FRAMINGHAM, Mass., March 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In response to the investigative report issued today by the Middlesex District Attorney, attorneys for the family of Eurie Stamps, Sr., a 68-year-old, handicapped retired MBTA worker who was killed late at night in his home on January 5 by a Framingham Police SWAT team that stormed his house, issued today the following statement. Attorneys for the Stamps' family met with Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone this afternoon to review the results of the D.A.'s investigation.
"Eurie Stamps' death was the result of a fundamentally unjustifiable shooting by law enforcement officers who are charged with protecting the public safety," said Anthony Tarricone, a law partner at Kreindler & Kreindler LLP (www.kreindler.com), the firm representing the four adult children of Mr. Stamps. "When an innocent man dies this way at the hands of the police, there really are no excuses that can satisfactorily explain away such a tragedy. Mr. Stamps' civil rights were surely violated, and those who are responsible must be held accountable for his death."
"We believe the D.A.'s report leaves unanswered several critical questions about this incident," said Tony Fugate of the law firm Bardouille & Fugate, which is representing Norma Bushfan, the widow of Mr. Stamps. "We seek a full accounting of what went so terribly wrong here, and we do not yet have that."
The attorneys for the Stamps family raised the following questions:
- Why was a large and heavily-armed SWAT team deployed to serve a search warrant, especially in the middle of the night at a home known to be occupied by Mr. Stamps and his wife?
- What precautions were taken to ensure the safety of others who may have been in the house and who were not the targets of the warrant, such as Mr. Stamps, who had been in his bedroom watching television and sure to be startled by such dynamic entry?
- Why did the police not adjust their operational plan and still storm the house even after arresting 20-year-old Joseph Bushfan, the target of the warrant and Mr. Stamps' stepson, outside the home?
- What specific training and/or procedural failings could have lead to the shooting of an unarmed man watching television in his own home in the middle of the night?
- Who should be held accountable for such failings, and what corrections are necessary to ensure that the loss of innocent life in Framingham in such circumstances never happens again?
- Were there known systemic problems in the Framingham Police Department concerning deficiencies in training and execution of SWAT teams and, if so, how were they addressed and corrected?
- What changes are necessary to correct systemic training and procedural failings that permitted the use of the SWAT team assault and led to the death of Mr. Stamps in these circumstances?
- Is there proper oversight of SWAT team training and operations in place by Massachusetts state authorities?
- Was every member of the SWAT team at the Stamps home properly trained in the use of weapons and procedures for serving such warrants, to best ensure the safety of innocent people?
"The D.A.'s report fails to mention several factors we believe to be critical information," said Mr. Tarricone. "There is no mention of use of the stun grenade, that there were at least two entry teams of numerous officers, that the police department's pre-determined entry plan was not altered to reflect a changed scenario, that there had been no evidence of any drug sales in the home, and that the house had indeed been under surveillance for hours before the incident, which should have revealed the presence of Eurie Stamps, Sr. in the home. Surely, this case merits further investigation."
"Sadly, there's nothing that can return Mr. Stamps to his family or satisfy the enormous loss they will forever suffer," said Mr. Fugate. "But they are rightfully and firmly committed to seeking justice for their father and husband with the hope that such pursuit will help prevent such a tragedy from ever happening again."
SOURCE Kreindler & Kreindler LLP