Breaker, Breaker! Key West Police Department all-points tourist advisory! Great big dead skunk in the middle of the end of the road! Enter paradise at your own risk – you could be next!

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Key West the Newspaper – www.thebluepaper.com – portraits of the demise of Charles Eimers on South Beach last Thanksgiving Day, and the ensuing cover up.

Charles Eimer's take down

Eimers coverup

Eimers police investigating self

Reported recently in the Citizen – www.keysnews.com:

Grand jury clears police in Eimers case
Report: Officers used ‘reasonable force’ restraining traffic stop suspect

Mayor Craig Cates said the city will address all of the grand jury’s recommendations.

“If we have to make any policy changes to improve our police department, we will,” Cates said.

City Commissioner Tony Yaniz went further, calling the grand jury’s report “vindication” for police.

Tony Yaniz 2Tony Yaniz

In a nap dream yesterday, Tony Yaniz came to me, not looking in a happy mood, with a very large complicated white page with lots of writing on it, for me to sign off on. In the middle of the page was a small rectangle, which looked like a blackboard eraser. It was called, “the shadow.” I looked closely at it, and indeed there was a shadow cast underneath it onto the white paper. I thought, okay, I will sign off on this big whatever it is …

I awoke, figuring I needed to go online and see what was going on in reader comments underneath the Officer Gary Lee Lovette: “Me, I Dropped Like a F***ing Bomb On His Head… We Killed Him” cops off article in Key West the Newspaper – www.thebluepaper.com. After doing that, I opened the Grand Jury’s Final Report and FDLE Investigative Report links in the blue paper article. I read. I saw stuff that didn’t add up with the rest of the two reports. I thought  what didn’t add up is the shadow.

I don’t know a neat and tidy way to proceed. So, I’ll start with the blue paper article.

OFFICER GARY LEE LOVETTE: “ME, I DROPPED LIKE A F***ING BOMB ON HIS HEAD… WE KILLED HIM”

Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

The Grand Jury’s Final Report is in. No indictment will be handed out in response to the fatal Thanksgiving Day arrest of Charles Eimers.

The report – no matter how beneficial it is for the officers who could have faced criminal charges – throws more fuel than water on that fire.   Indeed a summary contained in the FDLE Investigative Report, made public yesterday afternoon, of an audio recording captured during and immediately after the arrest is simply stupefying.

Apparently Officer Gary Lee Lovette inadvertently left the recording mechanism on his Taser in the on position for several hours after putting the Taser back into its holster.  What follows is FDLE’s summary of the audio recordings:

  • Officer Lovette told an unknown person that “we tackled him and got into a fight.”
  • Officer Lovette stated “Me, I dropped like a fucking bomb on his head.”
  • When an unknown male asked, who “killed” Eimers, Officer Lovette responded “Gabe”
  • When asked “how bad did y’all beat him up, though?”  Officer Lovette replies “Mainly just me.”
  • Regarding the next phase, Officer Lovette acknowledges that there will be an investigation.
  • Officer Lovette summarizes the event in several ways in different conversations:
  •       As a “police involved death”
  •       As an “in custody murder”
  •       In response to an unknown remark, Officer Lovette states “That would be     funny if we didn’t just kill someone.”
  •       In response to an unknow remark, Officer Lovette states “We just killed someone.”
  •       In response to an unknown phone call Officer Lovette states “…yeah, well we killed him…”
  •       In response to an unknown person Officer Lovette states “He’s not breathing anymore.”

The recording is in line with the protests reportedly made by a New York police officer while witnessing the arrest, ‘this is legalized murder on the beach!’

It is interesting also that contrary to the police reports, several of the civilian witnesses interviewed by FDLE refer to excessive use of a Taser.

“A punch in the stomach,” says Treavor Eimers, about the Grand Jury’s decision to issue a “No True Bill” in the case involving the death of his father at the hands of Key West Police officers on Thanksgiving Day.

“My father was pursuing his dream of spending a warm winter in Key West volunteering and enjoying his retirement. He died before his first day was over.”

The “No True Bill” by the Grand Jury means that the jurors found no probable cause for the criminal prosecution of any of the officers involved in Eimers’ arrest.

Does the Grand Jury Report put the matter to rest?  Hardly.

“First and foremost,” the Grand Jury concluded, “we commend those KWPD officers who did follow proper procedures during the incident…  We find that KWPD officers on scene exercised the proper amount of force to apprehend and restrain Mr. Eimers.”

The Grand Jurors explain that their decision is based on the testimony of the only expert witness brought in by the State Attorney.

His name is Chuck Joyner. He is a professional defense witness for officers accused of excessive force.  Joyner is famous for publicly defending a Houston police officer who shot and killed a wheelchair-bound double amputee. Joyner argued that because the one-armed, one-legged man was waving a ballpoint pen there was reasonable justification for the officer to shoot him square in the head.

It was Joyner’s job to convince the Monroe County Grand Jurors that they shouldn’t believe their lying eyes and ears.  No expert witness was called to demonstrate how impossible it is to breathe while your shoulders are pinned down in the sand, as Eimers were.  See our reenactment video here.

The Grand Jury seems to have been most impressed by the fact that the Medical Examiner found no sand in Eimers’ airways which seemed to invalidate witness accounts of asphyxiation.  However, the Medical Examiner’s own notes reveal that after a week in the hospital, it would have been unlikely to find any sand in Mr. Eimers’ airways.

Eimers ME case notes“1/2/14 [0925] Call in from SA Smith

Q1 – Any changes expected in lungs with asphyxiation.  He was face down in sand but doesn’t seem very long on video.

A1 –  With sand – in fresh case – might find some sand in upper airway but he was in hosp for a week so less likely. I did not see any sand.  Lung changes are non-specific.”   – Notes of Dr. E. Hunt Scheuerman, [then] Monroe County Medical Examiner

A statement made by Dan Abrams, the Chief Legal Affairs anchor for ABC News, about the Ferguson Grand Jury proceedings in the Michael Brown shooting sheds light on the Grand Jury process:

“You don’t have to take it to the Grand Jury.  But this allows the prosecutor with these sorts of warring narratives to say, ‘I didn’t make the decision.  They did.  The grand jurors did.  The people did.’  But of course how vigorously the prosecutor presents the case is everything.  There’s no defense attorney there.  It’s just the prosecutor presenting a case to these grand jurors. If the DA wants an indictment, he’ll get an indictment.  If the DA doesn’t want an indictment or has questions, that could be a very different thing.”  – ABCnews.com 8/19/14

The Grand Jury report continues:

“We are extremely concerned about unprofessional conduct and statements that were made after the incident regarding the events of that morning…  The internal affairs investigation should result in appropriate recommendations or sanctions for the officers involved regardless of their consequence or severity.”

“We also express serious concern about some aspects of the investigation conducted by the KWPD.  First, insufficient efforts were made to promptly locate and interview civilian witnesses …  Second, the KWPD clearly failed to timely communicate with LKMC about Mr. Eimers’ condition and whether or not the KWPD considered Mr. Eimers to be “in custody” while he was at the hospital.”

The Grand Jurors didn’t find indictable criminal actions, but they certainly sent the City and its police department on a soul searching mission:

“We further recommend that the KWPD offer additional mandatory training on the topics of stress management and sensitivity.”  Is poor stress management and lack of sensitivity not a euphemism for violent and inappropriatly explosive behavior?

“The sensitivity training,” the Grand Jury Report continues, “should have a public and social awareness component.”

A lack of adequate training in the proper use of force is at the core of the civil rights lawsuit filed by the Eimers family against the City of Key West.

The Grand Jury and FDLE reports with their stunning new revelations including admissions to “Murder” by Officer Lovette and findings of inadequate training maybe a sign of more challenges to come for the City of Key West in the civil rights lawsuit initiated by the Eimers family.

