Youtube Video Leads to Exposure of Police Coverup in Florida Beating Death

A man who spent two decades working for the car industry in Michigan, looking forward to the day he retired in Florida, ended up killed by police the day he got here.

Key West police, of course, took the usual route by claiming the 61-year-old man was out-of-control and combative and that they were only trying to keep everybody safe when they restrained him.

Well, that’s just one story they spun. They also claimed they were pursuing him through the streets of Key West in a slow-speed chase, only for him to stop the car and run onto the beach where he collapsed, leaving the officers to find him with no pulse, so they tried their best to revive him to no avail.

But once again, a citizen with a camera captured the truth, showing Charles Eimers calmly walking from a few feet from his car where he laid on his stomach with his arms spread before him, obviously trying to comply with the orders of police who were moving in on him.

The video also shows the four officers moving in him with guns drawn where they start pulling his hands behind his back. The video then cuts out, but at no point did it show Eimers resisting.

Key West police not only tried to have his body cremated without an autopsy, a requirement for all in-custody deaths, they waited four days to notify his family that he was clinging to life in a hospital.

And when an autopsy was finally conducted, it was discovered he had suffered from ten broken ribs. Eimers family is now suing.

The incident took place last Thanksgiving, but it is now gaining national attention with a report today by CBS News on the “conflicting reports” behind Eimers’ death.

However, an independent news site based in Key West called The Blue Paper has been reporting on the inconsistencies since December, highlighting the fact that numerous witnesses reported police repeatedly tasing Eimers as up to six officers piled on top of him, shoving his face into the sand.

Click on this link and read from the bottom up to get an appreciation of how they stuck to the story that eventually drew the attention of a major news network. It is grassroots journalism at it’s finest.

Meanwhile, Key West police have asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to conduct an investigation, but that also proved to be an attempt to continue the coverup as The Blue Paper exposed on April 18, 2014.

When Charles Eimers turned blue and lost consciousness while in the hands of Key West police officers on Thanksgiving morning, KWPD was informed immediately by Lower Keys Medical Center staff that Eimers would never leave the hospital.  Chief Lee decided to treat the case as a ‘death-in-custody situation’, which meant FDLE had to be called in to investigate.

Lee didn’t make the call himself, though; he asked one of his officers, Captain Scott Smith to do it.  Captain Smith did make the call and FDLE’s Chief investigator Kathy Smith took on the case. You might notice they have the same last name and think there’s some connection there, and well, you would be right.  On Thanksgiving morning after Charles Eimers virtually died on the beach, Captain Smith called his wife, his ex-wife, in fact, at FDLE.  Kathy Smith is now investigating the father of her child[ren].

And, what is Kathy Smith really supposed to do with all of this over in her FDLE office in Marathon?  One thing she’s not doing is interviewing witnesses.  Not interviewed: The restaurant worker who claims he and other employees heard officer Kathyann Wanciak yell, “Someone better get him away from me before I arrest the son of a bitch myself!” and ““He just murdered that man.”  Not interviewed:  the witness who claims Officer Lee Lovette made some incriminating admissions the day after the incident, and just this week we discovered another witness who was working the restaurant at South Beach that day, who said she heard a Taser being used repeatedly –  also not interviewed.

The death of Charles Eimers is turning into a wrecking ball; a loose cannon.  When were these law enforcement agencies intending to tell everyone about the conflict of interest between FDLE’s Kathy Smith and KWPD’s Captain Scott Smith?

This type of story is becoming all too common within law enforcement agencies throughout the country and the only reason it is getting any exposure was not only because a witness decided to video record the initial altercation, but an independent news site decided to keep pursuing it, risking police retaliation in the tiny town of Key West.

Let’s not forget that in today’s digital age, we all the power to capture the truth and expose the lies, which frustrates police to no end because they have lost control of the message.

