Breonna Taylor grand jury members say they were not presented with homicide charges

Oct 21, 2020

Breonna Taylor grand jury members say they were not presented with homicide charges

Kentucky (USA) October 21: Some members of the grand jury that declined to indict three Kentucky police officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor said Tuesday the panel wasn't presented with homicide charges.
Hours earlier, a Kentucky judge ruled that grand jurors in the Taylor case could speak publicly about the proceedings, mired in controversy over the lack of criminal charges against the officers.
Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Annie O'Connell cited the public statements about the case made by state Attorney General Daniel Cameron and other factors.
"There exists additional interest to consider in making this decision: the interest of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky to be assured that its publicly elected officials are being honest in their representations," O'Connell wrote in her 11-page order.
She also cautioned any grand juror who chooses to speak publicly that "it may result in a level of public attention and scrutiny over which this Court will have no control."
In a statement released through their lawyer after the ruling, an anonymous grand juror said that homicide laws were not explained during the proceedings despite the panel asking about additional charges. The only charge presented were three charges of wanton endangerment against one officer, the juror said.
"Questions were asked about additional charges and the grand jury was told there would be none because the prosecutors didn't feel they could make them stick," the statement said from Grand Juror #1 reads. "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."
Former Louisville police officer Brett Hankinson was indicted last month on the wanton endangerment charges. He is accused of firing into a neighboring apartment during the botched March 13 drug raid.
During the raid, the officers initiated a no-knock warrant on Taylor's apartment and broke down the front door. The 26-year-old's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired on the officers, striking one. He believed it was a home invasion.
Hankinson was the only officer charged in the case, igniting nationwide protests and backlash against Cameron, who said the officer's actions were justified when they returned fire. The other officers -- Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly -- were not charged.
Kevin Glogower, who represents two anonymous grand jurors in the case, told Fox News that Cameron didn't present all the evidence to the panel.
"A lot of it was [presented]," he said. "But it does appear that the attorney general's office had made their own decision about what the result should be."
Ben Crump, the attorney for the Taylor family, said Cameron's "deriliction" took the decision "out of the grand jury's hand."
"They didn't allow the grand jury to do what the law says they have the right to do. This failure rests squarely on the shoulders of Daniel Cameron," Crump said in a statement. "Only because a brave member of that grand jury asked for permission to issue a statement and Judge O'Connell ruled on the side of transparency do we have this confirmation of AG Cameron's dereliction of duties."
In a statement, Cameron said his office doesn't agree with the judge's ruling but would not appeal it.
"As Special Prosecutor, it was my decision to ask for an indictment on charges that could be proven under Kentucky law," he said. "Indictments obtained in the absence of sufficient proof under the law do not stand up and are not fundamentally fair to anyone.
"I remain confident in our presentation to the Grand Jury," he added.
Source: Fox News