Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Is anyone worth that much money?

 Nothing shocks me more than to read about the highest paid state workers with the base, over time, and other pay. How about the basket ball coach for UMass who made 1.66 million this year and made 705K in 2022. 

Of coarse we can't write about the highest wag earners in the State unless we write about the State cops. A detective captain earned 501K in 2023, with a base pay of 206K OT at 292K and other pay at 17K.

One detective lieutenant earned 439K in 2023 with a base pay of 176K and OT of 215K and 46K in other pay.

Another detective LT earned 431K last year with a base pay of 176K and OT pay was 246K and 8K in other pay. 

You can look at all state employee's from State Police and U Mass.!/year/2023/full_time_employees,others/pay1,pay2,pay3,pay4/explore/0-0-0-0-0/department_division/DEPARTMENT+OF+STATE+POLICE+(POL)/0-barChart-0/position_title!/year/2023/full_time_employees,others/pay1,pay2,pay3,pay4/explore/0-0-0-0-0/department_division/UNIVERSITY+OF+MASSACHUSETTS+SYSTEM+(UMS)/0-barChart-0/position_title


Saturday, January 13, 2024

They want us to pay for BWC software.. but it's paid for by the State

 It has been confirmed by the mayor at last Thursday night’s Finance Subcommittee is that Chief Baker did not want to force his people to wear the cameras. (1:14:04) It all makes sense now. If the cameras were received under the state grant years ago, the union would have no right to refuse to wear them. For the past two years plus body cam grants were asked about, even under the previous administration and we know now why grants were not pursued. The current mayor knew all about it. Now, the mayor indicates (1:14:50) that the BWC’s will be part of the new contract in 2024 and depending how that goes, we may have to make a different decision regarding body cams.

During the meeting agenda item 2023-113, a request was made by the mayor to transfer $49K to the FPD for the software necessary to implement Police Body Cameras. Concerned citizens at the meeting asked why the (51:10) – (1:16:40) tax payers must pay for the software when the State body-worn camera program states it would cover software under the grant as an allowable capital expense.  And for the record, for the 10th time, Framingham will receive $211K for the purchase of 140 cameras. And enough accessories to get the program up and running immediately, including software.

The representative from FPD explained that software was not allowed under the grant. When shown the statement from the BWC program web site, he then said they tried to include the software in the grant application but were told it was not an allowed expense, when in fact it is an allowable capital expense.  Having sent the committee, for a second time, a copy of the redacted grant application that FPD filed on July 27th 2023. it was my hope that they would read it, but perhaps everyone is just too busy. If they had, many of their questions would have been answered. The redacted sections include what FPD is applying for. Did that include funding for software? We just don’t know. The most critical requirements from the state grant are an assurance that FPD will have a body worn camera policy AND a collective bargaining agreement or documents of sustained good faith efforts to reach agreement. Both must be turned in within 90 days of executed contract (Oct 6th) which is Jan 6th, 2024. According to FPD it is Jan 17th. Not a dime can be spent until the two requirements are met.

It is so disheartening to see the lethargic response from FSC regarding this issue. Having sent a copy of all the pertinent state information months and months ago, none of them bothered to even open it and read it. Even more appalling is how they easily brush off the truth and just accept what FPD has said and written. While one councilperson spent 15 minutes cross-examining Jesse Edwards over a $50K equity audit grant as if he were a hostile witness on the stand, the very same councilperson was first to approve the spending for the software. But never asked FPD a single question.

It is now on the agenda for next weeks CC meeting, item # 6, but voted on by the majority to table till the next finance subcommittee meeting.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

The killing of Eurie Stamps... 12 years later


Jan 5th marks a dark day in Framinghham’s history. That is the day when FPD officers (15) forcefully (stun grenades) entered their way into the home of Mr. Eurie and Ms. Norma Bushfan – Stamps via a search warrant for Mr. Stamp’s step son Joesph Bushfan and another man allegedly for selling crack cocaine from inside the house. Mr. Stamps, 68, who was handicapped and retired from the MBTA, was not a suspect, complied with officers demands to lie on the floor with his hands near his head and unarmed and in his pajamas. While Mr. Stamps lay on the floor, an officer pointed his loaded M4 assault rifle, safety off, round in the chamber, finger in trigger guard, at Mr. Stamps head. Concluding that Mr. Stamps may be armed the officer attempted to handcuff Mr. Stamps during which time the officer tripped and fell backwards pulling the trigger and shooting Mr. Stamps in the head. An investigation ensued and it was determined that the shooting was an accident.

It took the Stamps family years to settle in civil court as the elected officials at the time did not accept any responsibility for the killing and not did not want to pay damages to the Stamps family.  

In January of 2020 Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan pressured by the family and community, said her office has asked the FBI to assist in its review of the incident and its aftermath. “We realized we had a need for professional forensic help,” she told the Daily News in an interview back then.  
The DA’s Office contacted the FBI to see if it would assist in the review. It has sent the FBI all documents related to the case that it possessed.
Meanwhile, the Massachusetts State Police has gone to Stamps' former home and taken new measurements and photographs that have since been sent to the FBI, Ryan said.
“The questions have continued to be raised by Mr. Stamps’ family and the community,” said Ryan. “I think it’s important to do everything we can do to provide answers, if possible, and to be as transparent as possible.”

In April 2022, a Public Records Request was made of The Middlesex District Attorney’s office requesting the results of the FBI forensic analysis. After a year of delays and excuses the DA claimed the case is still open and the information will not be forthcoming.
It has been 12 years since Mr. Stamps was killed and the use of force and killings of innocent black people continues, from George Floyd to Breanna Taylor to Tyree Nichols. The only difference now is that many actions by police are recorded by body cameras, which we still do not have in Framingham. Nor do we have transparency and accountability.