Why Were Organs Missing From This Black Army Veteran’s Body?

Last year, 41-year-old Everett Palmer, a black Army veteran and father of two, went to police to address a past DUI charge and its possible bearing on his ability to drive out of state. He was arrested on the spot and jailed. Two days later, Palmer’s family was informed that he had died while in custody. When his body was eventually released, Palmer’s family says his body was missing organs — his throat, his brain and his heart.

Months later, Palmer’s family is still not sure how he died or why his body was returned in this state. “This entire case smacks of a cover up,” the family’s lawyer, Lee Merritt, says.

According to the official account of Palmer’s death, he was arrested in 2018 for a 2016 DUI charge in Pennsylvania after reporting himself. The jail guards claim that Palmer became “agitated” and began banging his head against his cell door, leading him to be restrained.

His behavior was attributed to “methamphetamine toxicity” exacerbated by a likely “sickle red cell disorder.” The initial coroner report ruled out suicide, but officially labeled Palmer’s cause of death as “undetermined.”

His family says that Palmer did not have health issues previously and did not use methamphetamine. They also find the implication of drug use questionable, considering his jail check-in did not document him with paraphernalia in his possession or indicate that he was intoxicated.

Most alarming for the family, however, was the fact that Palmer’s organs had been removed –and without any notification. It wasn’t until family members hired a pathologist to examine Palmer’s body that they discovered his brain and heart had been extracted, in addition to his throat.

York County Coroner Pam Gay insists that removal of these organs is not uncommon, as they are sometimes required to conduct further investigation into the cause of death — a process that could take between one and three years. That doesn’t explain why the family was not informed about the organs, nor why officials were unable to give a consistent account about what happened to them once confronted over their disappearance.

When Palmer’s family initially confronted officials about the whereabouts of his missing organs, they were told to seek answers from the funeral home. After being told that the home was not responsible, the family again requested an explanation from the county. They were told that Palmer’s organs had been handed over to an independent lab contracted to perform additional examination. And the lab has supposedly been ordered to withhold the organs pending investigation.

Given the circumstances surrounding Palmer’s sudden death and the York County officials’ seeming inability to cooperate with his family, it is not difficult to see why they find the official account suspicious.

How did Everett Palmer actually die? Why are officials claiming drug use as a factor, while being unable to provide a toxicology report? Why did they not only fail to tell Palmer’s family that they had removed his organs but, when eventually confronted over it, fail to explain where they had been placed and why?

This reeks of an overt attempt at a cover up of an excessive use of force that ultimately left a man dead. Even if, somehow, Palmer’s death was genuinely an honest mistake and he did, somehow, obtain and use drugs while in custody, why was his family given the runaround? It’s been 14 months, and his family is no closer to getting answers.

Take Action!

Everett Palmer and his family deserve the truth, and those responsible for his death and misplacement of his organs must be held accountable. Add your name to this Care2 petition to show your support for Palmer’s family. York County officials in Pennsylvania must come clean immediately!

Concerned about an issue? Want to raise awareness about an injustice? Join your fellow Care2 users by learning how to make your own petition and make your voice heard today!

 

Photo Credit: David Geitgey Sierralupe

68 comments

Alea C
Alea C4 hours ago

Back again for butterfly points.

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Alea C
Alea C4 hours ago

Back again for butterfly points.

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BobbyKat L
BobbyKat L5 hours ago

Thank you.

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Alea C
Alea C2 days ago

Care2 is still giving commenting points. (I said earlier that Care2 wasn't but I was wrong.

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Alea C
Alea C2 days ago

Care2 is still giving commenting points. (I said earlier that Care2 wasn't but I was wrong.

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RONALD Walker
RONALD Walker2 days ago

There is a cover-up and this problem has many major questions that need to be answered. Racism is now growing under mini-brain tRump.

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Alea C
Alea C4 days ago

Posting for butterfly credits.

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Alea C
Alea C4 days ago

Horrible.

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Alea C
Alea C5 days ago

Still no new causes I see. Very disappointing.

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Alea C
Alea C5 days ago

Still no new causes I see. Very disappointing.

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