US District Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV says that the Massachusetts wrongful death case filed against Framingham Police Officer Paul K. Duncan may proceed. Duncan shot Eurie Stamps Sr. by accident in 2011 while the older man was unarmed and face down on a kitchen floor. According to Stamp’s estate, Duncan used excessive force when he shot the retiree.
The tragic accident took place during a drug raid at Duncan’s home. Duncan and the SWAT team he was with were executing a search warrant at the time based on allegations that Stamps’ stepson and others were selling crack cocaine out of the residence.
The police officer’s weapon discharged after he tripped inside a dark hallway, killing Stamps, who had no criminal record and was not a suspect in any crime. Also, the older man reportedly had done nothing to suggest that he wasn’t going to cooperate with police officers nor did he appear to pose a threat to anyone there.
Judge Saylor said that the Massachusetts police brutality case against Duncan will go forward on the counts alleging excessive use of force and violation of Stamps’ Fourth Amendment Rights. The judge explained that qualified immunity did not protect Duncan, who has not been criminally charged over the shooting, from civil liability for acts committed while doing his job.
Saylor is also allowing Stamps’ estate to sue the city of Framingham for wrongful death.
Massachusetts Excessive Use of Force
Excessive use of police force, whether intentional or accidental, may result in serious injuries, including death. Police officers and other law enforcement officials are required to refrain from unnecessary and excessive violence when doing their job.
Unfortunately incidents of excessive force do happen, committed by law enforcement officers against civilians, prisoners, detainees, and suspects. Aside from physical violence, other examples of police brutality include verbal abuse, intimidation and threats, unlawful imprisonment, sex assault, rape, and unnecessary strip searches.
You may be able to obtain Boston personal injury damages for the excessive use of police force that you or a loved one experienced. The way to do this is to file a Massachusetts police brutality claim.
Your complaint would be separate from any criminal case filed with law enforcement officers. Even if no criminal charges were filed against the offending cop you still may be able to recover compensation through your civil suit.
Many victims of Boston police violence are too scared or intimidated to speak out. Some may not be aware that their civil rights were violated or that the police officer did anything wrong. You should know that you have a right to speak out and seek legal representation for the harm that you suffered.
Civil rights case to proceed against police officer, The Boston Globe, December 25, 2014
Framingham and police officer sued by family of man killed by SWAT team, MetroWestDailyNews, October 12, 2014
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Consolidation of Xarelto Injury Lawsuits Gets Opposition from Bayer, Johnson & Johnson, Drug Injury Lawyers Blog, December 5, 2014
Domestic Workers in Massachusetts Soon to Get Employment and Labor Protections, Massachusetts Workers Compensation Lawyer Blog, December 27, 2014