Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
An Army veteran's family wants answers after he died in jail and his brain, heart, and throat were mysteriously removed
Two days after Army veteran Everett Palmer Jr. turned himself into Pennsylvania authorities in April 2018 for a DUI-related arrest warrant, he was dead. It's been over a year since he passed, but his family is still searching for answers.
Palmer was pronounced dead at a York hospital on April 9, 2018 at 5:46 a.m. at the age of 41. Beyond this small collection of hard facts, the rest of the story surrounding Palmer's death is murky.
York County Prison initially said he "became agitated and began hitting his head against the inside of his cell door." He was then taken to the prison medical clinic, where he inexplicably became unresponsive. Palmer was transported to York Hospital, where his life ended.
A coroner later concluded that the former Army paratrooper died from "complications following an excited state, associated with methamphetamine toxicity, during physical restraint," adding that a sickling red cell disorder might have contributed to his demise.
Authorities have yet to explain how he would have had methamphetamines in his system after spending two days in police custody.
A pathologist hired by the family, who believes the narrative surrounding Palmer's death is suspicious, reportedly determined he was the victim of a homicide.
One particularly troubling thing is that when the body was turned over to the family, it was badly bruised, and several of his body parts — namely his brain, heart, and throat — were missing.
"When we reached out to find out what happened to his organs, they initially lied," Palmer's brother Dwayne Palmer told Spectrum News NY1. "They directed us back to our funeral director and told us that we need to confer with them because they probably took the organs."
Palmer's brother has told reporters that he suspects Everett's death was a homicide.
An attorney working with the family said that this "makes no sense, unless you're trying to maybe avoid people knowing how he died." Marlon Kirton, the attorney, reportedly suggested that death could have been the result of asphyxiation.
The family has rejected the possibility that Palmer took drugs in prison or that he would have slammed his head into his cell. His mother, Rose Palmer, told reporters that her son "was not a troublemaker."
Palmer, reportedly under the influence, crashed a Honda Accord in 2016 but failed to show up in court, leading a judge to issue a warrant for his arrest in Pennsylvania where the accident occurred. Palmer, who was living in Delaware and working as a personal trainer, turned himself in after learning about the warrant, the Queens Daily Eagle reported.
The family was shocked when they got the call that he was dead two days later.
Read more from Business Insider:
- The president of the U.S. Naval War College is under investigation after several complaints — including that he kept a margarita machine in his office
- Russian sailors appeared to be sunbathing shirtless while their destroyer took a run at a U.S. Navy warship
- Military doctors are doing fewer amputations, and there's a risk they could forget how to treat them
- Russia keeps jamming and spoofing U.S. military operations, so the Army is testing jam-resistant GPS in Europe
- 4 military phrases that civilians should start using
Senior defense officials offered a wide range of excuses to reporters on Wednesday about why they may not comply with a subpoena from House Democrats for documents related to the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
On Oct. 7, lawmakers subpoenaed information about military aid to Ukraine. Eight days later, a Pentagon official told them to pound sand in part because many of the documents requested are communications with the White House that are protected by executive privilege.
Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) will announce legislation Wednesday aiming to "fix" a new Trump administration citizenship policy that affects some children of U.S. service members stationed abroad.
The inside story of how The Village People shot the Navy's most controversial recruiting video onboard an active warship
The video opens innocently enough. A bell sounds as we gaze onto a U.S. Navy frigate, safely docked at port at Naval Base San Diego. A cadre of sailors, dressed in "crackerjack" style enlisted dress uniforms and hauling duffel bags over their shoulders, stride up a gangplank aboard the vessel. The officer on deck greets them with a blast of a boatswain's call. It could be the opening scene of a recruitment video for the greatest naval force on the planet.
Then the rhythmic clapping begins.
This is no recruitment video. It's 'In The Navy,' the legendary 1979 hit from disco queens The Village People, shot aboard the very real Knox-class USS Reasoner (FF-1063) frigate. And one of those five Navy sailors who strode up that gangplank during filming was Ronald Beck, at the time a legal yeoman and witness to one of the strangest collisions between the U.S. military and pop culture of the 20th century.
"They picked the ship and they picked us, I don't know why," Beck, who left the Navy in 1982, told Task & Purpose in a phone interview from his Texas home in October. "I was just lucky to be one of 'em picked."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Tuesday casually brushed aside the disturbing news that, holy shit, MORE THAN 100 ISIS FIGHTERS HAVE ESCAPED FROM JAIL.
In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Esper essentially turned this fact into a positive, no doubt impressing public relations and political talking heads everywhere with some truly masterful spin.
"Of the 11,000 or so detainees that were imprisoned in northeast Syria, we've only had reports that a little more than a hundred have escaped," Esper said, adding that the Syrian Democratic Forces were continuing to guard prisons, and the Pentagon had not "seen this big prison break that we all expected."
Well, I feel better. How about you?
On Wednesday, the top U.S. envoy in charge of the global coalition to defeat ISIS said much the same, while adding another cherry on top: The United States has no idea where those 100+ fighters went.
A senior administration official told reporters on Wednesday the White House's understanding is that the SDF continues to keep the "vast majority" of ISIS fighters under "lock and key."
"It's obviously a fluid situation on the ground that we're monitoring closely," the official said, adding that released fighters will be "hunted down and recaptured." The official said it was Turkey's responsibility to do so.
President Trump expressed optimism on Wednesday about what was happening on the ground in northeast Syria, when he announced that a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurds was expected to be made permanent.
"Turkey, Syria, and all forms of the Kurds have been fighting for centuries," Trump said. "We have done them a great service and we've done a great job for all of them — and now we're getting out."
The president boasted that the U.S.-brokered ceasefire had saved the lives of tens of thousands of Kurds "without spilling one drop of American blood."
Kade Kurita, the 20-year-old West Point cadet who had been missing since Friday evening, was found dead on Tuesday night, the U.S. Military Academy announced early Wednesday morning.
"We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita's family and friends," Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of West Point, said in the release.