Jo'Anna Bird in an undated photo.

Jo'Anna Bird in an undated photo. Credit: Bird family

Murder story didn’t criticize DA’s office

I read Newsday’s exposé of "Jo’Anna Bird’s murder" on how the Nassau County Police Department  failed her [News, Dec. 19]. Numerous times it is cited how the police didn’t file a particular report or how Leonardo Valdez Cruz wasn’t arrested for this or that.

Buried on page 10, it said, "[Officer Raymond] Cote, the Third Precinct commander, contacted the department’s domestic violence liaison to help her.

"Alarmed . . . he also relayed a warning to the district attorney’s office: ‘If you let this guy out, he’s going to kill her.’ Valdez Cruz was released from custody." Further buried, on page 12, is the internal affairs summary of Valdez Cruz’s 23 arrests from 2004 to 2009 — including 13 felonies.

What was glaring was the number of felony convictions: one. Kathleen Rice was the Democratic district attorney from Jan. 1, 2006 to Dec. 31, 2014. Not a critical word of her or her office about felony convictions.

If Newsday really wants to help victims of domestic violence, instead of criticizing the police, look at the revolving door that is our judicial system.

— Robert Boyce, Massapequa

Newsday’s appropriate editorial "Police records must be public" [Opinion, Dec. 17] about a policeman’s atrocious sexual attack of a woman prisoner ["A Suffolk officer sexually abused a prisoner," News, Dec. 12], along with readers’ responses ["Cop abuse story rouses passions," Letters, Dec. 15], gives me pause. What is the fact and substance of "a few bad apples"?

Police unions’ campaign contributions to politicians make "a few bad apples" meaningless. Why? Because transparency about police misdeeds, and honorable behaviors, is absent. Making police misdeeds transparent allows the public to render judgment about "bad apples" and the huge majority who serve with honor and deserve praise. It’s time to make police actions public and take on the unions.  

— John Segovia, Merrick