BIRCH RUN (WWJ/AP) – The city of Key West, Florida has reached a $900,000 settlement with the family of a 61-year-old Michigan man who died at a hospital while in police custody in 2013.
The family of Charles Eimers of Birch Run, Michigan, sued the city in April in federal court, claiming excessive force killed the unarmed man and that officers conspired to cover up the death.READ MORE: Recovery Advocates Support Opioid Crisis Investment; Gov. Whitmer Approves $800 Million For Programs
Police Chief Donie Lee told The Key West Citizen that the settlement was “a business decision by the insurance carrier.” Lee says his officers did not use excessive force or cause Eimers’ death.
The attorney for Eimers’ family says he advised taking the settlement rather than waiting for a trial.
Eimers died six days after police held him face down on a beach after a routine traffic stop on the morning of Thanksgiving 2013. His cause of death was determined to be related to a heart condition, although authorities indicated that stress from the struggle with police was a contributing factor.READ MORE: Science of Weather: Brightmoor Flower Farm
According to reports, police officers involved in the incident said Eimers ran from them and collapsed. However, a videotape emerged that allegedly showed Eimers surrendering before being surrounded by police. Another video that surfaced apparently showed Eimers’ face covered in sand.
The following video, posted by Key West the Newspaper, allegedly shows Eimers’ arrest:
Reports say all 10 officers involved in the incident continue to work for the Key West Police Department. They were cleared by a grand jury in 2014, which found that the officers used reasonable force against Eimers. After an internal investigation, two officers were separately disciplined for their roles in the incident.MORE NEWS: Live updates: 14 students, 1 teacher killed after shooter opens fire at Texas elementary school
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