Kentucky AG to release grand jury records in Breonna Taylor case after juror files motion to disclose details of proceedings
While state AG Daniel Cameron said in a statement on Monday that grand juries are meant to be “secretive,” he acknowledged that “public interest in this case isn't going to allow that to happen” soon after a judge ordered the recording of the grand jury proceeding to be released this week.
“We will comply with the judge's order to release the recording on Wednesday,” Cameron said, despite “concerns” the disclosure could “compromise the ongoing federal investigation” into Taylor’s death.
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.
Cameron added that the recording would “also address the legal complaint filed by an anonymous grand juror,” referring to a motion submitted anonymously earlier on Monday alleging that the AG used jurors as a “shield to deflect accountability” and requesting permission to disclose details about the jury’s proceedings.
BREAKING: A grand juror in the Breonna Taylor case has filed a motion accusing @kyoag of hiding behind secrecy requirements while misleading the public about what evidence the grand jury actually saw, using them as a “shield.” He calls for disclosure of grand jury records. pic.twitter.com/oeNa18WWQY— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) September 29, 2020
“The attorney general publicly made many statements that referenced what the grand jury heard and decisions that were made based on what certain witnesses said,” the juror’s motion said, adding: “He further laid those decisions at the feet of the grand jury while failing to answer specific questions regarding the charges presented.”
Attorney General Cameron attempted to make it very clear that the grand jury alone made the decision on who and what to charge based solely on the evidence presented to them.
The juror’s motion also requests authorization to divulge information about what did not happen during the grand jury probe, such as what charges were not presented and what witnesses were skipped over during the process, arguing there is a “compelling public interest” for those facts to be known.Also on rt.com Ex-cop pleads NOT GUILTY to endangerment charges in Breonna Taylor shooting case
Cameron announced last week that the grand jury had decided not to indict three officers for Taylor’s death, which occurred during a narcotics raid on her home in March. Instead, the jury charged only one officer, Brett Hankison, for three counts of “wanton endangerment” linked to reckless use of his weapon, finding that Taylor’s death was justified because her boyfriend opened fire on officers as they attempted to serve a search warrant.
Hankison pleaded not guilty to those charges during his arraignment on Monday, after which Judge Ann Bailey Smith ordered the grand jury recording to be released “by noon on Wednesday of this week.”
The legal wrangling over the recording comes days after Vice News obtained body camera footage from the night of the raid on Taylor’s apartment. Though it depicts only the aftermath of the shooting, the videos reportedly show officers violating department policies, one of which requires personnel involved in shootings to be isolated from other officers, which was not done. At one point in the footage, Hankison is seen attempting to enter Taylor’s apartment after the shooting, but is asked by another officer to leave.
Though her family received a $12 million settlement from the city, Taylor’s death – as well as the lack of murder charges for the officers responsible – has stoked heated protests and rioting across the US, seeing chaos and unrest in Louisville last week, during which two police officers were shot. The disorder comes amid a wave of similar anti-police brutality protests nationwide, sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of officers in Minneapolis last spring.Also on rt.com ‘It will always be us against them’: Breonna Taylor family slam grand jury decision, says black people 'never safe'
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