Atlanta, GA – By ArLuther Lee, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution #local-all
Daniel Cameron’s office agrees to release tapes of proceedings
One of the grand jurors in the Breonna Taylor case said the Kentucky attorney general never put forth an option to indict the police officers for murder in the woman’s fatal shooting, according to reports.
The lawyer for the unnamed juror filed a motion in court Monday seeking the release of grand jury transcripts and permission from a judge to speak publicly about the case.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office said that on Wednesday it would release tapes of the proceedings that ultimately led to one Louisville police officer being indicted on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment unrelated to Taylor’s death.
Taylor, a 26-year-old Black emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times March 13 by officers who entered her home using a no-knock warrant during a narcotics investigation.
Lawyer Kevin Glogower said the grand juror came to him distressed last week after Cameron announced that the law did not permit him to charge the officers and that the jury had agreed with him.
According to Glogower, the juror was unsettled by the fact that the grand jury was not given an option of charging the two officers when the community was roiled by demonstrations seeking their indictment, The New York Times reported. The 12-member panel was presented only with possible charges for former Louisville Metro Police Department Detective Brett Hankison, who was fired in June.
“This is something where the juror is not seeking any fame, any acclaim, any money,” said Glogower, according to The New York Times.
Hankison was the only one indicted in the case, but he was not charged with murder in Taylor’s death. Hankison was charged for shooting into neighboring apartments on the night of the raid.
A termination letter sent to Hankison on June 23 by interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder said the officer had violated procedures by showing “extreme indifference to the value of human life” when he “wantonly and blindly” shot 10 rounds of gunfire into Taylor’s apartment in March.
The grand jury concluded that he had no self-defense claim but that he could not be charged with murder because he did not strike Taylor.
Wanton endangerment is a felony that carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.
The other two officers — Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove — remain on administrative leave pending an ongoing internal investigation.
Cameron said last week the use of force by officers was justified because Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, was the first to open fire when police burst in, wounding Mattingly.
Walker was charged with attempted murder of a police officer, but prosecutors later dropped the charge after Walker said he heard knocking but didn’t know who was coming into the home and fired in self-defense.
The warrant used had been connected to a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside.
Cameron said Hankison and the other officers who entered Taylor’s apartment announced themselves before entering — and so did not execute the warrant as “no-knock,” according to the investigation.
“According to Kentucky law, the use of force by Mattingly and Cosgrove was justified to protect themselves,” he said. “This justification bars us from pursuing criminal charges in Miss Breonna Taylor’s death.”
“Sometimes the criminal law is not adequate to respond to a tragedy,” he said.