Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said he never recommended murder charges against police officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s death on Tuesday. During an interview with WDRB-TV after a grand jury handed down no charges he also stated they could have made an “assessment about different charges,” reports CBS.
Brett Hankison, former detective, faces three counts of wanton endangerment for shots fired in a separate apartment during the raid that led to Taylor’s death. On Monday he pled not guilty. “Ultimately our judgment is that the charge that we could prove at trial beyond a reasonable doubt was for wanton endangerment against Mr. Hankison,” Cameron said. The additional officers who fired shots at Taylor, notably one that killed her, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly are still currently employed and were not charged.
In reference to the grand jury not handing down charges following Taylor’s death, Cameron stated the following in an interview:
“They’re an independent body. If they wanted to make an assessment about different charges, they could’ve done that. But our recommendation was that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their acts and their conduct.”
On Tuesday morning, a report by Slate announced that Cameron agreed to release grand jury recordings from the Breonna Taylor case. This came after one anonymous juror filed a motion to make the tapes public. The juror took issue with how Cameron announced the grand jury’s decision last week. Additionally, the juror has asked for permission to speak publicly about what might not be in the recordings.
A lawyer for the juror told the New York Times the juror “was unsettled by the fact that the grand jury was not given an option of charging the two officers at a time when the community has been roiled by demonstrations seeking their indictment. The 12-member panel was presented only with possible charges for Detective Brett Hankison, who was fired in June.”
Taylor’s family attorney Benjamin Crump reportedly said the forthcoming release of the jury recordings is one small step toward justice. “We at least want to know that it’s equal justice under the law for Black people as victims, not only when Black people are accused of crimes,” Crump added.
The previously mentioned grand juror has also petitioned the court to release all transcripts and reports from the case. At a press conference, Kevin Glogower, an attorney representing the juror said: “My client wants to make sure that anything that happened in there becomes something of public knowledge to the extent that is legally allowed too.”
Cameron was expected to give the recordings to a judge at some point on Wednesday. He’s asked for a one-week delay to protect the interest of witnesses. His office seeks to “redact personal identifiers of any named person, and to redact both names and personal identifiers of any private citizen.”
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