————————————

I already had submitted this comment yesterday morning:

SLOAN BASHINSKY              AUGUST 29, 2014 AT 1:20 PM

The Grand Jury knew the cops thought Eimers was homeless. Ergo, that factored into the Grand Jury’s thinking.

At this stage, I imagine the odds of Donie Lee going anywhere are zero.

In the federal civil rights lawsuit, the Horan law firm might be able to make good use of what is now known of the Grand Jury proceedings. Recorded statements of Officer Lovette evidence against him, and perhaps against other officers on top of Eimers.

I’d hate to be on the receiving end of the State Attorney Office’s karma re this Grand Jury proceeding. Nor on the receiving end of the Grand Jury’s karma.

Might be the Grand Jury indicted the mayor, city commissioners, Donie Lee and KWPD, and the city in another GRAND JURY proceeding, which has been in progress since the day the blue paper first broke the Eimers case.

Officer Lovette should be proud of himself for leaving his recorder on. Or maybe it was his soul that left it on, so it would be known by the public what he happily said when he and other cops were killing Charles Eimers.

[To see all reader comments, click on this link:  Officer Gary Lee Lovette: “Me, I Dropped Like a F***ing Bomb On His Head… We Killed Him]

To comprehend what I submitted to the blue paper yesterday afternoon and evening, you will need to open the Grand Jury’s Final Report and FDLE Investigative Report links. That will take a while to read. Here is what I submitted to the blue paper after I read the two reports:

How did a slow-speed follow, previously reported, become a high-speed chase?

Has anyone seen Eimer’s drivers license? If so, was it bent or creased?

I cannot remotely reconcile FDLE and Grand Jury’s position with these parts of FDLE report:

William Barrow page 21 FDLE report
Sherrie Waltz pages 22-23 FDLE report
Mary Nowak pages 23-24 FDLE report
Officer Lovette parts of pages 24-25 FDLE report

Do you have copies of the officers’ initial incident reports, if any, and the officers incident reports, if any, FDLE initially received? That is, any incident reports filled out by officers, before they knew of the bystanders’ video of the apprehension of Charles Eimers.

Do you have the full statement of Officer Lovette, from which the FDLE summary, p 15 of FDLE report, was made?

What happened to report, or rumor, that a female officer – Wanciak? – said something to the effect of getting her away from another officer, before she did something to him?

I look forward to seeing City Commissioner Tony Yaniz share citizens Barrow, Waltz and Nowak and Officer Lovette’s parts of the FDLE report on his Facebook page.

Looks to me those 4 parts of the FDLE reports, which collectively might be called “the shadow” – generally paint what actually went down on South Beach.

I still think a judge needs to order a release of the full Grand Jury proceedings. Perhaps the federal judge in the civil rights lawsuit will do that.

[I asked about the drivers license because I had been told by a friend, who lives in his van, that he had learned firsthand that KW police officers bend and/or crease drivers licences of people they stop in vehicles, whom they suspect of being homeless.]

I dropped by Naja and Arnaud’s home a bit ago, and told Naja that Officer Lovette and the angels kindly provided evidence needed to keep this case alive. Naja chuckled. I said, Lovette made himself the plaintiff’s star witness in the federal lawsuit against himself, the other officers and the city; all of which hinges, of course, on how the federal judge rules on the defendants motion for dismissal; I figure the plaintiff lawyers will try to introduce Lovettes’ kind remarks into that motion, and the three citizens’ comments about Lovette, too; his mother and father must be really proud of him. I added, I hope my signing off on that big document Tony Yaniz gave me means I’m done with having to do with this case. Naja gave me the look.

In a nap dream yesterday, Tony Yaniz came to me, not looking in a happy mood, with a very large complicated white page with lots of writing on it, for me to sign off on. In middle of the page was a small rectangle, which looked like a blackboard eraser. It was called, “the shadow.” I looked closely at it, and indeed there was a shadow cast underneath it onto the white paper. I thought, okay, I will sign off on this big whatever it is.

