The Kentucky attorney general said Monday he would release the recording of the grand jury proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case after a juror sued for the records to be made public and asked that grand jurors be allowed to speak freely on the matter so the “truth may prevail.”
The unnamed juror filed a motion after the grand jury last week declined to charge any of the police officers involved in the March 13 killing of Taylor, a 26-year-old Black EMT who was shot in her home in Louisville during a botched narcotics investigation. One officer, Detective Brett Hankison, was dismissed from the force and was charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment related to shots fired that entered other apartments.
The decision set off renewed protests calling for an end to police brutality while demonstrators expressed their rage at the limited charges filed against those involved in her killing. Taylor’s family, which reached a $12 million settlement with the city of Louisville, assailed the state’s attorney general and has also called for the grand jury information to be released.
“The full story and absolute truth of how this matter was handled from beginning to end is now an issue of great public interest and has become a large part of the discussion of public trust throughout the country,” Kevin Glogower, the attorney for the juror, wrote in the filing.
BREAKING: A grand juror in the Breonna Taylor case has filed a motion accusing @kyoag of hiding behind secrecy requirements while misleading the public about what evidence the grand jury actually saw, using them as a “shield.” He calls for disclosure of grand jury records. pic.twitter.com/oeNa18WWQY
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) September 29, 2020
The motion also claimed Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron was using the jurors in the case “as a shield to deflect accountability and responsibility for those decisions.”
Cameron said later Monday he would release the grand jury recording in compliance with a judge’s ruling on Wednesday. He added that while the process is “meant to be a secretive body … it’s apparent that the public interest in this case isn’t going to allow that to happen.”
“We have no concerns with grand jurors sharing their thoughts on our presentation because we are confident in the case we presented,” he said in a statement obtained by NBC News. “Once the public listens to the recording, they will see that over the course of two-and-a-half days, our team presented a thorough and complete case to the grand jury.”
— Blayne Alexander (@ReporterBlayne) September 29, 2020
The unnamed juror on Monday said Cameron had moved to distance his office from the grand jury’s decision, saying the choice had been laid “at the feet of the grand jury while failing to answer specific questions regarding the charges presented.”
“Attorney General Cameron attempted to make it very clear that the grand jury alone made the decision on who and what to charge based solely on the evidence presented to them,” the juror said in the filing.
Plainclothes officers used a battering ram to enter the apartment during a late-night “no-knock” warrant, believing a suspect in a drug investigation was having packages delivered there. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, called 911 and said he shot a legally owned firearm in self-defense, hitting one officer.
Law enforcement officers returned fire, striking Taylor six times. No drugs were found in her home and the police department said later that the suspect in the investigation had actually been arrested earlier in the day.
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