October 27, 2020
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Concern mounts over grand jury’s decision on officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s shooting

By Julia Duggan
Staff Writer

Large-scale protests as well as a shooting occured after a former Louisville police officer was indicted in the death of Breonna Taylor from March.

Detective Brett Hankison was indicted on charges of wanton endangerment, according to The New York Times, due to recklessly firing into a neighbor’s apartment. WKYT reported that Hankison has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The other two officers, according to The New York Times, have not been indicted on any charges as the jury ruled their use of force was justified after Taylor’s boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, discharged a weapon at officers after believing an intruder had made their way into the residence.

Officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment. Two others involved in the raid and shooting were not charged (Twitter).

At a news conference shortly after the decision in Frankfort, Kentucky, Attorney General Daniel Cameron walked through the grand jury’s decision in detail, in an effort to defuse ongoing and new protests, according to The New York Times.

Cameron acknowledged that he understood the pain the community was suffering as a result of her death. 

“The decision before my office is not to decide if the loss of Breonna Taylor’s life was a tragedy —  the answer to that question is unequivocally yes,” he said, according to The New York Times.

Despite Cameron’s pleas, mass protests began as soon as the news of the grand jury’s decision was announced, with one report of a shooting that injured two officers, according to The Washington Post

According to The Washington Post, the two officers were shot at around 8:30 p.m. as officers responded to another report of shots fired in a large crowd. One officer is alert, said the interim police chief, while another underwent surgery. A suspect has been arrested and is awaiting trial.

“Let me say this, 99.99 percent of people that took to the streets or the sidewalks did so peacefully, raised their voices to be heard and we should listen. We should listen to the trauma and to the pain,” Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said, according to the Associated Press.

Shortly after the indictment, an unnamed juror came forward and requested that all the recordings, transcripts and reports of the grand jury proceedings be released to the public. The juror is speaking through their attorney, reported CBS News.

“‘This is something where the juror is not seeking any fame, any acclaim, any money,’” said Kevin Glogower, the juror’s lawyer, The New York Times reported.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Glogower said he has advised his client to only speak publicly after the court gives formal permission to speak without fear of prosecution. The motion also seeks the same protection for other jurors in the case, reported The New York Times.

According to Glogower to The New York Times, the juror was unsettled by the fact that the 12-member grand jury was not given an option of charging the two officers at that time and was presented only with possible charges for Detective Brett Hankison, who was fired in June.

Some grand jury material was released on Oct. 2, which included a 15 hour-long tape of detectives describing the raid on the apartment, according to The New York Times. The tapes suggested some contradictions between witnesses, but didn’t note that police had announced themselves before the raid occurred.

The public release of secret grand jury proceedings had been expected on Sept. 30, after Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Ann Bailey Smith ordered recordings of the two-and-a-half-day presentation to the panel to be filed with the court by noon local time, CNN reported.

Cameron had sought a one-week delay in a motion filed Tuesday in order to protect “private citizens named in the recordings,” CNN reported, which was granted an extension.

As for other transcripts and reports, there is no timeline for when a judge might rule on the grand juror’s request, but their attorney said he is hopeful it might happen within “‘a couple weeks,’” the grand juror’s attorney said, according to CBS News.

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