According to The Blue Paper (May 9, 2014):

Chief of Police, Donie Lee, has repeatedly expressed frustration at the type of coverage The Blue Paper and others have given the Eimers case.  “There is an awful lot of speculation, rumors, and innuendo,” he claimed this week on US 1 Radio’s Morning Magazine. According to the Chief, it’s “unfair” and members of the press should sit tight and wait for the results of the FDLE investigation.

With all due respect, without press coverage, Mr. Eimers’ body would have been cremated prior to autopsy. This week FDLE has finally scheduled an interview with a witness who shared information with The Blue Paper and who has, for nearly five months, repeatedly tried to give FDLE a statement. There is reason to believe this may be the first witness, other than the police officers, to be questioned by FDLE is this case.

Contrary to the Chief’s opinion, The Blue Paper has no unfair agenda aimed at the police department.  This is unpleasant work, but someone has to do it.


About Carlos Miller

Carlos Miller is founder and publisher of Photography is Not a Crime, which began as a one-man blog in 2007 to document his trial after he was arrested for photographing police during a journalistic assignment. He is also the author of The Citizen Journalist's Photography Handbook, which can be purchased through Amazon.

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  • nosepicker

    I’m sure the comments on Liveleak will say “good kill, the guy was threating police”

    • rust

      I’m on Liveleak. I hate those commenters. Real insensitive trash.

      • LeftCoastRighty

        It seems you don’t spend enough time on LiveLeak. It’s not a Cop friendly zone!

        • hang3xc

          I have been visiting LiveLeak DAILY for the past few years, sometimes twice a day, and the majority of the commenters applaud cops when they beat or murder someone. Usually they say things like “the piece of shit deserved what he/she got”. They don’t get the idea that a cops job is simply to arrest people, not dish out punishment.

  • Fascist Slayer

    I have good news and I have bad news. I’ll start with the bad news because it’s always best to end with good news.

    The bad news is the American bodies are beginning to stack up, from the V.A. Hospitals, the traffic stops, to the night raids, the American bodies are beginning to pile up.

    Ok now the good news, well it’s not good news, it’s GREAT news, it’s WONDERFUL news. Russia has been test firing Intercontinental Nuclear Ballistic Missiles over the past couple of days. Whaoo!!! I’m doing my happy dance!!!!

    Maybe Putin will do a drive-by with one of those Russian warships parked in Havana. I know my fingers are crossed. Build more Nukes Russia, build more!!!

    • nosepicker

      4 people liked a post hoping for a Russian missile attack on America ?

      • $910553

        Since it appears THAT is the only way the traitors in this country will be brought to justice. And it’s up to 8 now.

        • Rob

          I’d rather United States citizens put on their big boy pants, and get the good old fashioned wheels of revolution rolling again, than let a bunch of pinko Commie Russkies kill a bunch of innocent Americans along with the traitors.

          Americans have been asleep, and have let government get away with terrible crimes for far too long now. It’s time to organize, and put the 2nd Amendment to good use. We don’t need anyone else, especially a country like Russia (with a government just as inept as our own), to fight our battles for us, when we have the power to fix this problem right next to our own beds.

          • $910553

            Yet the screeching continues:

            NO FORT SUMTERS!!!

  • Skaboss
    • ExCop-Lawyer

      Not surprisingly, they are deleting comments from their facebook page.

      • LibertyEbbs

        Procedures do have to be followed.

      • Voice-Of-Concern

        Looks like someone called them on it & the comment has stayed up for a while

  • Rogue cops cost us money

    And these asshole’s will pay big time. I never knew that a police chief could stack the BS that high. This is a total cover up from the Top down. FDLE is worthless at any investigation they do.

  • inquisitor

    It is a shame this guy had to die like that.
    If his destiny was to die in this scenario, then better he had worn an IED and took these officers out with a bang.

  • Film The Police Always

    They should all go to prison. They MURDERED this man and they could care less. My god I have such hatred for the police. Hate em all!

    • Zos Xavius

      NWA said it best

  • inquisitor

    “Key West police not only tried to have his body cremated without an
    autopsy, a requirement for all in-custody deaths, they waited four days
    to notify his family that he was clinging to life in a hospital.
    And when an autopsy was finally conducted, it was discovered he had suffered from ten broken ribs.”

