Thursday, January 6, 2011

Botched drug raid ends in death of grandfather

The latest casualty in the "war on drugs" is Eurie Stamps, a 68-year-old grandfather of 12. He was shot and killed yesterday in in Framingham, Massachusetts, during the execution of an early-morning search warrant. Two 20-year-old men were arrested on drug charges during the raid.

As usual, the official statement from the police department danced around the details: "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." Why not just state what actually happened, that an innocent grandfather was gunned down in cold blood by a trigger-happy cop?

It seems to me responsible police surveillance would entail tracking a suspect and waiting until he or she was away from innocent bystanders before moving in for the arrest. But, then again, simply arresting the bad guy isn't the goal. These midnight, no-knock, Stasi-like raids are an effective and fearful show of force, and anyone getting in the way is considered collateral damage.

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