Breonna Taylor grand jury recordings describe chaos on night of shooting

Tamika Palmer, Breonna Taylor's mother, speaks at the Lincoln Memorial during the 'Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks' civil rights rally in Washington, D.C., on August 28. File Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/UPI

Oct. 2 (UPI) — Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron released audio recordings Friday of the grand jury proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case, showing that officers said they were distracted by flashing lights when they entered her apartment the night of the raid.

The tranche included 15 hours of interviews with witnesses and 911 calls, minus about 4 minutes redacted because they included Social Security numbers and other personal information.

In the recordings was testimony from Detective Myles Cosgrove, whose shot killed Taylor. He said that when the officers entered her apartment, he was “overwhelmed with bright flashes and darkness.”

“And what I describe as a movie reel that’s doing that ticking where you see white and black, white and black.

“It’s like a surreal thing,” Cosgrove continued. “If you told me I didn’t do something at that time, I’d believe you. If you told me I did do something, I’d probably believe you, too.”

He said he saw fellow officer Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly fall to the ground after getting shot.

“I know John, my friend that I’ve known for 15 years, has been shot in this confined space. And I know this person is down and I sense that there’s still these gunshots happening due to those bright lights. I can’t even explain what it is.”

Police said they knocked and announced who they were before breaking down the front door to Taylor’s apartment. Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, though, said they didn’t know who was banging on the door.

During his interview, he said the two were watching a movie when the knocking began. They then dressed and he grabbed his gun before officers broke down the door. He said he fired a shot from his gun before he became aware it was police.

“All of a sudden, there’s a whole lot of shots,” Walker said. “They’re just shooting, like, we’re both on the ground.

“Next thing I know, she’s on the ground and the door’s busted open and I hear a bunch of yelling and just panicking. And she’s right here bleeding. And nobody’s coming, and I’m just confused and scared.”

Taylor, a Black woman, died during the March raid, and the injured police officer recovered.

The grand jury materials were originally set for release Wednesday, but Cameron was given until Friday afternoon after he asked for more time to redact private witness information.

Officer Brett Hankison, who was fired this summer, was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing bullets into a neighboring home, but none of the three officers was charged for killing Taylor.

The decision not to file murder charges led to national protests last week and calls from Taylor’s family, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and others for Cameron to release the recordings for public examination.

Cameron reluctantly agreed last week, despite what he called “an ethical obligation not to release the recording from the grand jury proceedings” and concerns that doing so “could compromise the ongoing federal investigation and could have unintended consequences such as poisoning the jury pool.”

One of the jurors filed an unusual motion to release the recordings, citing a public interest in understanding how Cameron interacted with the jury and how indictment decisions were made.

Cameron said last week he never recommended any murder charges to the grand jury because his investigation found evidence that all three officers were justified in using their weapons during the raid.


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