    Man…that is ghoulishly evil.
    You can’t put anything past these people, they are capable of anything.

  • hang3xc

    Another case of the “Bullies in Blue” gang murdering someone. If it was up to them, nobody would have ever heard if this. Now that the word IS out, an investigation (LOL) will be conducted by the ex wife of the supervising cop (WOW).

    The results of the investigation will “prove” that the cops acted in accordance with approved procedure and that will be that. That is the common message whenever cops are investigated, and eventually cleared of any wrong doing.

    In the extreme unlikely event that the thugs are fired, they will simply have the union fight their firing and they will be reinstated WITH back pay at a later date long after public interest has died down

    One thing that WON’T happen? The cops will NEVER be charged w/anything

  • LibertyEbbs

    I am trying to guess how many cases like this I have seen or read about in the last 10 years…I just don’t understand how this isn’t a much bigger issue across this “Land of the Free”

    How many people must have their lives violently and horribly taken from them when their last act on this earth was to surrender to the police?

  • blujimbo

    As a former resident of KW (98-08) and someone who has followed this story since it was first reported in the Blue Paper; I can affirm from personal experience that the KW cop shop is, and has always been (since at least 1998) a magnet for unsavory characters.

    I have never in my life been treated so poorly by “public servants” as I was there (except GA). I seriously doubt that a single officer I ever encountered is still on the force, but the “enforcers” are still alive and well it would seem. It’s expensive to live in the lower Keys and you don’t get much for your money. If you are not locally connected, you probably won’t be around for more than a few years.

    The Police Chiefs in KW have a VERY storied history in just the last 20 years. The original Publisher of The Blue Paper exposed a ton of shit over the years and was instrumental in the City of Key West getting a CRB in like 2000 or thereabouts. It was huge! The citizens handily voted by referendum to institute a Citizens Review Board of the cops.

    His name is Dennis Reeves Cooper. He was arrested by the biggest idiot in the history of Police Chiefs for reporting on corruption in the cop shop. He was on O’Reilly for a sound bite (brief) interview. He settled with the City of Key West for violating his rights and got a Mazda Miata with the $ that he wrote about in his own paper.

    He was finally nabbed by a cop a few years back for DUI. It was an “enforcer” that had bided his time, knew his vehicle, (KW comprises 8 square miles) and pulled him over as soon as he attempted to leave the VFW at 8 PM on a weeknight after dinner. (It took them 8 years – but “they” got him back)

    He retired from the paper, stop publishing it (it was a Friday AM printed paper and online) and said au revoir to the Island. (It appears he is still there.) And then Arno and Naja picked up the torch. They are the most interesting and honest people you would hope to meet. Their own story of LEO harassment over the years (they lived on a large sailboat in the KW harbor for years) and were monthly training for the USCG, FMP, MCSO and the local Florida CPS office on the account of they raised their kids on their sailboat. This was awhile back but they had not ever committed any crimes and were targeted for being vocal to local officials about corruption and supporting the endeavors to protect live aboards.

    Now they are publishing the Blue Paper online themselves. They deserve our support as much as Carlos does, for the simple fact they are committed to the truth and are willing to take huge risks to report what they do, just like the Gentleman who founded this local rag.

    The masthead on the printed weekly was:

    “Key West the Newspaper. Journalism as a contact sport.”


      Key West…a nice place to Die, but I wouldn’t want to live there. I have a vision of fat sweaty guy’s in white cotton suit’s and hats, ala Orson Wells. Your on to something FAR DEEPER with your “a magnet for unsavory characters”. What we have here is ritual murder’s, a sort of satanic initiation due to the infiltration of ALL local PD.s
      It’s a Dark Rabbit Hole, you may not want to go there on your own.

  • RPM

    Welcome to the Ukraine.

  • Buddha

    He was resisting when ran in the middle of a traffic stop. He was initially pulled over for illegally passing a police officer at a stop light from the turn only lane into the straight lane.

