO ROUGH WITH A HOMELESS PERSON. I PUBLISHED THAT I TOLD YOU THAT. SINCE YOU KEEP BEATING ME UP ABOUT MY THEORY: I ALSO TOLD YOU AND ARNAUD, AND HAVE PUBLISHED BEFORE, THAT EIMERS LEAVING THE SCENE SIMPLY MAKES NO SENSE, UNLESS HE WAS UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF SOMETHING, OR THE COP WHO MADE THE TRAFFIC STOP DIDN’T TELL WHAT REALLY HAPPENED. YOU LEARNED FROM TREVOR EIMERS THAT I PASSED A THEORY ON TO HORAN, WHICH, IF TRUE, MIGHT EXPLAIN WHY EIMERS LEFT THE SCENE. I TOLD YOU I GAVE THE THEORY TO HORAN, AND NOT TO YOU, BECAUSE ONLY HORAN COULD INVESTIGATE THE THEORY WITHOUT SCREWING UP THE CASE.
Naja said, maybe the friend of that cop won’t stick to that story. I said, maybe not, and that really will hurt the plaintiffs’ federal lawsuit against the city and 13 police officers. I did not say that – I know the witness and that witness will certainly stick to the testimony – it has already been audio taped and written down on several occasions. I said that was ONE witness and it makes a whole of sense to search for more.
WE VERY WELL DID TALK ABOUT THAT WITNESS MAYBE NOT STICKING TO HIS/HER STORY, AND I WAS DISHEARTENED AND SAID IT WOULD REALLY HURT THE CASE IF THAT WITNESS DIDN’T STICK, BECAUSE THAT WITNESS IS THE PROOF THAT THE COP ELBOWED EIMERS BECAUSE HE WAS HOMELESS (A BUM). YOU DID NOT TELL ME: “I know the witness and that witness will certainly stick to the testimony – it has already been audio taped and written down on several occasions.” HAD YOU TOLD ME THAT, I WOULD HAVE FELT BETTER AND WOULD HAVE REPORTED IT.
Even so, I said, it is not for them, Arnaud and Naja, to prosecute the plaintiffs’ lawsuit; that is the plaintiff lawyers’ job. It’s for them, Arnaud and Naja, to dig and find and report facts; that’s all a journalist is supposed to do, and facts are what win lawsuits. Meanwhile, until a cause of death is established by the Medical Examiner, there is no way to access the plaintiffs’ case. This makes zero sense. You describe a journalist’s job as finding facts and say that finding facts is what must be done to prosecute a lawsuit. Attorneys find facts; journalists find facts. In order to find facts you must think about what facts you should be looking for – what facts are relevant – the job of journalist and the job of attorney are similar in some ways.
IT MAKES SENSE TO ME, PERHAPS BECAUSE I PRACTICED LAW AND TRIED CASES FROM TIME TO TIME. I NEVER VIEWED MYSELF AS A JOURNALIST, NOR DID I EVER VIEW A JOURNALIST AS A TRIAL LAWYER.
Why, Arnaud and Naja asked? Did not – I told you I disagreed. We are going to keep digging for facts even though we don’t have the medical examiner’s final report and so will the attorneys – obviously.
YOU ASKED, WHY?, WHEN I SAID THE PLAINTIFFS’ CASE CANNOT BE ASSESSED WITHOUT A FINAL REPORT FROM THE MEDICAL EXAMINER.
I said, if the Medical Examiner rules it was death by heart failure, that will result in a judgment for the defendants; but if the Medical Examiner rules it was death by asphyxiation, that will encourage the jury to return a verdict for the plaintiffs.
Why, Arnaud asked? No, he didn’t. He agreed with you that if the medical examiner found cause of death to be clearly asphyxiation then that would be a slam dunk. We also told you that the ME has already told the family that it was not a heart attack and that medical experts who looked at the preliminary autopsy for us also said there was no evidence of a heart attack.
ARNAUD’S WHY?, WAS ADDRESSED TO ALL OF WHAT I HAD SAID. I DON’T RECALL SAYING SLAM DUNK. AFTER HEARING ARNAUD SAY THERE WAS NO WAY FOR THE MEDICAL EXAMINER TO DETERMINE FOR SURE WHAT KILLED EIMERS, I WAS SO DISHEARTENED THAT I FELT THE FEDERAL LAWSUIT WAS A SLAM DUNK FOR THE POLICE AND THE CITY. I FELT BETTER AFTER THE RES IPSA LOQUITER THEORY CAME TO ME, AGAIN.
