LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A juror in the Breonna Taylor case alleges the Kentucky attorney general misrepresented the grand jury’s reasoning and failed to provide the panel with an opportunity to indict the two officers who fatally shot the young woman, said the juror’s attorney.
The unnamed juror filed a court motion Monday to request the publication of last week’s minutes and a judge’s permission to speak publicly to correct the record. Hours later, the Attorney General Daniel Cameron granted both motions, stating that the jury could speak freely and that the recordings of the session would be made public.
Mr Glogower said the jury came to him in an uproar last week after Mr Cameron repeatedly said at a press conference that the law does not allow him to include Sgt. Jon Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, the two white cops, Ms. Taylor, one black woman, after a police officer was shot dead by her boyfriend – and that the jury approved him.
“While there are six possible charges of murder under Kentucky law, those allegations do not apply to the facts at hand because our investigation found – and the grand jury agreed – that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified after the fatal fire was bombarded.” Cameron said, one of several moments at the press conference when he emphasized such a consensus.
According to Mr Glogower, the jury was unsettled by the fact that the grand jury was not given the opportunity to indict the two officers at a time when the community was being disturbed by demonstrations demanding their indictment. Only possible charges were brought before the 12-person panel for Detective Brett Hankison, who was fired in June.
Mr. Hankison was charged with reckless behavior when he ran into the parking lot and shot through Ms. Taylor’s covered patio door. His bullets flew into a neighbor’s apartment. The grand jury concluded that he had no right of self-defense but could not be charged with murder for failing to hit Ms. Taylor. He was charged with three crimes of willful endangerment.
Before the charges were announced last week, the city declared a state of emergency and awaited mass protests. Courthouses closed and companies recorded voicemail messages apologizing to customers for the unexpected closure. More than 200 protesters, angry with the decision and demanding justice, were arrested, with some windows broken and fires set. One protester fired a gun at least nine times and wounded two police officers.
But legal experts had warned that Kentucky’s strict self-defense laws made it unlikely that Sergeant Mattingly and Detective Cosgrove would be charged with murder because Ms. Taylor’s friend Kenneth Walker first shot at her apartment during the police operation. He thought the officers were intruders when they broke through the door.
“We have no concern that great jurors share their thoughts on our presentation because we are convinced of the case we have presented,” said Elizabeth Kuhn, a spokeswoman for the attorney general, in an email Monday evening, adding that her office would release the records of the deliberations by Wednesday.
Ms. Kuhn said that no charges could be recommended for these two officers as the investigation found that their use of force was warranted.
“Our prosecutors came up with all the evidence, although the evidence shows that Sergeant Mattingly and Detective Cosgrove were justified in their use of force after being shot at by Kenneth Walker,” she said in an email. “For this reason, only deliberate exposure was recommended.”
A longtime criminal defense attorney, Ramon McGee, said the question of what charge the attorney general brought to the panel was not a problem.
“That’s a wrong assumption about how the grand jury process works,” he said. “Prosecutors decide which witnesses to call, what evidence to submit, and what charges to recommend,” he said.
But the transcripts should be released, McGee added, as it may have been an issue how the attorney general presented the process to the public.
Ms. Taylor’s supporters cited the jury’s complaint as evidence of an interrupted trial that began with the raid and included the publication of an incident report claiming the dead woman was not injured. Despite a $ 12 million settlement from the city of Louisville on a death lawsuit, Ms. Taylor’s mother said nothing less than indicting all three officers would amount to justice.
“This only exacerbates the trust problem,” said Christopher 2X, a community organizer who was with Tamika Palmer, Ms. Taylor’s mother, last week when the attorney general told her the officers would not be charged. She cried, he said.