Ashley Judd calls for the police file on Naomi’s death to be kept confidential

Criticizing what she describes as a culture of insensitivity toward the families of those who commit suicide, Ashley Judd explained in an op-ed Wednesday why she and other survivors of late country music star Naomi Judd want the record of police investigation be made private. .

“Family members who have lost loved ones are often revictimized by laws that can expose their most private moments to the public,” actor and activist Judd, 54, wrote in a New York Times op-ed. in reference to the self-inflicted gun death in April of his mother, who had battled mental health issues.

“Immediately after a heartbreaking tragedy, when we are in a state of acute shock, trauma, panic and distress, the authorities come forward to speak to us,” Ashley Judd wrote. “Because many of us are socially conditioned to cooperate with law enforcement, we are totally reckless in what we say.”

For this reason, she writes, “I sprung answers to the many probing questions I was asked during the four interviews that the police insisted I do on the very day of my mother’s death – questions I would never have answered on another day, and questions I never thought to ask my own questions about, including: Is your body cam on? Am I recorded again? Where and how does this that I share be stored, used and made available to the public?

Its op-ed did not blame investigators, saying “police were simply following terrible and outdated interview procedures and methods of interacting with shocked or traumatized family members…. [L]Law enforcement personnel should be trained in how to respond to and investigate cases of trauma, but the men who were present left us feeling stripped of any sensitive boundaries, questioned and, in my case, as if I were a possible suspect in my mother’s suicide. .”

While police reports are generally in the public domain, survivors of Naomi Judd last month “filed a motion in court to prevent public disclosure of the investigation file,” Ashley Judd wrote, saying “these deeply intimate personal and medical information does not belong in the press, on the Internet or anywhere except in our memories.”

She pointed out that they did so “not because we have secrets. … We ask because intimacy in death is death with more dignity. And for those left behind, intimacy avoids d further burdening a family that is already permanently and painfully altered.”

Naomi Judd died at 76, a day before she and another daughter, music star Wynonna Judd, were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.