Hempstead, Nassau cops failed to protect slaying victim, daughter's lawsuit claims

Diane Parker-Reed, 42, was found dead of gunshot Diane Parker-Reed, 42, was found dead of gunshot and stab wounds by officers responding to a report of domestic violence at her home in Hempstead on Feb. 7, 2013. Photo Credit: Handout

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The daughter of a woman killed last year claims in court papers that the Village of Hempstead, Nassau County and their police departments failed to enforce an order of protection against the victim's husband, who is charged with her murder.

N'Daya Lee, 19, of Hempstead said in the federal court papers that both police agencies were responsible for the wrongful death of her mother, Diane Parker-Reed, 42. She was found dead of gunshot and stab wounds by officers responding to a report of domestic violence at her home on Feb. 7, 2013.

The defendants' "repeated failures to meaningfully respond to reports of domestic violence . . . qualifies as a pattern of misconduct that would frequently cause violations of a citizen's constitutional rights, and that suggests training so inadequate as to constitute deliberate indifference," the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit, seeking unspecified monetary damages, was filed in U.S. District Court in Central Islip on May 6.

Both village and the county officials refused to comment Wednesday, their spokesmen said.

Police sources told Newsday at the time of the slaying that Parker-Reed had failed to cooperate with authorities after an earlier arrest of her husband, Leonard Reed, 46, on domestic violence charges and that she had opted for the least restrictive protective order.

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The lawsuit said police had failed to arrest Reed for repeated violations of earlier orders of protection in 2008 and 2009.

Reed pleaded guilty on Feb. 2, 2012, to attempted assault on his wife and was sentenced to 15 days in jail. The judge in that case issued a "refrain from" order that barred Reed from assaulting or menacing Parker-Reed, but did not issue a "stay away" order requiring him to avoid contacting her.

The lawsuit said police officers from both agencies responded to the Parker-Reed home on Roosevelt Street in Hempstead last Feb. 7 after a 911 call reported that Reed had broken into the house and was threatening his wife.

She had already been shot when police arrived, and during an exchange of fire, officers shot at least 30 rounds into the house before Reed's gun jammed and he surrendered, the lawsuit said.

The county and its police were named as defendants because they share joint responsibility for handling domestic violence incidents in the village and for training village officers on handling domestic violence cases, the lawsuit said.

Reed is incarcerated and faces trial later this month on charges that include Parker-Reed's murder and the attempted murder of police officers he is accused of shooting at during the standoff at the house.

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