Jo'Anna Bird, seen here with her children, was found stabbed...

Jo'Anna Bird, seen here with her children, was found stabbed to death in her New Cassel home on March 19, 2009, police said. Credit: Handout

Nassau County and the family of murder victim Jo'Anna Bird have signed a $7.7 million settlement and issued a joint statement citing a "breakdown in the system" and offering their condolences to Bird's two young children.

An internal investigation found that Nassau Police officers failed to investigate domestic violence calls by Bird in 2009 before she was murdered by an ex-boyfriend.

The settlement, signed Thursday along with the statement, said an investigation sparked reassignments and disciplinary action against 14 county police officers and one patrol supervisor -- but that Nassau since has implemented a new policy to deal with reports of domestic violence.

"This case establishes that when there is a breakdown in the system concerning domestic violence, there are serious implications," said the statement signed by County Attorney John Ciampoli and Bird family attorney Frederick Brewington.

"But it has also enabled Nassau County to institute a policy change that moving forward benefits the communities and the victims of domestic violence . . . ," the statement said. "Today, anytime a police officer responds to a domestic violence incident, the police officer must submit a written report to a supervisor even when no arrest is made."

Leonardo Valdez-Cruz of Westbury, then 23, terrorized Bird, 24, for months before breaking into her New Cassel apartment and stabbing her to death. He is serving a life sentence.

Two months after Bird's death, an internal police investigation revealed that 15 officers, including a patrol supervisor, failed to take proper action during domestic-violence visits to Bird's home.

Nassau is borrowing $7.7 million to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by Bird's mother.

"We extend our condolences to the family of Jo'Anna Bird and extend our sincere condolences for the loss of their daughter, sister and mother," the joint statement said.

"It is our hope that the two young children who Ms. Bird leaves behind, will someday understand that while we cannot undo what has occurred, we are sincere in our efforts to avoid causing further pain and have taken steps to bring about meaningful change so no other family experiences the pain of losing a loved one at the hand of domestic violence."

First Deputy Commissioner Thomas Krumpter said Friday that no officer was cleared but "two to four cases" are still pending. He would not comment on penalties.

How and when the money will be disbursed is now before Nassau's Surrogate's Court.

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