I awoke, figuring I needed to go online and see what was going on in reader comments underneath the Grand Jury article in Key West the blue paper. After doing that, I opened the links in the article to the Grand Jury’s report and the Florida Department of Legal Enforcement report. I read. I saw stuff that didn’t add up with the main bodies of the two reports. I thought, that’s the shadow. Like the shadow that is cast behind a person on a sidewalk, when the sun shines on that person from the other side. Like the shadow in psychoanalysis, or in psychotherapy, or in Jungian analysis, where the gold lies, beneath the facade – the ego.

—————————–

On Tony Yaniz’s Facebook page recently, of specific relevance are Naja’s two comments, to which Tony did not respond. I am unable to post anything into this thread, otherwise, I would post what I submitted to the blue paper, above.

I am happy that the results of the Grand Jury in regards to the Eimer’s case clearly shows that KWPD acted appropriately. 21 of our fellow Monroe County residents–chosen at random– convened as a Grand Jury on July 21-23 and again on August 14. They heard testimony from 32 witnesses and concluded that : “Considering the totality of all the evidence presented, the amount of force used by KWPD officers was appropriate for the situation, reasonable under the circumstances, and clearly justified.” Add to that the Medical Examiner’s report that concluded that there was no sand in Mr. Eimer’s airway, or that there was any evidence of a blow to the head or use of a TASER, and furthermore that given Mr. Eimer’s heart condition he could have died at any time. Given these findings by the Medical Examiner, the FDLE and a Grand Jury of our peers it is obvious that our KWPD is not guilty of any criminal wrong doing. Now Chief Lee will conduct an internal investigation regarding policy and procedure as he pledged from the start, and I am satisfied Chief Lee will take the appropriate actions. Having said that, I would ask that those that been calling the KWPD criminals and murderers have the cojones to apologize. Our law enforcement members have families and friends in our community! The Grand Jury report is available, before anyone chimes in, I suggest they read it first!
  • Anthony J. Yaniz Sure Mark…..21 grand jury members, the medical Examiner’s office, the FDLE and 32 witnesses all conspired! Right! By the way, just saw Elvis walk past my window. I imagine you have a strong argument for your position….right?
  • Anthony J. Yaniz Also, Mark, what did you think when you read the Grand Jury report?
  • Anthony J. Yaniz Did you read any report?
  • Anthony J. Yaniz That’s what I thought! Ignorance means someone doesn’t have knowledge on a given subject!
  • Anthony J. Yaniz Ahhh, many people have read the report. I would not have shared an opinion without first trying to get knowledge. If you’d like a copy of the report, send me your email, Ill forward it to you,. It’s public record!
  • Anthony J. Yaniz By the way, the opinion of the witnesses who were on site, some brought forward by the attorneys to the Eimer’s family, did not agree with your conclusion of the video! By the way, NO you have not read the reports. You read, or heard rumor or innuendo my friend.
  • Anthony J. Yaniz I am always seeking out the opinion of my constituents. I will continue to take that pulse. I have no qualms that the majority of my constituents will agree with my opinion after reading the repost from the Grand Jury!
  • Anthony J. Yaniz You are of course entitled to our opinion, be nice if you had some facts
  • Anthony J. Yaniz Now, I take issue with you questioning my integrity. You know that I have stood up for what I believed was right. You owe me an apology! If the report had come back finding criminal wrongdoing I would have gone after them! Thought you knew me better than that!
  • Rita Linder If the Grand Jury report is public record, kindly post a link.
  • Anthony J. Yaniz Working on getting link. Will look in city website.
  • Ron Bailey Supporting evidence is always nice. Let me ask you Ryno, what’s the minimum it takes to break some ribs, CPR (not that this was how it happened)? These guys were apprehending a guy who was resisting arrest. This was tragic, but not an abuse of power. So I say, “sorry, bullshit” to your opinion.
  • Trisha Kolhage Mark you are just ignorant get the facts before you post on fb you sound stupid
  • Anthony J. Yaniz I always speak my mind! My constituents demand clarity and accessibility and that’s what I’ve dome for the 3 years I’ve served them on the Commission!
  • Ron Bailey Actually, I’m not sorry.
  • Anthony J. Yaniz Ron, to substantiate your statement, here’s another finding of the report, “Mr. Eimers had fractures to the anterior aspect of his left and right ribs, but these fractures were consistent with the administration of CPR to a person of Mr. Eimer’s age”
  • David Kouri Fats thank you very much for your support on this issue. Always leading from the front, which i know does not go unoticed by the members who serve and protect this community daily. The ignorant and bias opinions will always be there, and we will continue to do our job, as i know you will also. Thank you again Anthony J. Yaniz !!!
  • Bill Fortune Ladies and gentlemen, the Grand Jury has spoken!
  • Christopher Wardlow That’s right Commissioner, those in the press as well…(Gwyn Filosa) who kept writing as though it was fact, that KW police suffocated Mr Eimers by pressing his face in the sand..Shecshould write something really apologetic now…
  • Kate Kunert I don’t buy it either.
  • Anthony J. Yaniz I have forwarded a message to City Attorney asking that link to Grand Jury reported be posted on City website.
  • Trisha Kolhage Like is said mark you are ignorant
  • Heidi Golightly Thank you for posting this! THE KWPD are AWESOME partners with Keys to Be the Change, Inc. I applaud them! This is Chief Donni Lee from theKey West Police Department mentoring at Key West High School!

