Celebrity PSA Demands Justice for Breonna Taylor
Celebrities including Kerry Washington, Alicia Keys, and Gabrielle Union promoted actionable ways to demand justice for Breonna Taylor in a new video that spotlights Taylor's mother.
Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Annie O'Connell allowed grand jurors in the Breonna Taylor case to come forward today, letting them speak freely about the trial, ABC News reports. According to a court filing, any of the jurors "may disclose such information, subject to the trial court's order regarding information to be redacted." One has come forward, saying that prosecutors only presented the three wanton endangerment charges during the trial, with no explanation of why homicide wasn't included in the charges against Louisville Metro Police Department Officer Brett Hankison.
"Being one of the jurors on the Breonna Taylor case was a learning experience. The three weeks of service leading up to that presentation showed how the grand jury normally operates. The Breonna Taylor case was quite different," Juror Number One, which is the only way the individual was identified, said in a statement. "After hearing the Attorney General Daniel Cameron's press conference, and with my duty as a grand juror being over, my duty as a citizen compelled action. The grand jury did not have homicide offenses explained to them. The grand jury never heard anything about those laws. Self defense or justification was never explained either."
The juror added that "questions were asked about additional charges," but prosecutors didn't move forward, because they felt the charges "wouldn't stick."
"The grand jury didn't agree that certain actions were justified, nor did it decide the indictment should be the only charges in the Breonna Taylor case," the statement continued. "The grand jury was not given the opportunity to deliberate on those charges and deliberated only on what was presented to them. I cannot speak for other jurors but I can help the truth be told."
Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney that is representing Taylor's family, said that the juror's statements prove that Attorney General Daniel Cameron "took the decision out of the grand jury's hands."
"They didn’t allow the grand jury to do what the law says they have the right to do. This failure rests squarely on the shoulders of Daniel Cameron," Crump said in a joint statement alongside co-counsels Sam Aguiar and Lonita Baker. "The grand juror made it clear that jurors did not agree that certain actions by the police were justified and did not decide that wanton endangerment should be the only charges brought."
Hankison is facing three counts of wanton endangerment for his involvement in the killing of Taylor. The two other officers involved in the shooting were not charged. Hankison's charges are traced to the bullets that penetrated a wall of Taylor's residence and entered a neighboring apartment unit, which was occupied by a child, man, and a pregnant woman.