Breonna Taylor Case: Grand Juror Says Jury Never Given Chance To Weigh Homicide Charges Against Police
A grand jury assembled to weigh evidence in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor was never given the chance to deliberate homicide or other charges against the police officers connected to her slaying, an anonymous statement from one of the jurors said.
The juror, identified only as “Anonymous Grand Juror #1” said in a statement released by their attorney, that the only charges they were able to discuss were the “wanton endangerment” charges that were eventually brought against former Louisville police detective Brett Hankerson, who was fired in June for his role in the shooting.
“The grand jury was not presented any charges other than the three Wanton Endangerment charges against Detective Hankison,” the statement read. “The grand jury did not have homicide charges explained to them. The grand jury never heard anything about those laws. Self defense or justification was never explained either.
"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 statement continued.
“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.”
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The grand juror spoke out through their attorney Kevin Glogower on Tuesday (Oct. 20) after Jefferson County, Ky., Circuit Court Judge Annie O'Connell granted a motion allowing the grand juror to publicly discuss the grand jury proceedings, which are typically kept private. The statement was released by the Glogower Law Office.
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Taylor’s case has been one of the primary catapults of the massive protests that have gripped the nation this year. The 26-year-old EMT died when Hankison, along with two others Det. Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. John Mattingly, burst into her Louisville apartment on a “no-knock” warrant.
The police action turned out to be a botched drug raid. The suspect police were looking for, Taylor’s ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover, had already been arrested on drug charges. When police entered, Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker fired shots, believing they were intruders. Officers returned fire, striking Taylor five times, killing her.
Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron last month brought back grand jury results that said it only decided to indict Hankison for gunshots that entered a neighboring apartment, hence the “wanton endangerment” charge.
Cameron explained that State law indicates that the police were justified in this shooting because a shot was fired at them first and they knocked and announced their presence before entering Taylor’s apartment. However Walker maintained in a recent interview that neither he, nor Taylor heard anyone identifying themselves as police.
“If they knocked on the door and said who it was, we could hear them,” said Walker. “I’m a million percent sure nobody identified themselves.”
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Cameron’s office has not responded to the judge’s decision to allow the grand jurors to speak. He had argued against allowing it, citing violations of oaths of secrecy.
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