BY EMMA MILLER
Standing in solidarity, southeast Queens residents and elected officials rallied on Sunday in Queens Village demanding justice for a borough native who died while incarcerated in Pennsylvania.
The group gathered at Maranatha Baptist Church on Sept. 30 to support the family of Everett Palmer Jr., who died in April while in police custody in the Keystone State just two days after being arrested.
“Months of confusion and distortion of what happened to Everett has compounded the Palmer family’s grief,” said state Senator Leroy Comrie. “We’re standing here today because they deserve the truth. They need justice for the life of Everett.”
Palmer, a father of two and U.S. Army veteran, turned himself in to police in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania for an outstanding 2016 DUI charge. He was sent to a jail in York County and was found dead two days later inside his jail cell.
According to Comrie, the initial coroner’s report stated that Palmer died of self-inflicted injuries after hitting his head off the door of his cell repeatedly. However, the autopsy revealed that Palmer’s cause of death was “complications following an excited state, associated with methamphetamine toxicity, during physical restraint.”
The Palmer family has since hired an attorney and a private medical examiner. They are demanding an investigation by York County District Attorney David W. Sunday. They also started a petition and a Facebook page called Justice4Everett.
“Too many questions regarding the cause of Everett Palmer, Jr.’s death remain unanswered, and the Pennsylvania State Police have not been transparent,” said Congressman Gregory Meeks. “His family should not have to bear the grief of not knowing how or why he died in that jail cell, and I stand with them in their pursuit of truth and justice for Everett.”
City Council Members I. Daneek Miller and Adrienne Adams expressed similar sympathies while calling for an investigation to be opened.
“We are vigilant in our pursuit to demand justice for the homicide death of Everett Palmer, Jr.,” said Bobbie Cole, a Maranatha Baptist Church representative. “We are standing strong with the Palmer Family and won’t stop until the individuals responsible are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”