Breonna Taylor grand jurors say police actions were 'negligent' and 'criminal'

Janelle Griffith
·3 min read

Two grand jurors in the Breonna Taylor case said the actions of Louisville, Kentucky, police officers the day of the botched raid at her apartment were "negligent" and "criminal."

"They couldn't even provide a risk assessment," one of the anonymous grand jurors, identified as juror one, said in an interview scheduled to air Wednesday on "CBS This Morning." "And it sounded like they hadn't done one."

Taylor was fatally shot by police during a narcotics raid.

CBS News' Gayle King asked the two jurors what they "thought of the police behavior and actions" on March 13, according to a part of the interview released Tuesday. The jurors' faces were blurred. They are the first of the 12 people impaneled for the grand jury to speak publicly.

IMAGE: Breonna Taylor (Family photo)
IMAGE: Breonna Taylor (Family photo)

"So their organization leading up to this was lacking," juror one said. "That's what I mean by they were negligent in the operation."

The other anonymous juror said that police were "criminal" leading up to the raid and that "the way they moved forward on it, including the warrant, was deception."

A spokeswoman for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron declined to comment Tuesday.

An anonymous grand juror had requested a judge's permission to speak publicly after Cameron announced last month that no officers would be directly charged in Taylor's death. The grand juror said the jury was not given the option to consider homicide charges, the juror's attorney, Kevin Glogower, said in September. The anonymous grand juror accused Cameron of using the grand jury "as a shield to deflect accountability and responsibility" and of planting "more seeds of doubt in the process."

Image: Daniel Cameron (Timothy D. Easley / AP file)
Image: Daniel Cameron (Timothy D. Easley / AP file)

On Oct. 20, a judge granted grand jurors permission to speak publicly. Cameron, who in court had opposed allowing grand jurors to speak about the proceedings, said he would not appeal the decision.

"As Special Prosecutor, it was my decision to ask for an indictment on charges that could be proven under Kentucky law," Cameron said in a statement Oct. 20. "Indictments obtained in the absence of sufficient proof under the law do not stand up and are not fundamentally fair to anyone."

Cameron had argued that allowing a grand juror to speak could "destroy the principle of secrecy that serves as the foundation of the grand jury system."

"Questions were asked about the additional charges, and the grand jury was told there would be none because the prosecutors didn't feel they could make them stick," the grand juror said in a statement after the judge's decision. "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."

In a separate statement, another grand juror represented by Glogower said they were "pleased" with the judge's ruling and "will be discussing possible next steps with counsel."

The grand jury charged a former Louisville police detective, Brett Hankison, with three counts of wanton endangerment. He is accused of firing blindly into an apartment and recklessly endangering Taylor's neighbors; he has pleaded not guilty.

Hankison was fired in June for "wantonly and blindly" firing into the apartment, according to his termination letter.

Download the NBC News app for breaking news and alerts

Cameron announced the results of the grand jury investigation Sept. 23, saying "the grand jury agreed" that the officers who shot Taylor, Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, were justified in returning fire after they were shot at by her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Cameron said Walker's lone gunshot struck Mattingly in the leg.

Walker fired a shot at the front door, according to police. Walker, who had a license to carry firearms, has said he believed the operation was a home invasion.

Officers opened fire, hitting Taylor six times. Officers insist that they knocked and announced who they were.