HomeTop StoriesProsecutor, MO politicians destroy Parson's buyout of Britt Reid

Prosecutor, MO politicians destroy Parson’s buyout of Britt Reid

Governor of Missouri Mike ParsonThe commutation of former Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid’s prison sentence came under heavy criticism Saturday, with Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker saying Parson had freed a man of “status, privilege and connections.”

Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, a Republican running for governor, called the decision “not a good look” for Parson.

Reid, Chiefs’ son Coach Andy Reidwas convicted of driving under the influence and causing an accident that seriously injured a 5-year-old girl in February 2021. He served a three-year prison sentence, but is now under house arrest until October 2025.

Baker said in a statement Saturday that Parson has not contacted anyone directly involved in the case, including the family of Ariel Young, the 5-year-old girl who was in a coma for 11 days after the crash.

“There simply cannot be a response that can explain the failure to inform victims of the perpetrator. To Ariel’s family, I have offered my resolve to continue fighting for just punishment for those who injure others because of the reckless decision to drink alcohol and drive a motor vehicle,” Baker said.

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Baker, a Democrat, contrasted the Republican governor’s decision to pardon Reid with his refusal to commute the sentences of Kevin Strickland and Lamar Johnson, two black men who were wrongfully imprisoned and later released.

“Finally, I simply say to my community that I am saddened by the Governor’s selfish political actions and the resulting damage it is causing to the justice system,” Baker said.

“But my office will fight for just outcomes, regardless of a person’s social status, privilege or connections. This legal system still exists and will overcome any fleeting political blow. I am sure of this.”

Parson’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Saturday.

On Friday, Johnathan Shiflett, a spokesman for Parson, said in a statement: “Mr. Reid completed his alcohol abuse treatment program and has served more prison time than most individuals convicted of similar crimes.

Parson, who first found his way into politics as sheriff of Polk County, is a season ticket holder for the Chiefs. He has issued more pardons than his recent predecessors as his office clears a backlog of requests, but Reid’s commutation was at least the second instance in which the governor has used his power to help prominent figures.

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He previously pardoned Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who brandished weapons in front of Black Lives Matter protesters. Parson is also considering whether to pardon or commute the sentence of Eric DeValkenaere, the first Kansas City police officer ever convicted of killing a black man.

Ariel Young was a passenger in one of two vehicles that Reid’s pickup truck crashed into on the side of the on-ramp along Interstate 435, near the team’s practice facility.

Prosecutors said Britt Reid was driving 83 mph (133 km/h) two seconds before the crash and had a serum blood alcohol level of 0.113 about two hours after the crash. The legal limit is 0.08 under Missouri law.

In a statement, Ashcroft said that while he does not have all the facts, the buyout is not an action he would have taken.

“Britt Reid’s reckless decision to drive drunk left Ariel Young with a lifelong traumatic brain injury. While the Reid family clearly holds a special place in the hearts of Missouri and Kansas City Chiefs fans, that doesn’t entitle them to any special treatment. My heart goes out to the Young family,” said Ashcroft.

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Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, a Republican from Parkville and chairman of the Missouri Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote on social media Saturday that he “couldn’t imagine the pain this must cause” for Ariel’s family.

“This is not justice,” he wrote.

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