Taylor family lawyer demands grand jury records


Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media caption“I’m am an angry black woman”: Breonna Taylor’s mother gives her reaction in a statement read by her sister

The lawyer for Breonna Taylor’s family has demanded that a transcript of the grand jury proceedings in her police shooting case be released to the public.

Benjamin Crump said transparency was needed for its result to be accepted.

The grand jury on Wednesday returned charges of ‘wonton endangerment’ against one former officer.

However, the decision not to lay charges for killing Ms Taylor triggered protests around the US.

Over 127 people were arrested on Wednesday night, after the decision was announced. On Thursday night, Louisville police arrested at least 27 protesters, including the only African-American lawmaker in the Kentucky legislature.

Two officers were shot and injured in Louisville, Kentucky on Wednesday.

An overnight curfew is to remain in place in Ms Taylor’s hometown of Louisville through the weekend.

What does the Taylor family want?

In a news conference on Friday, Mr Crump led chants of “release the transcripts,” and accused Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron of failing to mount a strong enough case to the grand jury to secure murder charges against the three officers who fired bullets into Ms Taylor’s home in Louisville on 13 March.

Police entered her flat during a drug raid, though none were later found.

“What did Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron present to the grand jury? Did he present any evidence on Breonna Taylor’s behalf?” Mr Crump asked.

“Or did he make a unilateral decision to put his thumb on the scales of justice to help try to exonerate and justify the killing of Breonna Taylor by these police officers?”

Image copyright

Image caption

Tamika Palmer, Ms Taylor’s mum, cried as her statement was read by her sister

Ms Taylor’s family had called for all three officers to be arrested for murder, but only one has been charged. Brett Hankinson, who was fired from the police force in June, is accused of wanton endangerment, a low-level felony, for firing shots into Ms Taylor’s neighbour’s apartment.

In her first public statement since the grand jury’s ruling, Ms Taylor mother said she “never had faith” in the prosecutor, Mr Cameron, who is Kentucky’s first ever black attorney general.

Image copyright

Image caption

Breonna Taylor was an emergency medical technician

“I was reassured Wednesday of why I have no faith in the legal system, in the police, in the law,” Tamika Palmer said in a statement which was read by Ms Taylor’s aunt. “They are not made to protect us Black and brown people.”

“What I had hoped is that [Mr Cameron] knew he had the power to do the right thing, that he had the power to start the healing of this city, that he had the power to help mend over 400 years of oppression,” her statement continued.

“What he helped me realise is that it will always be us against them, that we are never safe when it comes to them.”

The family has called for a special prosecutor to probe how the grand jury – a group of citizens empowered to consider criminal charges –

What were the circumstances of Ms Taylor’s killing?

Three plainclothes policemen – Brett Hankison, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove – were executing a search warrant on 13 March. They forced their way into the apartment where Ms Taylor, 26, was in bed with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shortly after midnight.

Mr Walker fired a shot from his licensed gun, later telling police he thought that Ms Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, had broken in, according to the New York Times.

Officials say Mr Walker’s bullet struck Mr Mattingly in the leg. The three officers returned fire, discharging 32 rounds, according to a ballistics report from the FBI.

Ms Taylor was shot amid the commotion and died on the hallway floor.

A timeline of the shooting

  1. Walker fires one bullet, hitting Mattingly in the leg moments after police take down the flat door with a battering ram
  2. Mattingly returns fire, shooting six times at Walker and Taylor, who is standing beside him in her hallway
  3. Cosgrove fires 16 shots from the doorway of Taylor’s home
  4. Taylor is struck six times in a matter of seconds
  5. Hankinson fires 10 shots through a patio door and window. His bullets enter the nextdoor flat

Mr Hankison was fired from the police after investigators found he had “wantonly and blindly fired 10 rounds” during the raid, according to his termination letter.

Mr Mattingly and Mr Cosgrove were reassigned to administrative duties.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *