On February 5, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed a lower court’s denial of immunity to Framingham Police Officer Paul Duncan. Duncan accidentally shot and killed Eurie Stamps–an unarmed, innocent, Black grandfather of 12–as Stamps lay on the floor with his hands up during a 2011 SWAT team raid on his home.
A broad coalition of groups supported this outcome in a brief filed in the case, Stamps v. Town of Framingham, last fall: the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, the ACLU’s Criminal Law Reform Project, the Cato Institute, LatinoJustice, the New England Area Conference of the NAACP, and the National Bar Association.
The SWAT team raided his house on a suspicion that a family member was selling drugs, but officers did not suspect Mr. Stamps of any crime. Five years after his death, Mr. Stamps has missed important family milestones, including the birth of his two great-granddaughters, his grandkids’ college graduations and acceptances to college, and the chance to watch many of his grandkids’ sports events, including his grandson’s competition in the college football national championship as a starting defensive tackle.
Read more about the dangerous trend of police militarization:
- Cato Institute: Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America
- National ACLU: War Comes Home
- ACLU of Massachusetts: Our Homes are Not Battlefields
- Boston Herald: Suit settled over SWAT killing of grandpa
- MetroWest Daily News: Framingham settles lawsuit in Stamps case
- MetroWest Daily News: Stamps family deserves justice
- MetroWest Daily News: Court weighs Framingham police officer’s appeal in fatal shooting
Photo: Eurie Stamps and his wife Norma, several months before Eurie's death during a botched SWAT raid at their Framingham home