    Heidi Golightly's photo.
  • Louie C Rock Remember commissioners don’t get paid alot of money this man as gone above and beyond when it comes to civic duty on many issues appreciate his work ethic . Anybody got a problem with him got a problem with me. Keep feeding the Ducks Bubba…
  • Amy Lyn Nykiel I’ve been following the case and I call bullshit. I didn’t get to see Marks comment before you deleted it but I’m guessing his opinion is similar to mine. Will you be deleting my comment too because I have a different opinion than you? Hardly seems right.
  • Anthony J. Yaniz Amy…. Ryno deleted his comments …. Not me
  • Naja Girard d’Albissin Tony, meet me at South Beach. Bring just one BIG guy that is strong enough to keep your back down in the sand with his knee. [We’ll just leave off the part about keeping your legs from moving and ripping up your wrists with handcuffs that have been put on so tight that an officer’s finger won’t come free. We’l forget that the video shows – at the very end – that an officer has both knees on Eimers’ back.] Let’s see if you will truly be able to “move your head back and forth in the sand.” Let’s bring Mark. Afterwards, over breakfast, let’s talk about some of the issues there are with the Grand Jury’s report. There are a few. Let’s talk about the Medical Examiner’s report – no let’s talk about his notes – where he says that even if Eimers had been suffocated in the sand he wouldn’t have had any sand in his airways two weeks later. Let’s talk about how our STATE PROSECUTOR Catherine Vogel presented just one expert witness to the Grand Jury – the top law enforcement DEFENSE witness who makes a LIVING contracting with law enforcment agencies and officers. Let’s talk about the New York COPS who were there and who reportedly said that they were witnessing “legalized murder on the beach” that neither FDLE or VOGEL bothered to try to find before presenting the case to the Grand Jury. Let’s also talk about KWPD officers holding shotguns to black children’s heads and about KWPD officers conducting illegal [yes prohibited by Florida Statute] cavity searches in public on young black men. Shall we?
  • Donald Edward Allman Jr. That video was hard to digest, but if 21 on of us figured it out than it is what it is. The true question is: Could it have been handled any other way where a human life wouldn’t have ended? And can it be prevented in the future?
  • Heidi Golightly Have faith in Chief Donni Lee of the Key West Police Department. He knows what to do to make sure things are running like a well oiled engine.
  • Bev Blue I’m sorry..I just feel as if a miscarriage of justice has been done. ….
  • Gwen Filosa My stories were always attributed to lawyers, witnesses or reports. I never wrote that “as fact.” And it’s Gwen. Peace.
  • Michelle Baumgarten Well I guess I’m
    One of the guilty ones. I watched the video and was in
    Complete shock. I had no idea which officers were involved from
    Our city So on
    Opinion wAs directed at anyone in
    Particular. I will have to read the grand jury report. I do understand and apologize for a quick first opinion but there is no one that would have watched that video that wouldn’t have had The same opinion. Big apologies to KWPD.
  • Brian Kelly Sorry, I don’t buy this. It doesn’t sound to me the State Attorney did much of a job presenting evidence. The video does not lie. And to call the cover up after the fact, a miscommunication, is complete BS.
  • Edward Johnston Had Mr. Eimers pulled over, used common sense, and not ran from police he may have had a better outcome. If u make the police chase you. Your probably getting your ass kicked. Sounds easy to understand to me. Chris Rock nailed it.
  • Richie Ciavolino I’ve watched key west go from a peaceful island with hippies am gays am all us transplants from up north,
  • Richie Ciavolino Living in peace…with our great police dept.Why now ,is there a weird bad vibe between public an police? Why does it take 3+4 police to pull over one car ? Block traffic to give a ticket ? Beat up homeless or anyone they feel ? Point guns @kids ? Swat teams ?? What’s all the big deal ? Is it that bad on this island ? Is crime risen so much that we need this kind of action .?

