Breonna Taylor case: Attorney general Daniel Cameron accused of deception by juror over charging decision

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Matt Mathers
·3 min read
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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron used a grand jury in the Breonna Taylor case "as a shield to deflect accountability" over the decision not to directly charge any officer with the Lousivlle woman's death, it has been claimed.

In court papers filed on Monday, an anonymous member of that jury called for details of the proceedings to be released "so the truth may prevail", suggesting that Mr Cameron, 34, may have mislead the public.

Taylor, a 26-year-old hospital worker, was shot dead by police during a bungled drugs raid on her home in March. One of the policemen involved in her death, Brett Hankinson, has been charged with first-degree "wanton endangerment" for firing rounds into a neighbouring house.

Mr Hankinson pleaded not guilty to the charge on Monday.

The decision not to directly charge any officers with Taylor's killing sparked protests in Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia and Washington. Demonstrations also erupted in Taylor's hometown of Lousiville, where two police officers got shot.

The anonymous juror in the court documents submitted on Monday called for transcipts from the trial to be released for public scrutiny.

They added: "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".

Mr Cameron, a Republican lawyer who was on president Donald Trump's list to replace the late justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has agreed to make the records public, after a judge ordered they be filed in court by noon on Wednesday.

“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,” Mr Cameron said in a statement.

He added that the special prosecutor had 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.”

Taylor, a hospital emergency room technician, was shot multiple times after the three officers burst through her door searching for drugs on 13 March.

The warrant used was connected to a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside. The use of no-knock warrants have since been banned by Louisville's Metro Council.

When the officers entered the property, Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, discharged a firearm. He later told authorities he thought he and his partner were being burgled. After Mr Walker shot, officers returned fire.

Delivering the grand jury's decision last week, Mr Cameron said state law “bars us from seeking charges in Breonna Taylor’s death”.

Taylor's family have described the proceedings as a "sham".

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