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Friday, April 11, 2014
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Family sues in police custody death

The family of Charles Eimers, the 61-year-old Michigan man who died in the hospital while in police custody Dec. 4, filed a lawsuit against the city of Key West in federal court Friday claiming "excessive force" killed the unarmed man and implying the police department conspired to cover up the death.

The suit names 12 police officers: Gabriel Garrido, Gustavo Medina, Kathyann Wanciak, Gary Lee Lovette, Matthew Johnson, Francisco Zamora, Thaddeus Calvert, Derek Wallis, Nicholas Galbo, Janeth Calvert, Pablo Rodriguez and Todd Stevens.

A state investigation into the death remains pending, which has kept the Medical Examiner's final autopsy report confidential.

In 45 pages, the lawsuit depicts the officers as unnecessarily holding Eimers facedown on the beach Thanksgiving morning while handcuffed and held in a leg restraint until he turned blue.

"In killing Charles Eimers, the officers forced his head into the sand and every movement brought more sand into his nose and mouth," according to the suit, filed by Key West-based attorney Darren Horan.

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