Because, Eimers had a history of heart trouble, and if his heart gave out while he was being handcuffed, that will be hard for a jury to blame on the police; but if Eimers smothered to death under the police, that will be be easy for a jury to blame on the police, since the police were holding Eimers face down on the sand.
I told of when I had filed a lawsuit in federal court in Birmingham, Alabama, where I had practiced law. A man’s home had caught on fire and he had made a break for it and had collapsed and died on the front porch. The Medical Examiner determined the man had died of a heart attack. He had an accidental death policy, $20,000, I think was the amount. My theory for recovery was the fire, which was accidental, and induced the heart attack. The defense lawyers argued the death was from natural causes, a heart attack. The day of the trial came. The jury was in the box. The judge told the lawyers to meet him in his chambers.
The judge, whom I knew very well, having been a law clerk for one of the other federal judges in that federal court district, told me he was going to give the defendants a directed verdict, if all I had was what I was arguing. He advised me to take the defendant insurance company’s $5,000 settlement offer, which the defendant had made at the very beginning and had kept making and was still making. I knew the judge was not bluffing, and I knew there wasn’t enough money involved to appeal, and I knew I would lose the appeal, so I accepted the settlement offer, even though I was convinced the fire had induced the heart attack, and the death indeed was accidental.
Arnaud said, ah. Arnaud is French, he graduated from a law school in France. I don’t think he practiced law there, but I do know he and Naja have brought a few lawsuits in the States, some in federal court, regarding how much they would be paid for saving ships – Arnaud is a salvor. And, I think, they have been involved in other lawsuits, as citizen activists. So, they are no strangers to litigation and the hazards thereof. They know going to law school is not the same as trying lawsuits. Trying lawsuits is field research. Going to law school is studying lawsuits in a safe house.
Naja said, it might be as much as two years before the public sees the Medical Examiner’s final autopsy, because State Attorney Cathy Vogel has that long to do her own investigation separate from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the KWPD’s Internal Affairs investigations. No, I didn’t say CV had two years to do her investigation. I have no idea how long she has to do an investigation – probably lots of discretion there. I said that the ME told us that the final autopsy report does not become public until after the State Attorney has concluded her investigation – and since it hasn’t even come out of the FDLE offices yet – it could be years before we see the report.
I RECALL YOU SAID TWO YEARS, NOW YOU SAY PERHAPS SEVERAL YEARS. THAT’S WHY I SAID THE PLAINTIFFS’ LAWYERS CAN GET THE JUDGE TO GET THE AUTOPSY HANDED OVER REGARDLESS OF STATE ATTORNEY, FDLE, IA. SOMETHING YOU, A JOURNALIST, CANNOT DO.
I said, the federal judge will tell the Medical Examiner to give the autopsy to the judge and the plaintiff lawyers, regardless of Cathy Vogel, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the KWPD.
Arnaud said, by the time Eimers’ body got to the Medical Examiner, about 10 days had passed; tissue samples previously taken by the hospital had been lost; there is no way for the Medical Examiner to say for sure what caused Eimers’ death. True, we do think it could be “inconclusive” for those reasons.
I said, then there is no plaintiff case, because a jury will not, in my opinion, return a verdict against the police, when the jury does not know, for sure, why Eimers died.
What about a verdict against the city, Naja asked? Really, was I really asking for more at that point? What’s wrong with me?
THAT’S WHAT YOU ASKED.
Same outcome, in my opinion, I said.
Then I said, the money is not what’s important in this case. Charles Eimers is dead. Money won’t bring him back. Money won’t make his children feel better about their father being dead. Are you telling your readers that Aranud and I believe this is all about money? We said to you that money was a factor because money is what gets lawyers to take cases like these and that if this case is won, then that will be a strong deterrent – having attorneys ready to fight for civil rights right here in Key West – attorneys who win – would be very good for the little guys here in town – because the powers that be will need to be more careful about policy and about actions in the future. It would be good for the City in the long-run.
