Reid family feels no remorse over Smith's death
A week after former New Milford police officer Scott Smith committed suicide, the parents of Franklyn Reid, the man Smith shot and killed in 1998, issued a statement saying justice had finally been done and they were glad their son's killer was dead.
"Scott Smith, thank you very much for committing suicide. What took you so long?" Reid's mother, Pearlylyn Reid, told The Spectrum this week.
"The Reid family finally gets justice for Franklyn Reid," she said. "What goes around, comes around."
Friends of the former police officer said they were shocked by the Reid family's comments.
Paulette Smith is unrelated to Scott Smith.
Scott Smith, 41, was found dead last week in the bedroom of his Acre Drive home in Danbury. His death was attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the state medical examiner.
The cause of death was listed as suicide.
According to a published report, Smith killed himself by sealing the windows of the room and turning on a portable generator.
In 1998, the then-27-year-old Smith had been a police officer for two years when he shot and killed Reid, 19, while trying to take him into custody along Park Lane (Route 202) in New Milford.
He became the first Connecticut police officer to be tried for murder for shooting a suspect in the line of duty.
A state Superior Court jury convicted him of first-degree manslaughter, but the conviction was overturned on appeal.
On the eve of his retrial, Smith pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of criminally negligent homicide. He didn't serve jail time but agreed never to seek employment as a police
Pearlylyn and Dwight Reid, her husband, moved to Georgia in 2006, two years after agreeing to a $1.6 million settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit they filed against the town.
"The place where he (Franklyn) was shot was less than a quarter-mile from our home," Dwight Reid said Tuesday. "It was very hard. Every time I passed that spot, I felt like he was watching me."
Pearlylyn Reid said her grandson, who still lives in the Greater New Milford area, called her last week to tell them Smith was dead. They learned about it from news reports a day after Smith had taken his own life.
"I felt I needed to come forward and say something," she said.
In the statement, the Reids thanked the witnesses who came forward to testify against Smith and the people who supported them throughout their ordeal.
Dwight Reid said he didn't believe those supporters would think less of them for saying what they felt.
"I don't think so. They know the way we fought to get justice," he said. "When Franklyn Reid died, not once did the Smith family say they were sorry. There was no remorse for what he did."
A longtime friend of the Smith family said, however, that hadn't been the case.
"The Smiths felt very sorry for the Reid family," she said, adding she often attended Smith's trial. "It was a painful time for both families."
The family friend, who made her comments on condition of being unidentified, said, as a mother, she is sympathetic to the Reid family's pain at losing a son.
"I'm sure there was a tremendous amount of grief that they've gone through, that they are still going through, every time there is a birthday or an anniversary or every time they realize their son isn't going to grow old and have children of his own," she said. "But it saddens me that somebody would say something like that about Scott. He wasn't a vicious person."