Kentucky AG Says He Will Release Recording of Grand Jury Presentation in Breonna Taylor Case

Kentucky AG Says He Will Release Recording of Grand Jury Presentation in Breonna Taylor Case
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron speaks during a press conference to announce a grand jury's decision to indict one of three Louisville Metro Police Department officers involved in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, in Frankfort, Ky., Sept. 23, 2020. (Jon Cherry/Getty Images)
Isabel van Brugen

Kentucky’s attorney general said Monday that he will comply with a judge’s order to release a recording of grand jury proceedings related to the Breonna Taylor case that returned charges against one police officer involved in executing a search warrant on her home in March.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron said in a statement that he intends to release the recording of the grand jury presentation on Wednesday, although he has concerns it could have “unintended consequences” and affect the ongoing federal probe into the case.

“As the special prosecutor, our team has an ethical obligation not to release the recording from the Grand Jury proceedings, and we stand by our belief that such a release could compromise the ongoing federal investigation and could have unintended consequences such as poisoning the jury pool,” Cameron, a Republican, said.

“Despite these concerns, we will comply with the Judge’s order to release the recording on Wednesday.”

It comes a week after Brett Hankison, a former officer who helped serve the search warrant, was charged with three wanton endangerment counts. He pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Monday, and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the charges.

Neither he nor the other officers were charged with murder, which activists and family members wanted.

Cameron previously refused to release transcripts related to the case saying it would interfere with other investigations. Taylor’s family and others have pushed Cameron to release the documents, and appoint a special prosecutor to bring charges against the other officers.

“The Grand Jury is meant to be a secretive body,” Cameron said in his statement Monday. “It’s apparent that the public interest in this case isn’t going to allow that to happen.”

Cameron announced the charges against Hankison last week, saying that some of the 10 gunshots fired by the officer traveled through Taylor’s apartment and went into a neighboring residence, where a family of three was at home.

Shots were triggered by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, firing at the two officers, Sgt. Jon Mattingly and detective Myles Cosgrove, Cameron said. That made the actions by Mattingly and Cosgrove, who both returned fire, justified.

“This justification bars us from pursuing criminal charges in Ms. Breonna Taylor’s death,” he told the briefing.

Potential violations of federal law in connection with the March 13 raid are still being investigated by the FBI.

Cameron said that the recording’s release “will also address the legal complaint filed by an anonymous grand juror.”

As well as the release of the panel’s recording and transcript, the anonymous grand juror also called for fellow jurors to have permission to speak openly about the case so “the truth may prevail,” according to a Monday afternoon court filing.

“The full story and absolute truth of how this matter was handled from beginning to end is now an issue of great public interest and has become a large part of the discussion of public trust throughout the country,” the juror’s attorney, Kevin Glogower, wrote in the court filing.

“There is compelling public interest for these proceedings to be released of a magnitude the city and Commonwealth have never seen before that could not be confined, weaving its way across the country,” the court papers state. “The citizens of the Commonwealth have demonstrated their lack of faith in the process and proceedings in this matter and the justice system itself.”

Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.