Release Breonna Taylor grand jury files by Friday, state attorney general told

Kentucky’s attorney general has been given until noon on Friday to release the secret grand jury proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case, after a delay was sought by the official on Wednesday just as audio recordings were set to be released to the public.

The office of the attorney general, Daniel Cameron, filed a motion on Wednesday morning asking for a week’s delay to enable the redaction of names and personal information.

A court in Louisville had been expected to release the audio recordings on Wednesday by noon but, after the request, a judge gave Cameron two more days.

The attorney general’s filing said the delay was necessary “in the interest of protection of witnesses, and in particular private citizens named in the recordings”.

Cameron acknowledged this week that his recommendation to the grand jury was that only one of the officers involved be indicted, and only for the wanton endangerment of Taylor’s neighbors.

He did not recommend anyone be charged directly in the death of Taylor, a black 26-year-old emergency medical worker who died in a hail of police bullets fired by three white officers during a botched raid on her apartment in March, fueling nationwide protests against police brutality and structural racism in America.

And the grand jury seated to examine the case concluded likewise, leading to just one officer being charged with wanton endangerment for shooting wildly from outside Taylor’s apartment, leading to bullets entering neighbors’ homes.

Cameron, a Republican protege of the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and the state’s first African American attorney general, has been criticized since announcing the grand jury’s indictment for not seeking charges against the officers for killing Taylor.

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Cameron said the other two officers who fired their guns were justified because Taylor’s boyfriend had fired at them first. The boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired on what he said he thought were intruders.

Protesters took to the streets in Louisville and around the country to demand more accountability in the case, as frustrations spilled over after months of waiting for Cameron’s announcement. Activists and Taylor’s family called for the grand jury file to be released.

Cameron said the record will show that his team “presented a thorough and complete case to the grand jury”.

Taylor was shot five times in her Louisville apartment on 13 March by officers carrying a narcotics warrant relating to an ex-boyfriend.

Former officer Brett Hankison, who was fired from the force for his actions during the raid, pleaded not guilty to three counts of wanton endangerment on Monday.

Officers Jonathan Mattingly, who was shot in the leg by Taylor’s boyfriend, and Myles Cosgrove, whom Cameron said appeared to have fired the fatal shot at Taylor, according to ballistics tests, remain on the force.

On Tuesday, Cameron told a local TV station that he did not recommend any charges against the two police officers who shot Taylor because the grand jury needed to make that decision on its own.

“They are an independent body. If they wanted to make an assessment about different charges, they could have done that. But our recommendation was that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their acts and their conduct,” Cameron told WDRB TV.

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The grand jury last week decided against indicting either Mattingly or Cosgrove. Cameron said the shooting was justified as self-defense since Taylor’s boyfriend fired first at the officers, believing they were criminal intruders.

He added that Taylor’s death was a tragedy and, as a black man, he was heartbroken, but he has been caught up in a storm of criticism over his handling of the case.


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