December 18, 2013

Deadline for Farmington’s response extended in lawsuit filed by family of man shot by police

Town officials have until Jan. 8 to respond to the lawsuit alleging the wrongful death of 28-year-old Justin Crowley-Smilek, who was shot and killed by a Farmington police officer in 2011.

Staff Report

A judge has extended the deadline for Farmington officials to submit a response to a lawsuit alleging the wrongful death of a 28-year-old U.S. Army veteran who was shot and killed by a Farmington police officer in 2011.

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TRAGIC END: Lorna and Michael Smilek hold a 2006 photograph of Michael’s son, Justin Crowley- Smilek, who was shot and killed after he confronted Farmington police in 2011.

Staff file photo by David Leaming

The town of Farmington, Officer Ryan Rosie and Chief Jack Peck have until Jan. 8 to submit an answer to the lawsuit seeking unspecified monetary damages for civil rights violations and the wrongful death of their son, Justin Crowley-Smilek. The previous response deadline was Dec. 9.

Attorney Douglas Louison, of Boston, said Wednesday that the deadline for the answer to the complaint was pushed back because of delays from the process of switching the case from Franklin County Superior Court to federal court in Portland.

The lawsuit was filed Nov. 13 and moved to federal court on Nov. 27.

Louison said all evidence shows Rosie acted in self-defense and was justified in using deadly force.

“Everything shows that the officer was trained appropriately and used appropriate response to the threat. It’s an unfortunate incident, but nonetheless it was not a constitutional violation,” he said.

The parents, Ruth E. Crowley, of Milwaukie, Ore., and Michael Smilek, of Farmington, are claiming wrongful use of deadly force and violations of the Maine and U.S. constitutions in the shooting death of their son on Nov. 19, 2011.

Crowley-Smilek was armed with a large knife when he arrived at the Farmington municipal building and was shot a short time later by Rosie. The state attorney general later ruled the shooting justified.

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