Breonna Taylor case: Delay sought in release of grand jury recordings


Breonna Taylor case: Delay sought in release of grand jury recordings

The highly unusual public release of secret grand jury proceedings had been expected Wednesday after a Jefferson County state court judge ordered recordings of the two and half day presentation to the panel filed with the court by noon local time.

Cameron sought the delay in a motion filed Tuesday, arguing that it was necessary to protect the interest of witnesses, particularly “private citizens named in the recordings.” His office wants to “redact personal identifiers of any named person.”

Cameron’s office said in a statement Wednesday that the recording is more than 20 hours long and it needed “additional time … to redact personally identifiable information of witnesses, including addresses and phone numbers.”

The judge was expected to rule on the motion Wednesday, according to the statement.

The release of the recording was expected after a grand juror had requested in court that all recordings, transcripts, and reports of the panel relating to the police-involved shooting case be released to the public.
The juror has suggested the Kentucky attorney general may have misrepresented to the public the case presented to the panel, according to a lawyer for the juror.

Kevin Glogower, attorney for anonymous grand juror, on Wednesday accused Cameron of “damage control.” Glogower said it’s important for the public to know what charging options were presenting to the grand jury and whether charges were recommended in connection with Taylor’s killing.

Taylor’s death in March set off outrage across the country, chants of “say her name,” calls to arrest the officers, and a renewed focus on the Black women killed by police. Her story gained wider attention during nationwide demonstrations that followed the late May killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Former Louisville police officer pleads not guilty to charges related to Breonna Taylor's killing

The attorney general, who was named a special prosecutor in the case in May, initially refused to release grand jury transcripts or recordings despite growing public calls to do so by the Louisville mayor, the Kentucky governor, and Taylor’s family’s attorneys.

But Cameron late Monday evening announced he would comply with a judge’s ruling ordering a recording of the grand jury presentation be added to the court’s case file. He had previously said releasing the presentation would interfere with other investigations, including an FBI probe.

Cameron said in a an interview with CNN affiliate WDRB Tuesday night that the grand jury could have considered other charges on its own.
“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,” said Cameron, the first Black person to hold the post and a rising Republican star.

Officers Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly were two of the three officers present the night of March 13 when Taylor was killed in a botched raised.

Taylor, an EMT and aspiring nurse, was killed in her home when the plainclothes officers executed a “no-knock” warrant.

Black Americans are #sickandtired of the lack of justice for police killings. The Breonna Taylor decision is yet another disappointment

Cosgrove and Mattingly were not indicted in the case though Cameron said Cosgrove fired the fatal shot — which he said was justified because Taylor’s boyfriend fired at officers first.

A third officer, Brett Hankison, has been indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree for firing blindly into an adjoining apartment that was occupied. Hankison has pleaded not guilty.

Cameron told the station that he didn’t seek murder charges against Cosgrove or Mattingly.

“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.

But Glogower told reporters this week that his client’s position is, “What was presented [to jurors] is not being publicly disclosed.”

“What Attorney General Cameron is continuously not answering is: Did he give the grand jury the option to charge anyone with anything in addition to the wanton endangerment charges, anything related to Taylor, and did he recommend that they do so?” Glogower said.

“Did he or did he not present those charges and explain fully how they can apply to this case?”

The city of Louisville announced on Sept. 15 a $12 million settlement of the family’s wrongful death lawsuit. The city also agreed to enact police reforms which include using social workers to provide support on certain police runs and requiring commanders to review and approve search warrants before seeking judicial approval.

CNN’s Elizabeth Joseph and Tanika Gray contributed to this report.


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