After 14 months of questions about what happened to Everett Palmer Junior, his family and their lawyers are now more hopeful that they will finally get some answers. This bit of hope comes after a NY1 story last week brought international attention to the case.
“We want to thank you and thank NY1 for allowing us to at least tell our version of what we believe happened down in Pennsylvania,” said Dwayne Palmer, Everett’s brother. “I’m going to tell you it’s been a bit overwhelming. We want to thank everybody for the vast public support we received."
"Since the story came out, there have been witnesses who have begun to come forward,” said Lee Merritt, the attorney for the Palmers. “We're hoping that more witnesses come forward. We believe these witnesses will help explain what happened to Everett."
Palmer, an Army veteran who grew up in Queens, went to Pennsylvania on April 7, 2018, to clear up an arrest warrant on an old DUI charge. Instead, he was arrested. Two days later, he died in the York County Jail.
"The three things we’ve always asked is that a true and full and total accounting of what happened with my brother between April 7 and April 9,” said Palmer. “To this day, we have not received any type of information in terms of what happened in that 48-hour period that caused the death of my brother.”
“We demand transparency,” said Merritt. “There should be a report. If there was an extraction, for example, in that cell, Pennsylvania law requires that there be a report about that extraction process. It should have been recorded.”
The family says the coroner has acknowledged there is a recording of Everett being tased, but they do not know why he was tased.
“We’ve requested to see it, but to this day we haven’t been allowed to see it,” Palmer said.
NY1 reported Pennsylvania authorities returned Everett's body to his family without his brain, heart, and throat, which were removed for an autopsy.
After initially refusing to comment, York County Coroner, Pamela Gay, has acknowledged the family was not told at the time that the body no longer had the organs.
But she contends that they were not missing. Instead, she says they’ve been in a medical office and the family's pathologist was able to "visualize and examine" them.
And yet, the family says its pathologist did not examine the organs, only slides of brain and throat tissue. Moreover, the pathologist has not been given access to the heart slides.
“He died in April, and I believe it was September that he didn’t get access to those particular organs, so we’ve requested that those organs be examined against the DNA of my brother,” Palmer said.
It's not yet clear who the new witnesses are, or what they might know. But the family and their attorneys say they will make sure the new evidence is presented to the York County District Attorney.