Tamara Greene lawsuit document stays secret for now

A federal judge rejected on Tuesday requests by the Free Press and other news media outlets to intervene in a federal lawsuit prompted by the slaying of a stripper said to have danced at a rumored party at the Manoogian Mansion.

U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen said the requests by the Free Press, Detroit News and WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) were premature. He said the news media outlets could try to intervene again when he finishes reviewing a 130-page court document that a lawyer for the family of slain dancer Tamara Greene filed last week in hopes of persuading Rosen to let their lawsuit go to trial.

Greene, 27, of Detroit, who danced under the name Strawberry, was killed in a drive-by shooting in April 2003, about six months after supposedly dancing at a never-proved party at the mayoral mansion. Her family sued, accusing the city, then-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Detroit cops of deliberately botching the investigation into her death to prevent her killers from being found.

The city and Kilpatrick asked Rosen several weeks ago to dismiss the lawsuit, saying five years of litigation have failed to substantiate the Greene family’s claims.

The family’s lawyer, Norman Yatooma of Birmingham, disagrees. Last week, he filed a 130-page response under seal on orders from Rosen, but Yatooma wants the response made public.

The seal order prompted the Free Press to ask Rosen for permission to intervene in the matter, in hopes of persuading him to release the document. The News and WXYZ later joined the Free Press.

Rosen said in Tuesday’s order that he will review the filing — plus nearly 100 attachments Yatooma filed — and decide how much of the paperwork should be released. He denied Yatooma’s request to unseal the filing.

“We’ll await Judge Rosen’s opinion and then make a decision as to whether we’ll seek further relief,” said Free Press lawyer Herschel Fink.


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