Breonna Taylor
October 20, 2020

A juror in Breonna Taylor's case has some serious criticism of how it was handled.

On Tuesday, a state judge ruled grand jury records — usually kept sealed — could be released to determine if "publicly elected officials are being honest" about Taylor's case. That allowed jurists to speak freely about the case, including one who released a statement criticizing how Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron presented the case to the jury.

Taylor was shot and killed by police while they executed a no-knock warrant at her home. Only one of the officers involved was indicted on charges of wanton endangerment for firing into a neighbor's apartment; none were charged with Taylor's death. But as the anonymous juror said Tuesday, the grand jury in Taylor's case weren't allowed to do so.

After learning how "the grand jury normally operates," it was clear to this juror that Taylor's case was "quite different," the juror said. "The grand jury was not presented any other charges other than the three wanton endangerment charges" against former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison. "The grand jury did not have homicide offenses explained to them," nor anything regarding "self-defense or justification," the juror continued. "The grand jury didn't agree that certain actions were justified, nor did it decide the indictment should be the only charges in the Breonna Taylor case," the juror said.

Cameron recently said he hadn't recommended manslaughter charges to the grand jury investigating Taylor's case. Kathryn Krawczyk

September 29, 2020

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron agreed under mild protest Monday night to release recordings from the grand jury proceedings into the police shooting of Breonna Taylor in Louisville and allow the grand jurors to speak about his office's presentation. Despite concerns about tainting an ongoing federal investigation or possible jury pool, Cameron said in a statement, "we will comply with the judge's order to release the recording on Wednesday. The release of the recording will also address the legal complaint filed by an anonymous grand juror."

The juror had made the rare move to request the grand jury records be unsealed earlier Monday, suggesting Cameron had not been truthful about the lack of indictment for either officer who fatally shot Taylor inside her apartment. The juror's lawyer, Kevin Glogower, said his client was uneasy about Cameron claiming the grand jury agreed with his interpretation that neither officer could be charged under Kentucky law, when in fact the option to indict the officers for Taylor's death was never presented to the jurors.

Taylor, 25, was fatally shot after police executed a warrant at her apartment on drug charges tied to her ex-boyfriend. Her current boyfriend fired a shot at the officers, believing, he told investigators, that they police were criminal intruders. Cameron relied on one witness who said he heard police identify themselves before crashing through Taylor's door, but more than a dozen other neighbors told Vice News they did not hear the police identify themselves that night — and that lone outside witness had told police the same thing before changing his story two months later, Vice News reports, citing recorded interviews from Louisville Metro Police Department's Public Integrity Unit. Peter Weber

September 28, 2020

A member of the grand jury in the Breonna Taylor case filed a motion in Jefferson County, Kentucky, on Monday, asking that the sealed grand jury transcripts and records be released and jurors receive permission to publicly discuss the proceedings.

In March, three officers from the Louisville Metro Police Department entered Taylor's apartment on a no-knock warrant as part of a narcotics investigation into her former boyfriend. Her current boyfriend, a legal gun owner, said he thought they were intruders, and fired his weapon. The officers returned fire, and Taylor died after being shot multiple times.

Last week, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced the grand jury decided not to indict any of the officers in connection with Taylor's death, but one of the men, Brett Hankison, was indicted on charges of wanton endangerment for firing into the apartment of Taylor's neighbor. Hankison, who was fired by the police department, pleaded not guilty on Monday.

The anonymous juror's petition was filed by attorney Kevin Glogower, who wrote that the person wants the transcripts released "so the truth may prevail," adding that they felt "compelled to act in a manner that promotes transparency, truth, and justice."

The motion also states that Cameron "attempted to make it very clear that the grand jury alone made the decision. The citizens of this commonwealth have demonstrated their lack of faith in the process and proceedings in this matter and the justice system itself. Using the grand jurors as a shield to deflect accountability and responsibility for these decisions only sows more seeds of doubt in the process while leaving a cold chill down the spines of future grand jurors." Catherine Garcia

September 28, 2020

Ballistics records in the shooting of Breonna Taylor by Louisville, Kentucky, police tell a different story than the one Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron presented last week, the Louisville Courier Journal reports.

Police shot and killed Taylor in her apartment while executing a no-knock warrant in March. A grand jury investigation concluded Taylor's boyfriend fired at officers when they entered, and they returned fire, Cameron announced Wednesday. But Cameron's assertion that the investigation ruled out "friendly fire" as the source of the 9mm shot that hit Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly's thigh isn't backed up by a Kentucky State Police ballistics report from the scene, Vice News first reported.

"Due to limited markings of comparative value" on the bullet that went through Mattingly's leg, it was neither "identified nor eliminated as having been fired" from Walker's gun, the report concluded. An LMPD record showed one officer at the scene was also issued a 9mm gun, making it impossible to draw a conclusion.

Vice News also reported that documents and body camera footage taken after Taylor's killing show "officers appearing to break multiple department policies," and "corroborate parts of Taylor's boyfriend's testimony." The LMPD requires all officers involved in a critical incident to be "paired with an escort officer at the scene and 'isolated from all non-essential individuals for the remainder of the initial investigation,'" Vice News writes.

But none of the seven officers in Taylor's case were seemingly paired with an escort, and four of them continued investigating the scene even after being told to clear out. "I've never seen anything like this,” a former LMPD narcotics officer who revealed the footage told Vice News. "This is not how it's supposed to work." Kathryn Krawczyk

September 23, 2020

The family of Breonna Taylor said the fact that two of the officers who shot her were not charged at all in connection with her death "falls far short of what constitutes justice."

Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman who served as an emergency medical worker, died on March 13 after three Louisville police officers entered her apartment on a no-knock warrant as part of a narcotics investigation involving her ex-boyfriend; no drugs were found inside. They used a battering ram to enter, and Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he thought the officers were intruders and used his licensed handgun to shoot at them. The officers returned fire, and Taylor was shot multiple times by the officers.

Taylor's death sparked outrage across the country. On Wednesday, a grand jury indicted one officer, former detective Brett Hankison, on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for shooting into the apartment next to Taylor's, but none of the officers were charged in Taylor's death.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, representing Taylor's family, said in a statement the lack of charges is "outrageous and offensive to Breonna's memory," but this does not "define this movement or this moment in our history. The grand jury may have denied Breonna justice, but this decision cannot take away her legacy as a loving, vibrant young Black woman who served on the front lines in the midst of a devastating pandemic."

Crump said the no-knock warrant was illegally obtained due to perjury, and the officers entered the apartment without announcing their presence, according to Walker and several of Taylor's neighbors. He also said more than 30 gunshots were fired, and many were "aimed at Breonna while she was on the ground." For the sake of all Americans, Crump asked law enforcement agencies to "take a long, hard look in the mirror. Is this who you are? Is this the example you want to set for the rest of the world and for future generations?"

The Justice Department is still investigating the shooting, and Crump said he still hopes "we will finally get the justice for Breonna that the grand jury refused her today." Catherine Garcia

September 23, 2020

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (D) are both calling on the state attorney general's office to make evidence from the Breonna Taylor case public.

Taylor, 26, was shot and killed in March when police entered her Louisville apartment on a no-knock warrant. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he believed the officers were intruders and fired at them; as gunfire was exchanged between Walker and all three officers, Taylor was shot by officers multiple times. The officers were there as part of a narcotics investigation involving Taylor's ex-boyfriend; no drugs were found in the apartment.

On Wednesday afternoon, a Kentucky grand jury announced the indictment of one of the officers, former detective Brett Hankison, on felony charges of wanton endangerment, after shooting into the apartment next door to Taylor's. Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the other two officers involved in the shooting, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, were justified in their use of force.

Cameron said he will not release the full grand jury report or provide details about the gender and racial makeup of the grand jury, saying it was to protect them. During a press conference, Beshear said Cameron "talked about information, facts, evidence that neither I nor the general public have seen. I believe that the public deserves this information." Beshear suggested posting evidence, like ballistics reports, online, and said it would not impact the charges in the indictment.

"Everyone can and should be informed," Beshear said. "And those that are currently feeling frustration, feeling hurt — they deserve to know more." He also thinks Cameron should should answer the "legitimate question" about the racial and demographic makeup of the grand jury. "I don't think it will give out anybody's identity or compromise who they are," Beshear said. "And provided that it is sufficiently diverse, it may give people just another piece of information that they can process."

Fischer told reporters he knows "there are people in our community who feel that these charges fall short of achieving justice," and said if evidence is made public, it will help people see the reasoning behind the grand jury's decision. The Department of Justice is still investigating the shooting, and Fischer said the case is "far from over." Catherine Garcia

September 23, 2020

A grand jury decided not to charge the police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor with any counts directly related to her death, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced Wednesday.

The decision to only charge one officer with endangering people in a neighboring apartment to Taylor's immediately sparked protests in Louisville. MSNBC host Joy Reid, meanwhile, appeared on the network to condemn the indictment. "There's nothing in this charge that accounts for [Taylor's] life or the value of it," Reid said, following up in a tweet to say the lack of charges implies "no one killed Breonna Taylor."

Activist April Reign had a similar take on the situation, tweeting that "the grand jury didn't just decide that Breonna didn't matter; they decided that she didn't exist."

CNN's Omar Jimenez meanwhile noted Cameron's comments make it seem likely the officers will never be charged over Taylor's death.

Taylor, a Black woman, was shot and killed when officers served a narcotics investigation warrant unrelated to her. Taylor's boyfriend Kenneth Walker fired at the officers, as he claimed he thought someone was breaking in. Kathryn Krawczyk

September 23, 2020

A Kentucky grand jury announced Wednesday that Brett Hankison, a former Louisville Metro Police Department detective, has been indicted on three charges of wanton endangerment after a police raid in March resulted in the killing of Breonna Taylor, an unarmed Black woman and emergency medical worker. None of the three officers involved in the raid were directly charged for their role in Taylor's death — Hankison's charge is related to firing his gun into a neighboring apartment, and Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the investigation found the other two officers were justified in their use of force.

The officers entered the 26-year-old Taylor's apartment on the night of March 13 with a no-knock warrant, which have since been banned by Louisville's Metro Council, during a narcotics investigation. The warrant was connected to a suspect who did not live at the apartment and no drugs were found inside, but police exchanged fire with Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, after bursting in, and the officers shot Taylor multiple times. (Cameron said ballistics analysis created reasonable doubt as to which officer fired the fatal shot.) Walker was charged with attempted murder of a police officer, but the case was dropped, and he maintains he fired in self-defense, thinking an intruder had broken in.

Taylor's death, along with the killing of George Floyd, sparked nationwide demonstrations against police brutality, and protesters have for months called for the officers to be charged. Early reactions to the grand jury's decision were not positive, and protesters have begun marching in Louisville. Read more at The Associated Press. Tim O'Donnell

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