Family of local R&B singer upset with police

by: Shae Rozzi Updated:

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LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - The family of Natina Reed is upset with the way Gwinnett County police are handling her case.

Reed, a member of the local R&B trio Blaque, was killed Friday night, leaving behind a 10-year-old son.

According to a preliminary police report released Thursday, Reed was walking in a travel lane of Lawrenceville Highway and was struck and killed by a driver who, according to the report, could not see the singer in the dark.

"They treated my daughter like a deer," Tamara Goodridge told Channel 2's Shae Rozzi about the Gwinnett Police Department. "They didn't even act like they were concerned until she had a name. But even a Jane Doe has a family."

Goodridge said she learned about five hours after the accident that her daughter was killed.

She said police told the family that a report would be ready on Monday, then Tuesday, then Wednesday.

An hour after an attorney she hired announced a news conference Thursday morning, they said they received the report.

"All we wanted to do was to be able to tell this mother and a son what happened to Natina," the family's attorney Christopher Chestnut told Rozzi and other reporters. "Who hit her, what type of car hit her and the circumstances surrounding that."

He said it shouldn't take this many days to get basic information which the family needs as it prepares for Reed's funeral.

Rozzi brought the family's concerns to Gwinnett County Police.

Cpl. Edwin Ritter said three to five business days is the typical time frame to complete a preliminary accident report.

"We didn't hold any information back," Ritter told Rozzi over the phone. Ritter explained that the family had not filled out a formal request for a report.

"In the state of Georgia, only the people involved in an accident can receive the preliminary report when it's complete," Ritter explained. "If anyone else wants a report they have to fill out an open records request and a statement of need."

Ritter said Reed's family did not do that.

Chestnut told Rozzi that he feels a grieving family should not have to go through so many steps to find out what happened to their loved one.

In the meantime, Goodridge is planning for her daughter's funeral and to take in her grandson.

"How do you tell a 10-year-old boy that he will never see his mother again,?" she asked through tears. "I have a hard time processing that I will never see my daughter again."

Reed's funeral will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Abundant Life Church in Lithonia. The family said that it is open to the public and to the media so that her fans can pay their respects.



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