BOSTON, Sept. 30, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The family of Eurie Stamps has announced that its Federal Civil Rights lawsuit in Boston Federal Court against the Town of Framingham, MA, and one of its police officers has been settled for $3.75 million.
The Stamps family remains heartbroken over the death of their 68-year-old family patriarch, who was a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend to many. Nevertheless, the Stamps family is pleased that, after years of litigation, the Town and its insurer have paid a substantial sum for the unjustified shooting death of Eurie Stamps, described in a United States Court of Appeals decision earlier this year as "an innocent, elderly, African-American man."
Shortly after midnight on January 5, 2011, Eurie Stamps was watching television in his bedroom when the Framingham Police Department SWAT team descended on his home to serve a search warrant directed at his 20-year-old stepson. Despite Mr. Stamps' immediate compliance with the officers' commands to lie on the floor with his hands above his head, one officer disengaged the safety on his assault-style rifle and aimed the weapon at Mr. Stamps' head. While the parties dispute the details about what happened next, it is not disputed that the weapon accidentally fired and killed Mr. Stamps as he lay on the floor. As noted by the Court of Appeals, when the officer encountered Mr. Stamps, he had already "been subdued, was lying in a hallway on his stomach with his hands above his head, and was compliant and posed no known threat to the officers."
"The focus of the family's lawsuit was that the officer who shot Mr. Stamps violated his civil rights, protected by the United States Constitution, by recklessly handling his rifle in direct violation of his training and clear department policies," said Anthony Tarricone, one of the attorneys representing the Stamps family.
"We are satisfied that the settlement represents some justice, but it cannot bring Eurie back," said Norma Stamps, Eurie's widow. Mr. Stamps' son, Eurie Jr., commented, "We are pleased that the civil rights laws held the Framingham police accountable for this completely senseless shooting of an innocent man, my father."
The family wishes to thank the civil justice and public interest organizations that submitted an Amicus Curiae or "Friend-of-the-Court" brief to the United States Court of Appeals supporting the Stamps family's legal position against the Town's efforts to deny liability. These groups include the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and its Massachusetts chapter, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) (New England Conference), the National Bar Association, the Cato Institute, and Latino/Justice PRLDF.
The Stamps family is represented by Anthony Tarricone and Joseph P. Musacchio of the Kreindler & Kreindler law firm and Anthony W. Fugate of the Law Offices of Anthony W. Fugate.
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SOURCE Kreindler & Kreindler LLP