YES, YOU SAID THAT. AND I SAID HORAN’S LAWSUIT HAD GOTTEN THE KWPD’S ATTENTION IN ANY EVENT, EVEN IF THE CASE WAS LOST BY THE PLAINTIFFS. I’D LOVE TO SEE THE CITY GET PASTED. IT WOULD BE DESERVED, BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN WATCHING THE CITY USE ITS POLICE TO MISTREAT HOMELESS PEOPLE FOR MANY YEARS. AS FAR AS THOSE 13 COPS WERE CONCERNED, CHARLES EIMERS WAS HOMELESS. THAT’S WHAT THIS CASE IS ABOUT, AND CBS DIDN’T EVEN GO INTO IT – SHAMEFUL.
I said, I don’t have to worry about civil damage suits or criminal prosecutions bringing justice in Caesar’s courts. I get to try cases in two other forums: the court of public opinion and God’s Court. What’s important in this case is the city and its police get clobbered in those two courtrooms, and is happening. In those two courtrooms, the city and its officials and its police will not get away with it, regardless of what happens in the plaintiffs’ federal lawsuit.
Well, pardon us, the unenlightened folks down here, meddling with mere earthly affairs…
I MEDDLE PLENTY IN EARTHLY AFFAIRS, AM DOING IT IN THE EIMERS CASE, BUT I DON’T HOLD MY BREATH FOR EARTHLY RESULTS I WANT TO SEE HAPPEN. I LIVE EACH DAY IN TERROR OF NOT ENGAGING WORLDLY AFFAIRS IN THE WAY THE ANGELS WHO RUN ME WANT ME TO DO IT. THAT IS WHAT DRIVES ME – TERROR. NOT MONEY. NOT WINNING. BUT TERROR. I SWEATED BLOOD OVER WHAT I PUBLISHED TODAY. I WORRIED HORRIBLY OVER IT. BECAUSE I DID NOT WANT TO RECEIVE THE ANGELS’ REBUKE, WHICH CANNOT BE UNDERSTOOD, LIKE BEING HOMELESS CANNOT BE UNDERSTOOD, UNTIL IT IS EXPERIENCED. NOR CAN BE UNDERSTOOD THE HORRIBLE SPIRIT SEWERAGE IN A CASE SUCH AS THIS ONE BEING RUN THROUGH YOUR OWN LIVER, G.I. TRACT AND CEREBRAL SPINAL FLUID, CAUSING YOU TO FEEL LIKE YOU SWALLOWED RAT POISON, WHICH FEELING ONLY STARTED LIFTING AFTER I PUBLISHED YESTERDAY’S POST. BE GLAD, NAJA, THAT YOU AND ARNAUD DON’T HAVE THAT TO LIVE WITH EVERY MOMENT OF YOUR LIVES.
Didn’t seem to me that I was anywhere near on the same page with Arnaud and Naja. But then, I seldom feel on the same page with anyone else.
Naja is my friend, so is Arnaud. I have lots of friends, but only with one, the younger woman in north Georgia, can I discuss spirit matters as colleagues, such as what killed my son, what set up Matthew Murphy’s death, what really happened to Charles Eimers.
WHEN I SPOKE ON THE TELEPHONE THIS MORNING WITH THE NORTH GEORGIA WOMAN, WHO IS IN SHAMAN TRAINING, SHE SAID SHE IS STILL COUGHING UP SAND. I TOLD HER TO READ THIS MORNING’S THROW UP AT GOODMORNINGKEYWEST.COM AND MAYBE SHE WILL STOP COUGHING UP SAND. SHE SAID SHE ALSO HAD A SPLITTING HEADACHE, WHICH STARTED LAST NIGHT; SOMEBODY DOWN HERE I’M DEALING WITH IS ALL MESSED UP IN THE HEAD. I SAID THAT SOMEBODY IS NAJA, AND SHE SAID THE HEADACHE WENT AWAY WHEN I SAID THAT.
In the past, I knew other people who understood the interface between this world’s affairs and the spirit world’s affairs. I keep wondering why the angels don’t take humanity in that direction? It would change everything. Meanwhile, I keep engaging what the angels arrange for me to experience, hoping to do it good enough to suit them.
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West