Despite the impending settlement in the civil lawsuit over the 2013 in-custody police death of a Michigan man in Key West, the FBI is looking into the matter, the agency confirmed.
The city's Citizen Review Board, which investigates Key West Police Department-related complaints, sent the inquiry request to the FBI last month.
"We are aware of the letter and are looking into the matter," FBI spokesman Michael Leverock said via e-mail.
Police pulled over Charles Eimers, 61, for a traffic stop on North Roosevelt Boulevard on Thanksgiving 2013. During the stop, he fled and led officers on a chase through Old Town to South Beach, where he was taken into custody on the sand. He died Dec. 4, 2013 at Lower Keys Medical Center.
The Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office ruled Eimers' death an accident caused in part by his previously diagnosed heart problems. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated the death but filed no charges. And a rand jury later investigated and did not indict anyone.
Last year, the Eimers family sued the city and several police officers for wrongful death. The city's insurance carrier, Preferred Governmental Insurance Trust, agreed last week to settle on behalf of Officer Gary Lee Lovette for $900,000. That ended lawsuits against other officers and the city itself.
Eimers' family attorneys alleged that Lovette was recorded on his Taser, which included video, as saying "we killed him so you don't have to worry about it" and "I dropped like a f-ing bomb on his head."
The Eimers family “chose to move on with their lives," Eimers family attorney Darren Horan said.
The settlement still needs the Key West City Commission’s approval.