It is very heartbreaking for us to find and report the manner in which Everett Palmer Jr. died. Everett was a 41-year-old US Army veteran and a father of two children. He served his country well, but he got repaid with a gruesome death in police detention at the York County Prison.
He had called his brother, Dwayne, two days before his death (or suspected murder), and informed him that he was coming to visit him and their mother in New York. But before he would get to New York, he had to make a stop at a police station in Pennsylvania, to clear an unresolved DUI warrant he got in 2016 – this would make sure he had a valid license for the trip.
Two days after he made the call to his brother, his family got the shocking news that he had died in police custody. This was on April 9, 2018, and after that, it became a tedious back-and-forth for the family, who still don’t have a clear picture of what happened to their husband, son, brother, and father.
The family and others have reasons to believe that Everett was murdered and that the full details are been kept from them. One major fact that solidifies their suspicions is that his body was returned without his brain, heart, and throat.
A civil rights lawyer, Lee Merritt, who the family hired, told CNN that the entire case smacks of a cover-up, and we are forced to believe that this is true. Merritt, whose job is to mainly find answers to the circumstances surrounding Everett’s death, expressed concerns about the non-cooperative nature of the prison and county officials.
Despite the family’s suspicions of murder, the York County Coroner, Pam Gay, has insisted that the organs were withheld and used for forensic autopsy, as investigations were still ongoing.
Gay told CNN that “There were never any missing organs… The lab that does our autopsies has the organs. Coroner’s offices don’t always have a morgue or a forensic pathologist. We contract those services out. We utilize a team in Allentown. That’s who retains the specimens. They don’t always tell us what they retain. We made that clear to the family from the beginning.”
The Coroner also added that the removal of the throat was necessary and unavoidable in this kind of investigation. Everett Palmer Jr. was said to have died of asphyxia, and the throat was one of the components for testing.
When CNN tried to reach representatives of the prison for comments, they met a brick wall – they were not available.
The report that came from the Coroner’s office on how he died was shocking to his family and others who knew him – it was/is unbelievable for them.
The first autopsy report from the York County’s Coroner’s office reported that Everett Palmer Jr. died as a result of an accident “following an excited state” during which he “began hitting his head against the inside of his cell door” and was restrained. The report says Palmer became agitated as a result of “methamphetamine toxicity.” One of the contributing factors to this supposed condition is a probable “sickling red cell disorder”. But his family insist that he had no such health problems or any for that matter, before his death.
One other fact that makes a lot of people suspect he was murdered in prison is the fact that his autopsy reports continued to get updated with various (sometimes unrelated) reports. On July 28, 2018, the Coroner’s office included a “manner of death” category which they tagged “undetermined”. They maintain that the details of his death would be updated as time went on.
The Coroner mentioned that her office was carrying out investigations into a possible drug-related death and that it would most likely take up to three years to conclude. She, however, ruled out the possibility of suicide.
Palmer’s family have clearly stated and insisted that although he had an insignificant history of drug use, it was never meth. Their stand and statement were verified by the processing reports which was released to the family by the prison authority – they showed that Palmer was not under the influence of any form of drug when he came to the prison.
The civil rights attorney, Lee Merritt, told CNN over the phone that “He would have had to receive (the meth) in the jail itself. We don’t believe that happened.”
On the issue of the missing organs, Merritt said that “It’s not unusual to take organs out of a body during an autopsy, especially if you believe they were subject to trauma. The highly unusual part is to misplace them.”
His statement is in line with the fact that Palmer’s family could not locate or place a hand on his organs for about 7 months. The family was told by the coroner’s office that the organs were with the funeral home, but on getting there, the funeral home denied having any of them, stating that they had not touched the body.
Merritt and the family have shared concerns about a cover-up. They believe that the organs would reveal the cause of Palmer’s death. Even after Palmer’s family found his body parts in an independent laboratory, the lab refused to release his body parts citing an ongoing investigation.
Merritt, being a civil rights lawyer, said that Palmer’s constitutional rights were violated. When CNN reached out to the District Attorney’s Office of York county, the Chief administrator, Kyle King, said that they could not give comments on an ongoing investigation.
In the full report by CNN, an unbiased mind would clearly see and tell that there was/is something being hidden from the family and the general public. A healthy man does not just walk into a police station and die under police custody – what makes it more bizarre is the fact that Palmer is a Veteran – one who has served America with his life.
The manner of death and the inconsistent stories surrounding it reeks of racism and a draconian plot by some very powerful people. The question now is: who could possibly want Palmer dead? Did he pose any threat to anyone or any group of people? Or was he just a victim of a system that often defends murderous law enforcement officers?
The questions and more would guide the family and the public into a complete inquiry as to why and how he died.
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