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Framingham settles suit in fatal police shooting

The town of Framingham has reached a $3.75 million settlement with the estate and family of Eurie Stamps, a 68-year-old man who was accidentally shot and killed by police during a 2011 drug raid at his home.

Stamps, a retired MBTA maintenance worker, was unarmed when he was fatally shot by a member of the Framingham SWAT team. Stamps had no criminal record and was not suspected of any crime.

In announcing the settlement of a federal lawsuit brought by Stamps’s family, the Board of Selectmen said in a Sept. 28 statement that no sum of money will compensate for the family’s loss.

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“My heart goes out to the Stamps family,’’ said selectmen chairwoman Cheryl Tully Stoll. “There is nothing we can do that will make up for the tragic death of Mr. Stamps. I pray that the family will someday be able to move forward and find peace.”

Officer Paul K. Duncan accidentally shot Stamps in the face during a drug raid at Stamps’s apartment in Framingham on Jan. 5, 2011, according to court filings. Duncan was part of a SWAT team executing a search warrant that was obtained based on a report that Stamps’s stepson and others were selling crack cocaine from the apartment.

Duncan was not charged in the case after an investigation by the Middlesex district attorney’s office and State Police determined that he had lost his balance and fallen, causing him to accidentally fire his weapon.

The town said it has taken several steps to ensure that a similar accident is not repeated.

It has disbanded the Framingham Police Department SWAT Team and now collaborates with the Massachusetts State Police SWAT Team. Both the town of Framingham and the Framingham Police Department participate in a partnership with the Framingham Comes Together initiative, which was organized by the Framingham Interfaith Clergy Association to improve racial understanding.

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In addition, the Framingham Police Department is exploring a pilot program in the use of body cameras and the introduction of stun guns as an alternative to firearms

“The Framingham Police Department has provided additional training to our officers and will continue to do so,’’ said Police Chief Kenneth Ferguson. “Our goal is to provide the highest level of police services to the residents of Framingham, and to prevent as much as humanly possible any other family from experiencing the sorrow that the Stamps family has endured.”


Jennifer Fenn Lefferts can be reached at jflefferts@yahoo.
com
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