A grand juror in the Breonna Taylor case who filed a lawsuit asking for the publication of the grand jury transcripts and for a judge’s permission to speak publicly did so for the sake of truth and transparency, has the juror’s lawyer said on Tuesday.
“The grand juror we represent felt compelled to take some sort of action based on the indictment delivered at the subsequent press conference and messages from the attorney general’s office on how everything unfolded, ”Kevin Glogower, one of the jurors’ lawyers, said at a press conference Tuesday.
In his 15 years of practice, Glogower said he had never seen a grand juror make such a request.
The grand juror retained his services on Friday, two days after a grand jury indicted former Louisville detective, Brett Hankison, with gratuitous endangerment in connection with the shots that strayed into another apartment.
“I think the only delay was trying to fight through what they saw reported and then released at the press conference and figure out where they were going,” Glogower said.
Hankison, who was fired in June, is accused of recklessly firing his gun during a raid on Taylor’s apartment in March. Neither Hankison nor the two officers who shot Taylor, Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, were directly accused of Taylor’s death. Cosgrove and Mattingly, injured in the shooting, are on administrative leave. Hankison was arraigned Monday at Jefferson Circuit Court and pleaded not guilty. It is free with a deposit of $ 15,000.
During the arraignment, Judge Ann Bailey Smith ordered that the recording of the grand jury proceeding be filed in court by noon on Wednesday. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron had faced calls from the governor and mayor, among others, to post as much evidence as possible online. Last week, he said he would not do so because it “would jeopardize” a federal investigation into the incident “and violate the ethical duties of the prosecutor.”
On Monday night, Cameron said he would comply with the judge’s orders.
“The grand jury is supposed to be a secret body,” he said in a statement. “It is obvious that the public interest in this matter will not allow this to happen. “
Cameron also clarified that “the only recommended charge was gratuitous endangerment.”
“Our prosecutors presented all the evidence, even though the evidence supported Sergeant Mattingly and Detective Cosgrove were justified in their use of force after being shot by Kenneth Walker,” he said.
Glogower noted that Cameron was going to release the grand jury tapes because he was ordered to file them publicly as a find in the Hankison criminal case. “So it’s not exactly the same as just a general post in my opinion,” Glogower said, adding that he expects audio or video testimonials to be posted.
Glogower said his client wanted to remain anonymous “or as anonymous as possible” and believed Cameron misspoke when he said the grand jury “agreed” with his team’s investigation that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their actions.
“While there are six possible homicide charges under Kentucky law, these charges are not applicable to the facts before us because our investigation showed – and the grand jury agreed – that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in returning from a deadly fire after being fired, ”Cameron said at a press conference last Wednesday.
The motion accuses Cameron of using the grand jurors “as a shield to deflect responsibility and accountability from these decisions” and says this has led to “more seeds of doubt in the process”.
“Our client’s main concern is that if you watched the press conference after reading the indictment, the attorney general put a lot of responsibility at the feet of the grand juror,” Glogower said. “If you look at the statement the attorney general’s office released yesterday, they tried to go back. And I think the concerns that we noted in our grand juror motion probably caught their attention and hopefully more transparency in how things have unfolded. ”
Walker said the police had not identified themselves and mistook them for intruders. He fired his gun once after officers broke down Taylor’s door on March 13. Cameron said that only one witness corroborated the officers’ accounts that they knocked and announced themselves.
This is among the unresolved issues, Glogower said.
A reporter asked Cameron last week “why he made such a distinction between a witness regarding the coup and the announcement of the problem compared to several other witnesses who said something different,” Glogower said.
“What we’re getting from the attorney general’s office in two ways at this point is that they’ve put it all out,” Glogower said. “I would submit to you, based on their own statements, they didn’t do that.” “
The question is also at issue and among the things the public deserve to know, Glogower said, is whether the grand jury was given an opportunity to indict the two officers who shot Taylor, an emergency medical technician. . He wondered if this was on the tape and if Cameron’s office had presented all of the charges they alluded to.
“This problem was not addressed directly,” said Glogower. “And these are exactly our client’s concerns, which we think other grand jurors probably have and the public has.
It is not known when the decision will be made on whether the grand jurors will be able to speak publicly. There are anomalies in the Taylor case, Glower said, such as the length of the grand jury proceedings.
“We know it took about two and a half days,” said Glogower, who he says is unprecedented in Jefferson County at the state level.
It is possible that much of the proceedings were not recorded, Glogower said, in which case allowing jurors to speak publicly could keep the case transparent.
“The point of all the action is to get more into the story. It’s not really about changing the narrative, ”Glogower said. “It’s about opening it up to a more complete truth so that everyone can see it. “