Breonna Taylor (Image courtesy NNPA)
HED: Breonna Taylor
By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor
An individual who served on the grand jury in the Breonna Taylor case, is taking action to have the transcript of the proceedings made public.
An attorney for the juror, who for now is remaining anonymous, says that their client has filed a motion in a Jefferson County, Kentucky court to make the transcripts public. The motion also asks that the jurors on the grand jury be permitted to speak publicly on the case “as a matter of public interest.”
The attorney for the anonymous juror also is making it clear the role of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron was not as impartial as he may have represented during a lengthy September 23 press conference. Cameron appeared to announce that the grand jury had decided not to charge officers with charges such as manslaughter or murder.
On March 13, 2020 in Louisville, Kentucky, Breonna Taylor, 26-year-old EMT, was fatally shot by plainclothes members of the Louisville Metro Police Department. The officers entered her apartment at 1 a.m. in the morning executing a search warrant that was in error. Issues around whether the police announced themselves are in dispute. Officers fired 32 shots after Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired his legally registered firearm. Though Walker was not hurt, Breonna Taylor was shot six times by the police and died.
On September 15, the city of Louisville announced that it would pay $12 million to the Taylor family. On September 23, a grand jury indicted one of the cops on three counts of wanton endangerment regarding a next-door neighbor to Taylor’s apartment but no other charges.
“The citizens of this Commonwealth have demonstrated their lack of faith in the process and proceedings in this matter and the justice system itself,” the filing from the anonymous grand jury member stated.
“Using the grand jurors as a shield to deflect accountability and responsibility for these decisions only sows more seeds of doubt in the process while leaving a cold chill down the spines of future grand jurors,” the court filing added.
“The Grand Jury is meant to be a secretive body. It’s apparent that the public interest in this case isn’t going to allow that to happen,” Attorney General Cameron responded to the juror’s request.
“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 said.
“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.”
Lauren Victoria Burke is an independent journalist for NNPA and the host of the podcast BURKEFILE. She is also a political strategist at Principal of Win Digital Media LLC. She may be contacted at LBurke007@gmail.com and on twitter at @LVBurke.