pants on fire

As I was leaving Naja and Arnaud’s home last night, out on the side walk, one of Naja and Arnaud’s guests, who lives in Key West part of the time, said the Eimers case had really upset a lot of people in the city. I said, if those lots of people voted for Craig Cates or Margaret Romero last Tuesday, instead of for me, what are those people? Multiple personality disorder? Schizophrenic? What they are is big fat liars. The guest said that was a good point. The guest did not say who he had voted for.

Margaret Romero likes KWPD just the way they are. Tony Yaniz threw all of his political support behind Margaret in the mayor’s race. I was the only candidate in the race who made an issue of the Charles Eimers case, which candidate forum panelists did not mention. I said at the forums, if elect, the first thing I would do after being sworn in would be to apologize on behalf of Key West to the Charles Eimers family for KWPD killing their father on South Beach last Thanksgiving Day.

kudos & whiners

Last night brought an email from Ron Kennerly, a North Carolina developer who frequently vacationed in Key West with his wife when she was still living. Some years back, Ron’s grandson married my oldest Bashinsky first cousin Leo’s daughter. I only know Ron from many emails we have exchanged.

SLOAN – Two things: ….maybe three……..

First, KW missed a good chance to have a good Mayor. I don’t know about those people!! You offered really good solutions to most of the serious issues on the table. The more I thought about it the more I became convinced that the old navy property should not be a park ( no one needs it and it would clearly become a magnet for the homeless folk that KW wants to hide. Your suggestion of developing the land for Work Force housing, is by far, the highest and best use for the parcel.

Second, if you have time, check out today’s (Fri.8.29.14) Charlotte Observer… Lead story = Front Page 1, section A. Tazer conviction.

Third, Florida Grand Jury on Eimers death. Unbelievable !!! Surely the family will file a Civil suit, and should win. I usually don’t say this, but it seems about time for the ACLU. to assist the Eimers. or some of the good local lawyers working for a percentage of the award. Maybe they could hire John Grisham to write a lawyer adventure book about this travesty.

Regards, Ron Kennerly – have a good labor day weekend in paradise South.

I replied:

Thanks, Ron –

The people down here don’t want really good solutions; they want what they have now.

The Eimers family filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court quite a while back. The Grand Jury and Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports now being public might increase the pace of the federal litigation. Way things shaping up today, tomorrow’s post, in part at least, will be on Grand Jury and FDLE reports.

There is a very big dead skunk in the middle of the road down here, maybe that’s the “title” of tomorrow’s post at goodmorningkeywest.com.

Sloan

Sloan angel

keysmyhome@hotmail.com

 

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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