The 12 grandchildren of Eurie Stamps Sr. will begin 2011 by burying their beloved grandfather. On January 5th Mr Stamps was murdered by the Framingham, MA Swat Team during a botched drug raid. Mr. Stamps was not the target of the drug raid and he was not armed when he was killed.
Framingham’s Police Chief, Steven Carl released this statement about the shooting.
At 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 5, the Framingham Police SWAT Team served a search warrant at 26 Fountain St. in Framingham. During the service of the search warrant Mr. Eurie Stamps was tragically and fatally struck by a bullet which was discharged from a SWAT officer’s rifle. Despite immediate intervention by tactical medics, he died at the scene.
The officer involved has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the District Attorney’s Office’s independent investigation into the justifiability of the shooting. Our condolences are with Mr. Stamp’s family for the heartbreak they are understandably enduring and we will await the findings of the investigation before taking any additional administrative action.
According to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, the investigation will take three to four weeks and the identity of the Framingham officer who shot Stamps will not be released until the investigation is complete.
Do you like how Chief Carl worded that? Mr. Stamps was not killed by a SWAT officer. He was “fatally struck by a bullet which was discharged from a SWAT officer’s rifle.” He makes it sound as if Mr. Stamp was killed by a rogue bullet that just magically discharged from an officer’s rifle instead of by the reckless actions of the Framingham Police.
A report that came out of Maryland in 2010 showed that almost 92% of the 1,618 SWAT Team deployments in that state were for the purpose of serving a search warrant. 47% of those search warrants were issued for the purpose of recovering illegal drugs. The use of SWAT was originally for the purpose of diffusing already violent situations such as hostage situations or engaging heavily armed suspects. Today we see that in one state (I would not be surprised if these numbers would be similar in all states) 47% of the time heavily armed men with badges were sent into an otherwise non-violent situation and created violence where none existed before. Sending heavily armed, adrenaline pumped men into someone’s home in the middle of the night creates a volatile environment that not only puts suspects and bystanders at risk, but officers themselves. The inevitable result is that people are needlessly killed. How many more have to die before people will say enough?
If you or I committed a crime and our partner in crime murdered someone in the process, you and I would be charged with that murder right along with the shooter. Responsibility does not only lie with the officer who fired the fatal shot. Anyone who gave the order to perform a violent raid and everyone who carried out that order should share in the responsibility for Mr. Stamps death. If the justice system does not hold them responsible, I hope their consciences do.