Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron should resign immediately, the Louisville NAACP announced Friday, “for failing to conduct a fair and impartial investigation into the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor.”
If the first-term Republican refuses to step down, the group said it will call on Kentucky’s Republican-heavy legislature to impeach him.
“The recent federal indictments of four Louisville Metro Police officers involved in the Breonna Taylor killing has highlighted, demonstrated, and proven the insufficiency of the state investigation led by the Attorney General of the Commonwealth and an absence of an understanding of the Commonwealth’s criminal laws,” the NAACP said in a press release.
Cameron is running for governor in 2023.
In a statement shared Friday afternoon, he said, “I’m proud of the work I’ve done on behalf of every Kentuckian, and I am honored to serve the citizens of the Commonwealth as Kentucky’s 51st Attorney General.”
Cameron drew criticism for his handling of the Taylor case, in which he did not charge anyone for her death at the hands of Louisville police in March 2020. Four law enforcement officers were later federally indicted in August 2022 for charges tied to Taylor’s death and the investigation preceding it.
In a resolution sent to Cameron and legislative leaders Thursday, the NAACP noted the AG is obligated to “enforce the laws equally and fairly.”
Cameron, they continued, has said, “I don’t care what anybody says in the national media, when it comes to supporting and defending law enforcement, we are going to do that. We are going to back the blue.”
In separate comments in August just days after the federal indictments were announced, Cameron told the crowd at Fancy Farm, an annual political picnic in Western Kentucky, that he will “always have (law enforcement’s) back and we will always support the blue.”
The NAACP wrote “the insufficiency of the investigation and the lack of understanding of Kentucky criminal statutes were the results of the current Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Kentucky in his own words ‘backing the blue,’ not justice.”
In a press conference Friday, NAACP President Raoul Cunningham said calling on the first Black man to hold the AG's office to resign was "not the easiest decision."
"Although he is the first African American to be elected to a statewide office, that does not exclude him from his responsibility to the entire community," Cunningham said. "Nor does it exclude him from fairness and equality. And we do not think that he possessed that in his decision."
August's federal indictments brought the idea of calling for Cameron's removal back to the forefront for the group, Cunningham said. Cameron's Fancy Farm comments played a heavy role in their decision as well, he said.
"He already decided to take sides when he said he will basically defend the blue," Cunningham said. "To us, that is taking a position that is not necessarily based on fairness."
The Kentucky General Assembly has the authority to impeach constitutional officers, including the attorney general, but impeachments are rare. Spokespeople for the House and Senate Republicans did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Three grand jurors in the Breonna Taylor case filed a petition in January 2021 to impeach Cameron, alleging the AG breached public trust and misrepresented findings in his investigation to the grand jury.
Cameron's 2021 impreachment attempt was one of a few in a string of high-profile impeachment petitions at the time, including one to remove Gov. Andy Beshear from office over his COVID-19 response.
When asked if he thought legislative leaders would do anything, Cunningham said, "I can hope."
Reach Olivia Krauth at email@example.com and on Twitter at @oliviakrauth.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Louisville NAACP calls on Attorney General Daniel Cameron to resign