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Kentucky Attorney General to release grand jury testimony in Breonna Taylor case

Kentucky’s attorney general has agreed to release the transcripts of a grand jury hearing in the Breonna Taylor case, insisting he has nothing to hide after a member of the jury took the highly-unusual step of suing to seek the release of the documents.

Daniel Cameron, a black Republican official, said on Monday night that he was taking the extraordinary step of publishing the information, given the huge public interest in the case.

Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was shot and killed by police in her Louisville apartment on March 13 after officers barged into her home.

Breonna Taylor, 26, was shot and killed by Louisville police on March 13

Breonna Taylor, 26, was shot and killed by Louisville police on March 13

Daniel Cameron on Monday agreed to release transcripts of the grand jury proceedings

Daniel Cameron on Monday agreed to release transcripts of the grand jury proceedings

People hold signs in support of Taylor while marching in downtown Louisville on Saturday

People hold signs in support of Taylor while marching in downtown Louisville on Saturday

A memorial to Taylor has sprung up in downtown Louisville, demanding justice for her

A memorial to Taylor has sprung up in downtown Louisville, demanding justice for her

On Wednesday a grand jury indicted only one of the three officers involved in the shooting, and only for the lesser charge of wanton endangerment – leading to protests across the country. 

The unidentified juror filed a suit on Monday seeking the release of the documents so that that ‘the truth may prevail.’ 

The juror’s case stated: ‘There is a 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.’

It suggests the attorney general has used jurors ‘as a shield to deflect accountability and responsibility.’

The motion says the juror fears Cameron ‘would attempt to utilize the court’s contempt powers … if there was a public disclosure that contradicted certain things that he stated happened during the proceedings, characterized the singularity of the decision in a different light, or raised doubts about charges that were presented during the proceedings.’

Cameron’s office had previously said sharing more information would be inappropriate with a criminal case and separate federal investigation ongoing. 

On Monday night Cameron backed down, and agreed to release the information on Wednesday.

He said he felt it was the wrong thing to do, given that the grand jury ‘is meant to be a secretive body’.

But, he added, it is ‘apparent that the public interest in this case isn’t going to allow that to happen.’ 

He continued: ‘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. 

‘Despite these concerns, we will comply with the Judge’s order to release the recording on Wednesday. The release of the recording will also address the legal complaint filed by an anonymous grand juror.’

Cameron said he was confident that the documents would show his team was right in not prosecuting two of the three officers.

Cameron said he stands by the case his team presented. 

‘Once the public listens to the recording, they will see that over the course of two-and-a-half days, our team presented a thorough and complete case to the Grand Jury,’ he said. 

Earlier on Monday the only police officer indicted pleaded not guilty on three counts of wanton endangerment of Taylor’s neighbors.

Former detective Brett Hankison is the only one of the three to face charges for the killing

Former detective Brett Hankison is the only one of the three to face charges for the killing

Protesters in Louisville on Saturday took to the streets to protest the decision not to prosecute

Protesters in Louisville on Saturday took to the streets to protest the decision not to prosecute

US National Guardsman stands to attention as around a thousand people march by in Louisville

US National Guardsman stands to attention as around a thousand people march by in Louisville

Former detective Brett Hankison was indicted by a grand jury last Wednesday and charged with endangering Taylor’s neighbors because some of the 10 bullets he fired during the raid on her home entered an adjacent apartment.

The other two officers who shot Taylor were not charged at all after Cameron concluded their use of force was justified. 

Taylor was struck by six bullets moments after she and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were roused from bed as the three plain-clothes officers forced open the front door shortly after midnight.

Walker, who has maintained he did not know the intruders were police, fired toward the officers, wounding one in the thigh, according to Cameron’s investigation. 

The three officers started shooting back. 

Six of their bullets hit Taylor, though none appeared to be from Hankison’s gun, according to Cameron.

The Louisville Metro Police Department had obtained a so-called ‘no knock’ warrant in their investigation of a suspected drug dealer who lived elsewhere in the city who had previously dated Taylor.

Hankison entered his plea during an audio conference call before Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Ann Bailey Smith, the Louisville Courier Journal reported. 

The police department fired him in June for his actions during the raid.

Smith ordered Hankison to not possess any guns over the objection of his lawyer, who said the former detective, who was released from jail on a $15,000 bond last week, may need weapons for self-defense, the Courier Journal reported. 

He is next due to appear before to court on October 28 for a pre-trial hearing.

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