FRAMINGHAM – Six years after the accidental shooting death of Eurie Stamps by a Framingham Police Officer, as part of a SWAT team, the shooting and its aftermath has become a part of the discussion in the first Framingham mayoral race. Election day is Tuesday.
The family of Eurie Stamps issued a press release today, November 4, that it was unhappy with statements by one of the mayoral candidates at events on October 19 and October 22.
Narvous and Joyce Stamps attended a forum for mayor on Thursday, October 19 at the Greater Framingham Community Church. Joyce said they also attended a forum for mayor sponsored by Temple Beth Am on Sunday, October 22. The couple have lived in Framingham for more than 35 years.
At the Greater Framingham Community Church and Temple Beth Am forum, the family said in a press release that mayoral candidate John Stefanini said “When Eurie Stamps was shot in his own home I was there. I called for the swat team to be disbanded.”
“In 2011 my beloved brother, 68-year- old Eurie Stamps was wrongfully killed by the Framingham Police SWAT team,” said Narvous Stamps, in the release.
“The Stamps family would like to go on record stating that Mr. Stefanini was not there for us when Eurie was shot. It took two years, and the outcries and efforts of many people, including our family, for the SWAT team to be disbanded. We are insulted and appalled by Mr. Stefanini’s false innuendos and use of our family’s tragedy for political gain during his campaign.” Narvous Stamps wrote in the media release issued this morning.
“My deepest sympathies remain with the Stamps family. When injustice has occurred in our community — immigrants’ rights trampled, marriage equality challenged, environmental contamination ignored, domestic violence tolerated, poverty limiting opportunity — I have stood up to injustice in our community In the case of Mr. Stamps, as a private citizen, I did not want to politicize the Stamps family grief, but called on our leaders to disband the SWAT Team and later worked for the creation of a Police Advisory Committee to ensure a future government could not ignore issues like this situation,” said Stefanini in a statement.
“I raised the issue, not to politicized it, but to honor and ensure his tragic loss served a greater good, which is exactly what his brother said to me when he approached me and shook my hand following the Greater Framingham Community Church forum a few weeks ago,” said Stefanini.
In September 2016, the Town of Framingham announced its insurance underwriter reached a settlement agreement with the estate and family of Eurie Stamps in the amount of $3.75 million, settling all claims against the Town stemming from the tragic 2011 accidental shooting of Stamps.
Stefanini, a former Selectmen was not on the Framingham Board of Selectmen when the shooting happened in 2011. He also was not on the Board when the Town of Framingham disbanded the SWAT team, and when the suit was settled in 2016.
Framingham Source asked Joyce and Narvous if they have publicly endorsed a candidate for mayor. A response was not received as of this publishing, but Joyce posted on the Yvonne Spicer for Mayor Facebook page after this report published, she plans to vote for Spicer.
Framingham Selectman Jason Smith said Sunday morning “John was one of the first people to reach out to be during this absolute tragedy.” Smith was on the Board when the shooting happened.
“John’s question to me was very simple. He asked what Selectmen were going to do to ban the SWAT team? He asked why we have SWAT team and said Framingham shouldn’t,” said Smith.
“I clearly remember the conversation, and the tragedy. The Town of Framingham did a poor job communicating to the family back then. Nobody reached out to the family. We did a poor job communicating and we all needed to do better,” said Smith, who said the Town of Framingham eventually did reach out to the Stamps family.
Originally posted on November 4. Updated on November 4. Updated again on November 5 with quotes from Jason Smith.