    He then drove his car onto a crowded beach full of people. Not sure exactly sure what the controversy is here?

    • Buddha

      At no time do I see police brutalize this man or use excessive force. They in fact tried to save his life when he had a medical episode, cause unknown, (heart attack?)

      • LibertyEbbs

        Don’t! Just don’t.

      • JCFROMNJ

        More like a “copicide” ?

    • LibertyEbbs

      Well, since you put it like that I guess immediate execution with no due process was appropriate. I did not realize that he had committed a traffic infraction.

    • SKD

      No one knows what happened at that traffic stop. No one knows why Mr. Eimers drove off. It is entirely possible that he misunderstood. When he parked at Southernmost Beach Cafe, he peaceably gave himself up by kneeling, and then lying down on the sand. He NEVER ran. He was cooperative. BTW, There happens to be more to the video also. This was a shortened version. No, the police did not try to save his life. THAT is not only laughable, it is a seriously deranged thought process. There were many witnesses. There were even witnesses that were told the entire situation right from the main cops mouth. He talked about Mr. Eimers being a homeless crack head. The police reported to the EMT’s that Mr. Eimers was having a cardiac episode. Oddly, when they placed paddles on the man, no shock was advised. Because it WASN’T a cardiac episode. Because the cops lied about what was wrong with him, he received improper treatment, which contributed to his death. The only”episode” that Mr. Eimers experienced was that of two 250 lb. men kneeling with all their weight on his upper body while he lay face down in the sand. They broke 10 of his ribs. Google flail chest. Another officer, by his own admission, has control of Mr. Eimers leg and twists it to keep him still when he begins resisting. One of the officers on Mr. Eimers back states that he elbows him in the back of the head and he becomes quiet. Guess why he was resisting????? BECAUSE HE WAS SUFFOCATING!!!!
      Then, they don’t inform the family. They had the names of family members but didn’t bother to call!!! After death, the hospital ships the corpse to the funeral home for cremation. The hospital also discards all tissue/blood samples, saying they didn’t know it was an in custody death. Never mind the police presence, never mind the deep handcuff wounds on Mr. Eimers wrists. One of the officers even stated at the scene something to the effect of… Get me outta here, he’s killing that man. The cops tampered with witnesses, running their records and informing them that they wouldn’t be believed. FDLE ignored witnesses calls for months. MONTHS. The witnesses left countless messages, begging to get their stories out. FDLE purposely drug their feet so that the medical examiner would rely solely on the police officers statements to issue his report. The Police Captain Smith instructed to call FDLE?? He did call, he called his ex-wife, Cathy Smith at FDLE. And guess what? He just retired this past week from KWPD. He is taking a job with …. wait for it…… FDLE. Yup. Since when should police be judge and jury? Since when should there be no due process? Since when are we living under martial law? Since when is a traffic stop punishable by death? WTF? This was someone’s father, brother, son, grandfather, friend. This was a human being not deserving of being robbed of his dignity and ultimately, his life. So, Buddha, get your facts straight. Oh, one more thing. The cops? The ones that are so honest? The ones we pay to protect us. Yeah, they’re now intimidating witnesses. What’s sad is that there are some good cops on KWPD. Not many, but some. Unfortunately, they are suffering because of their brothers. They have lost the trust and respect of the entire city. Key West is a joke. From the Mayor, to the commissioners, to the police force and up to FDLE. All corrupt. There is known to be long standing violence against the homeless in KW. Indeed the main perp (cop) in the Eimers case has a long record of taunting, demoralizing and outright harming people suspected of being homeless. The Mayor condones and encourages this behavior. The police chief does what the mayor wants. This particular cop remarked a day later that it was just another homeless bum, probably on crack. So, there you go.

  • Rogue cops cost us money

    When a chief doesn’t know what is going on in his department, it says he is a total disconnect from what really happens. Time to get a new chief and crooked detective should be brought up on charges of concealing a homicide, and I am sure a few dozen more charges.