Freed To Speak, Grand Juror Says Charges in Breonna Taylor’s Death Were Never Considered, Let Alone Rejected
A Kentucky judge yesterday freed the grand jurors who considered criminal charges in the Breonna Taylor case to talk about what happened during those proceedings. One of them promptly accused Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron of misrepresenting their deliberations, saying they did not decline to indict the Louisville police officers who fatally shot Taylor, an unarmed 26-year-old EMT with no criminal record, during a fruitless middle-of-the-night drug raid on March 13. The juror said prosecutors never presented that as an option.
During a post-indictment press conference last month, Cameron said “the grand jury agreed” that Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove were acting legally in self-defense when they fired a total of 22 rounds at Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, that night. He also said the grand jurors were “presented all of the information and ultimately made the determination” that Detective Brett Hankison, who blindly fired 10 shots from outside Taylor’s apartment, “was the one to be indicted.” Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment, since some of his bullets entered an apartment behind Taylor’s, which was occupied by three people.
According to an unnamed grand juror who responded to Cameron’s statements by seeking public disclosure of the proceedings, the wanton endangerment charges against Hankison were the only charges that prosecutors presented. “Questions were asked about the 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 in a statement issued by attorney Kevin Glogower. “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 grand jury was not given the opportunity to deliberate on those charges and deliberated only on what was presented to them.”
Cameron said state prosecutors determined that charges against Mattingly and Cosgrove were not legally justified because they were responding to a shot fired by Walker, which struck Mattingly in the leg. In those circumstances, he said, the two officers reasonably believed the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent serious injury or death. But according to the juror, “the grand jury did not have homicide offenses explained to them” and “never heard about those laws.” The juror added that “self-defense or justification was never explained either.”
Regardless of what prosecutors said, the grand jurors had the power to seek additional information and to conside
Article from Latest – Reason.com