AG Cameron defends decision to not advise Breonna Taylor grand jury of more charges

EMILY SHAPIRO
·3 min read

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is defending his decision to not give the grand jury on the case surrounding the death of Breonna Taylor the option to consider murder charges.

"It was not our judgment that there should be other charges that the grand jury should be advised of," Cameron told ABC affiliate WBKO in Bowling Green, Kentucky, on Thursday.

PHOTO: Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron addresses the media following the return of a grand jury investigation into the death of Breonna Taylor, in Frankfort, Ky.,Sept. 23, 2020. (Timothy D. Easley/AP, FILE)
PHOTO: Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron addresses the media following the return of a grand jury investigation into the death of Breonna Taylor, in Frankfort, Ky.,Sept. 23, 2020. (Timothy D. Easley/AP, FILE)

"The grand jury can, you know, as an independent body, bring up other questions or other issues," Cameron said.

"I fully take responsibility for the recommendation that we made," he said. "Based on the facts, that was the appropriate recommendation to make."

MORE: Officer involved in Breonna Taylor shooting sues Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker

Six months after Taylor was killed in March by police at her Louisville home, Cameron convened a grand jury to investigate possible charges against the officers.

In September a grand jury indicted one officer, Brett Hankison, on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for firing into the apartment directly behind Taylor's, where three people were inside. Hankison pleaded not guilty.

Hankison was fired and the other officers were placed on administrative duty.

But none of the officers involved in Taylor's death were charged in connection to her loss of life, which ignited months of protests in Louisville and across the U.S.

Taylor, 26, was fatally shot in the early hours of March 13, when Louisville police tried to execute a search warrant as part of an investigation into a suspected drug operation allegedly linked to Taylor's ex-boyfriend.

MORE: 'Protect Breonna, protect myself': Breonna Taylor's boyfriend recounts night she was killed

Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he thought intruders were breaking in, so he fired one shot from his licensed gun.

One officer was struck in the leg. Police opened fire and Taylor was struck multiple times.

PHOTO: Breonna Taylor, 26, was shot and killed by Louisville, Kentucky, police officers after they allegedly executed a search warrant of the wrong home. (Breonna Taylor Family)
PHOTO: Breonna Taylor, 26, was shot and killed by Louisville, Kentucky, police officers after they allegedly executed a search warrant of the wrong home. (Breonna Taylor Family)

Cameron told WBKO that the officers who opened fire were "justified" because they "returned fire after having been fired upon."

"It is a sad case," he said. "But my responsibility and job as the prosecutor is to make sure that the facts are presented to the grand jury, we made the recommendation as it relates to wanton endangerment to this other officer.”

Cameron told WBKO, "Not everybody is going to be happy with your decision. And I have to to live with that. But we did the right thing in this process."

MORE: 'Breonna Taylor is now attached to me for the rest of my life,' Sgt. Jon Mattingly says in exclusive interview

Attorneys for Hankison and Walker as well as Taylor's family advocated for the release of the grand jury transcript and evidence connected to the case. Walker's civil lawyers filed a successful motion this month to have the evidence collected by Louisville police department's Professional Integrity Unit released to the public.

Last week a judge ruled in favor of an anonymous grand juror in the case, allowing the juror to come forward and speak publicly about the court proceedings. Cameron had argued against grand jurors speaking out, saying it could set a dangerous precedent for courtroom privacy. But after the judge's decision, Cameron said he would not appeal.

Federal officials are also investigating possible civil rights violations.

AG Cameron defends decision to not advise Breonna Taylor grand jury of more charges originally appeared on abcnews.go.com