Oct. 21 (UPI) — An anonymous grand juror in the Breonna Taylor case said Tuesday jurors were not advised about possible homicide charges against the officers involved in her shooting and did not agree her killing was justified.
The juror identified as “Anonymous Grand Juror No.1” by attorney Kevin Glogower issued a statement saying that the only charge presented to the grand jury in the case of the 26-year-old Taylor’s killing was that of wanton endangerment laid against former Louisville police Detective Brett Hankison for bullets fired into her neighbor’s apartment.
“Questions were asked about additional charges and the grand jury was told there would be none because the prosecutors didn’t feel they could make them stick,” the juror said. “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.”
The anonymous juror added that self-defense and justification laws were also not explained to the grand jury.
“I cannot speak for other jurors but I can help the truth be told,” the juror said.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron previously announced that the grand jury “agreed” the other two officers involved in the shooting — Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove — were justified in returning fire after Taylor’s boyfriend fired a shot at them.
He also told reporters that the team walked the grand jury “through every homicide offense” and the jury was “ultimately the one that made the decision about indicting Detective Hankison for wanton endangerment.”
Ben Crump, an attorney representing Taylor’s family, issued a statement saying Cameron failed to “seek justice for Breonna Taylor” and urged the appointment of a new independent prosecutor to handle the case.
“We now know what we suspected: Attorney General Daniel Cameron took the decision out of the grand jury’s hands. They didn’t allow the grand jury to do what the law says they have the right to do,” Crump said.
Tuesday’s statement came after Jefferson Circuit Judge Annie O’Connell granted the grand juror’s motion to release all grand jury proceedings, including material that was not recorded, rejecting a claim by Cameron that the proceedings must remain secret.
“Any participant in those proceedings, including grand jurors, may disclose such information,” O’Connell said.
She added that disclosure is “in the interest of all citizens to have confidence in the integrity of the justice system” and that jurors may disclose their identities but could face the risk of public scrutiny by doing so.
Cameron said Tuesday he disagreed with O’Connell’s ruling but would not appeal.
“It was my decision to ask for an indictment on charges that could be proven under Kentucky law,” Cameron said. “Indictments obtained in the absence of sufficient proof under law do not stand up and are not fundamentally fair to anyone.”
A second anonymous juror represented by Glogower issued a statement saying they were “pleased” with O’Connell’s ruling and “will be discussing possible next steps with counsel.”
Taylor was shot and killed by police in a raid on her Louisville apartment in March and Hankison last month pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him by the grand jury. The other officers were not indicted.
Police initially received a “no-knock” warrant to conduct the raid, allowing them to enter Taylor’s home without announcing their presence, but the orders were changed beforehand to “knock and announce.” Police said they knocked and announced their presence before entering the home, but Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, said they didn’t hear the officers say anything and didn’t know who was entering the apartment.