Kentucky AG to release grand jury tapes in Breonna Taylor case Wednesday

Mid-South

A juror sued to have the deliberations released to the public

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron addresses the media following the return of a grand jury investigation into the death of Breonna Taylor, in Frankfort, Ky., Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Of the three Louisville Metro police officers being investigated, one was indicted. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Breonna Taylor

LOUISVILLE, K.Y. (NewsNation Now) — Kentucky’s attorney general has agreed to release the recordings of the secret grand jury proceeding that considered charges against three officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron said he would comply with a judge’s order to do so after a member of the grand jury sued to have the record of the proceedings opened to the public.

He said a recording of the grand jury proceedings would be released on Wednesday.

Cameron’s decision comes after unrest spread throughout Louisville and the country in the days following the grand jury’s decision to indict one of the three police officers involved in the March death of Taylor. The indictment was not directly tied to Taylor’s death but for firing bullets that entered the home of Taylor’s neighbors.

Cameron released the following statement regarding the release of the tapes:

The Grand Jury 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. As the special prosecutor, our team has an ethical obligation not to release the recording from the Grand Jury proceedings, and we stand by our belief that such a release could compromise the ongoing federal investigation and could have unintended consequences such as poisoning the jury pool. Despite these concerns, 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.

We have no concerns with grand jurors sharing their thoughts on our presentation because we are confident in the case we presented.  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.  Our prosecutors presented all of the evidence, even though the evidence supported that Sergeant Mattingly and Detective Cosgrove were justified in their use of force after having been fired upon by Kenneth Walker. For that reason, the only charge recommended was wanton endangerment.

Attorney General daniel CAMERON

Ben Crump, attorney for Taylor’s family, and the Taylor family released a statement after the news was announced which in part read:

“Since the grand jury decision was announced, we’ve been saying that Daniel Cameron clearly failed to present a comprehensive case that supported justice for Breonna. That conclusion is supported by the grand juror who came forward to say that the attorney general misrepresented the grand jury’s deliberations. We fully support the call to release the entire proceeding transcript as the only way to know what evidence was presented and how the grand jury instructions led to this outcome. In America, law-abiding citizens — including Black citizens — have the right to live peacefully in their homes, without police breaking down their doors in the middle of the night, and they have a right to protect themselves and their property from intruders. The police cannot claim their use of force was justified when they wrongly broke into Breonna’s apartment in the first place. We urge the Attorney General to release a COMPLETE and UNEDITED copy of the recording, along with any and all evidence in Bre’s case.”

JOIN STATEMENT FROM THE FAMILY OF BREONNA TAYLOR, BEN CRUMP, SAM AGUIAR

Cameron said last week that two of the officers, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, were justified in firing their weapons because Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, had fired at them.

“Our prosecutors presented all of the evidence, even though the evidence supported that Sgt. Mattingly and Det. Cosgrove were justified in their use of force after having been fired upon by Kenneth Walker,” Cameron said in the statement. “For that reason, the only charge recommended was wanton endangerment.”

On Monday, former detective Brett Hankison pleaded not guilty to three counts of wanton endangerment at his arraignment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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