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Police Officer Walks in Massachusetts Drug Raid Death

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #675)
Politics & Advocacy

The Framingham, Massachusetts, SWAT team officer who shot and killed a 68-year-man lying prostrate on his apartment floor during a drug raid will face no criminal charges. The killing of Eurie Stamps was an "accident," according to a Wednesday report from the office of Middlesex County District Attorney's Gerard Leone.

DA Leone couldn't come up with a criminal charge (Image courtesy Middlesex County District Attorney's Office)
The report named the shooter as Officer Paul Duncan, who was part of a SWAT team enlisted to take part in a drug raid aimed at Stamps' grandson, Joseph Bushfan. Police arrested Bushfan outside the home before kicking down the door, throwing a stun grenade, and ordering everyone to the floor. Stamps had obeyed and was lying on the floor when Duncan attempted to cuff and frisk him.

"As he stepped to his left, (Duncan) lost his balance and began to fall over backwards," the report said. "Officer Duncan realized that his right foot was off the floor and the tactical equipment that he was wearing was making his movements very awkward. While falling, Officer Duncan removed his left hand from his rifle, which was pointing down towards the ground and put his left arm out to try and catch himself. As he did so, he heard a shot and then his body made impact with the wall. At that point, Officer Duncan, who was lying on the ground with his back against the wall, realized that he was practically on top of Mr. Stamps and that Mr. Stamps was bleeding. Officer Duncan immediately started yelling 'man down, man down.' Numerous SWAT members began calling for medics and alerting team members that there was a person down that needed medical attention. Officer Duncan told another officer on scene within moments of the incident that he had stumbled and lost his balance while moving to get in a better position, and as he was falling, his gun fired."

That was good enough for DA Leone: "The conclusion of this office is that the actions of Officer Duncan do not rise to the level of criminal conduct, and the shooting death of Eurie Stamps was an accident."

But it wasn't good enough for Stamps' family members and their attorneys. Both Stamps' widow and his children are pondering lawsuits in the case.

"Eurie Stamps’ death was the result of a fundamentally unjustifiable shooting by law enforcement officers who are charged with protecting public safety," said Anthony Tarricone, a lawyer representing Stamps’ children. "When an innocent man dies this way at the hands of police, there really are no excuses that can satisfactorily explain away such a tragedy," he told the Boston Herald.

"I don’t think it's right," said Adia Boston, Stamps' niece by marriage. "I think he should be suspended, at a minimum. There should be job loss, if not jail. That wasn't an accident... It shouldn't be an accident if it's the SWAT team. They're supposed to be trained."

Joseph Bardouille, the attorney representing Stamps' widow, said that the district attorney's report did not address serious questions about the shooting and that the family is undertaking a civil rights investigation.

"One of the purposes of the family's inquiry is to make sure SWAT officers throughout the commonwealth are trained," Bardouille said, noting experts have told him an officer's finger should not be on the trigger unless he is prepared to shoot. "They want to prevent something like this from happening again."

Officer Duncan remains on paid administrative leave while the Framingham Police Department finishes its investigation of the incident.

A civilian who shot an innocent man in these circumstances would be likely to face involuntary manslaughter charges at the least. But that is not the case when law enforcers investigate themselves.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


knowa (not verified)


The family must sue the town. The police can not continue this violation.  The only way that this can stop is that  tax payer need to be accountable for allowing these Nazi SS tactics to continue against non violent citizens in their towns Bankrupt the town then file a change of venue to file charges against the cop and make sure he serve his time in a general population in prison. what is good for the geese is good for the gander. 
Wed, 03/16/2011 - 2:23pm Permalink
Anonymous1945378 (not verified)

In reply to by knowa (not verified)

   1. All municipalities  have insurance, they are only liable for the deductible 

   2. Police are never found guilty of murder, take a look on the web at the brazen killings and nothing more than some time off. Just like this case no problems, no concerns, and he is back to work, and he got a nice little vacation with pay.

   3 Police officers don't go to general population

   4 Townships are not allowed to file bankruptcy 

   5 If what's  good for the goose was good for the gander This officer would be shot dead while cowering in front of his wife and kids, and that shooter would deserve a paid vacation

   6 The police are not only able to continue this they are able to escalate their behavior, It happens more and more often and more and more brazen .eir behavior, It happens more and more often and more and more brazen   the   these   theilis




Fri, 03/18/2011 - 12:37am Permalink
sammerlin1 (not verified)

My God even the city of Detroit is issuing a warrant for the arrest of an officer that accidently shot Ayianna Jones in a swat raid. Ayianna Jones was a seven year old little girl that died in a swat raid in Detroit in May, Even the City Of Oakland convicted officer Johannes Mehserle was convicted for involuntary manslaughter of Oscar Grant.

District Attorney Leone Jr. has betrayed public trust. There is no accountability or responsibility in regards to the actions of this Swat Team. District Attorney Leone Jr. has set a precedent that allows the murder of innocent civilians by law enforcement. I suppose the next innocent civilian to be executed by a Framingham police officer can just use the "Officer Paul Duncan Defense, Opps I stumbled" Lets hope the Framingham police department doesn't promote officer Paul Duncan. I fear for every citizen of Framingham!

I believe there should be some intervention by the Department of Justice if police officers from Framingham can literally execute innocent civilians, in their own homes without accountability, responsibility or punishment.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 1:22pm Permalink
T (not verified)

I'm not from America, but it seems that law is very much to do with how you see the situation.

Sue the Police Department for Criminal Negligence Resulting in death? Also a separate suit for manslaughter, and if it was agent Paul Duncan as opposed to "Officer" Paul Duncan  Some one that untrained/Inept should never have been issued a gun. An officer that is so unfamiliar with his uniform that he falls down stepping over an obstacle should not be allowed in public. file the same suit against the officer the Department and the city the county and the state. that will get some ones attention. What about a police brutality suit?

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 1:31pm Permalink
joebanana (not verified)

Asset forfeiture is a f-cking joke, the drug war is a f-cking joke, the government is a f-cking joke, the United States is a huge f-cking joke. No wonder people want to blow up government buildings.

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 6:29pm Permalink
Paul Cooper (not verified)

I wonder of Middlesex County District Attorney Leone's verdict would be the same if it had been his son or wife that was killed?

Police due to the fact they are armed in public must be held to a higher standard.

Officer Duncan may have slipped and fell but he still pulled the trigger even if accidentally and bears full responsibility for his actions.

These weapons don't just go off because they are bumped or dropped. Manufacturers insure their products are as "fool" proof as is humanly passable to craft them and the police own armorers check these weapons for reliability including weak or soft trigger pressure..

The officer should have faced involuntary manslaughter at the very least. 

Thu, 03/17/2011 - 9:47pm Permalink
Lark44 (not verified)

The District Attorney, SWAT and DEA all sleep in the same bed. Legalize marijuana and 95% of all this bull crap will disappear. It's time for change. Vote all our  legislators out of office who continue supporting the failed drug war. Vote for people who support legalization, taxation and regulation.

Thu, 03/24/2011 - 2:54am Permalink

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