Mar. 7, 2011
BOSTON — The Middlesex County District Attorney’s office this week reveals the findings of a two-month long investigation into the fatal shooting of an unarmed man his Framingham home.
In th early morning hours of January 5, Eurie Stamps, a 68-year-old retired MBTA machinist, was shot dead by a member of a local SWAT team that had just conducted a sweep of his residence in a search for crack-cocaine. The officer's name has not yet been released publicly, and will not be until after the findings are in. But the case has raised questions about racial profiling and the use of force.
Neither the Middlesex County DA’s Office nor family members now believe that Eurie Stamps had any connection whatsoever with drug-dealing. Framingham police had executed an arrest warrant at that address for two 20-year-old men, Devon Talbert and Joseph Bushfan. Bushfan lived at the house with his mother, and with Stamps, who friends say was like a stepfather.
After they were taken into custody, a SWAT officer inside the house shot Stamps. He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died.
What the Middlesex County DA’s office and State Police have now taken upon themselves to determine are the circumstances leading to the shooting. Was it purposeful or accidental? And other issues are being raised too, including the role of race. Eurie Stamps was black.
Harvard Law school professor and attorney, Charles Ogletree, has taken an active role in the case. He says it's a tragedy beyond measure.
"It really is beyond measure when there’s no accusation that he’s using drugs, selling drugs, covering for a gang," Ogletree said. "They just go into his house, having already arrested the people they believe are suspects. We’ll see what they find out, that she stumbled after putting a smoke bomb in there, fell down and her gun went off. Wow! How did it go off, hit, and kill him?"
Another question being asked by neighbors on Fountain Street in Framingham is: Why was a SWAT team dispatched to arrest what one police officer— not involved in the case— described as quote “a very small time drug dealer?”
Police say even though Bushfan has never been convicted, he has been arrested for armed robbery, and therefore police believed him to be dangerous.
The Middlesex County DA’s findings are expected to be released sometime this week, and Stamp family members say they hope they will provide some answers.