Judge seals internal police report on Joanna Bird case

A judge today sealed the Nassau County Police Department's internal affairs report on the murder case of Joanna Bird. In a 53-page decision, Federal Magistrate

WOODBURY - A judge today sealed the Nassau County Police Department's internal affairs report on the murder case of Joanna Bird. In a 53-page decision, Federal Magistrate Kathleen Tomlinson ruled that details of the department's failures in handling Bird's case will not be released to the public. Nassau Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey had previously admitted that officers failed to follow proper procedures when Bird, who had an order of protection, reported that her ex-boyfriend was threatening her in the week before her murder nearly two years ago. Bird's ex-boyfriend, Leonardo-Valdez Cruz, was convicted of her murder last year. "Judge Tomlinson's opinion, in my view, is troubling," says attorney Fred Brewington, who is representing the Bird family in a civil lawsuit against the police department. Back in November, after the county gave him a copy of the internal affairs report, Brewington called a press conference to talk about it. At that point, the county asked the judge to temporarily seal the report, which she did. Now, the judge has issued a full protective order prohibiting the document's release.Hofstra School of Law professor Fred Klein says it's extremely unusual for a judge to issue a protective order on a document that's already been released.It remains unclear whether the Bird family will be able to use the internal affairs report during the trial. Jury takes up case of Joanna Bird murder

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