A lawsuit against the town of Farmington, the police chief and a police officer will move forward after the town rejected a settlement demand from the parents of a man shot by the police.

The details of the proposed settlement are confidential, but the attorneys for the family and the town did not reach an agreement and the case is continuing.

The parents of then 28-year-old Justin Crowley-Smilek alleged in their wrongful death lawsuit that Officer Ryan Rosie used unreasonable force when he fatally shot the man in 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 was justified, saying it was reasonable for the officer to believe Crowley-Smilek was threatening Rosie with imminent deadly force.

The lawsuit contends that Rosie was not trained sufficiently to respond to people with mental illness such as Crowley-Smilek, an Army veteran who, the lawsuit states, was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental illnesses.

The reply from the Farmington officials’ attorney stated there is insufficient evidence of mental illness.


Attorney Douglas Louison, representing the Farmington officials, said the settlement demand was made and response was given as normal court procedure, and the case is not settled.

“Essentially, nothing has changed,” he said.

Louison said in the next few months he plans to request a summary judgment, meaning the defendants would ask the judge to dismiss the family’s claims on the grounds that even if all of their factual allegations are true, there is no legal theory under which they could recover damages from the town. If the judge agreed with them, the case would be dismissed.

Attorney Hunter Tzovarras, representing the plaintiffs, said that with no settlement reached, he is continuing to prepare their case.

He said he anticipates the two sides will continue to negotiate while getting ready for an eventual trial “in the event a fair settlement agreement cannot be reached.”

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252

[email protected]

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