|Framingham Mayor Won't Terminate Officer In Stamps Death: Emails||October 14, 2020|
|Neal McNamara||Framingham Patch|
Framingham Mayor Won't Terminate Officer In Stamps Death: Emails
There have been new calls to fire Framingham Officer Paul Duncan. The mayor discussed why she's unable to in an email exchange this summer.
By Neal McNamara, Patch StaffVerified Patch Staff Badge
Oct 14, 2020 10:52 am ET
Updated Oct 14, 2020 11:07 am ET
Mayor Yvonne Spicer emailed with a city resident over the summer about Officer Paul Duncan.
Mayor Yvonne Spicer emailed with a city resident over the summer about Officer Paul Duncan. (Neal McNamara/Patch)
FRAMINGHAM, MA - Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer in an email exchange this summer told a city resident that she does not have the ability to fire the Framingham police officer who fatally shot Eurie Stamps in 2011.
The email exchange is the most explicit statement Spicer has made about Officer Paul Duncan after activists and Stamps' family renewed calls for his firing this summer. The Middlesex County District Attorney's Office is taking a fresh look at the Stamps case, but so far has not announced any new revelations.
On Aug. 15 - the day Spicer spoke at a rally organized by Stamps' family at Memorial Hall - resident Greg Soboff emailed the mayor to ask why Duncan was still working in Framingham.
"I think it is absolutely abhorrent that Paul Duncan is still on the force, and still allowed to carry a gun," Soboff wrote in an Aug. 15 email, which was obtained through a public records request. "As a resident of Framingham, I do not feel safe living in a community where a murderer is still employed by our city and carrying a gun; while the real victim will never be brought back."
Spicer replied on Aug. 21, telling Soboff acting police Chief Ron Brandolini is in charge of terminating officers. She also highlighted that former Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone, who left office in 2013, investigated Stamps' death and found Duncan accidentally shot Stamps. An internal Framingham police investigation reached the same conclusion.
"[T]he passage of time since the incident occurred and the legal protections afforded to Officer Duncan under employment law, civil service law, and the collective bargaining agreement between the City and his union present serious legal and procedural obstacles to the action you are proposing" Spicer replied. "Given that this request pertains to an ongoing personnel matter, I hope you understand that I am unable to comment further on this specific request."
Duncan is currently on medical leave, Framingham spokeswoman Kelly McFalls said this week. McFalls could not say if Duncan had filed for retirement recently.
At the Aug. 15 Stamps rally, activists explicitly called for Duncan to be fired. The case resurfaced after the high-profile police killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and others this summer.
"[W]e seek the immediate termination/resignation of Officer Paul Duncan. His flagrant violation of FPD rules and universally accepted protocols directly leading to the shooting death of an innocent man should preclude him from serving as a police officer anywhere," a July 23 email to Spicer from members of Stamps family and activists said.
A MetroWest Daily News reporter asked Spicer about Duncan's termination during the Aug. 15 rally.
"I hear the passion, but there's a whole lot to unpack," Spicer told the reporter.
Stamps, 68, died in January 2011 when a now-disbanded local SWAT team raided his home looking for Stamps' stepson in connection with a drug investigation. Stamps, a retired MBTA employee and grandfather, was watching a Boston Celtics game when police burst into his home. Police ordered him onto the ground, and Stamps was lying on his stomach when Duncan apparently tripped and fired his rifle.
The Framingham City Council recently issued a formal apology to Stamps' family. Spicer is also seeking to set up a scholarship in Stamps' name at Framingham High School.
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