Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has taken measures to protect his own life just weeks after his apparently pro-police presentation to a grand jury neglected to take Breonna Taylor‘s life into account.
The irony was hard to ignore as on face value it would appear that Cameron — who was famously called a “sellout” by activist Tamika Mallory — is prioritizing his own existence without ever having tried to seek true justice for Taylor, whose existence which was violently snatched away from her loved ones in March when Louisville police officers and detectives killed her in her own home during the botched execution of a suspiciously obtained a no-knock warrant.
In case you missed it, a spokesperson for Cameron’s office announced Wednesday morning that “threats” aimed at the attorney general have prompted him to hire armed bodyguards — on the public’s dime, of course.
“The attorney general’s protective detail determined that given the credibility of such threats, additional personnel and resources were needed to provide the appropriate level of security,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
No expense was spared, as the contract will cost taxpayers $300,000. For anyone keeping track, that’s in addition to the $12 million payout taxpayers are footing as part of Louisville’s record settlement with Taylor’s family.
The nature of the threats was unclear, but a Kansas man was indicted earlier this month with federal charges for sending of sending interstate “threatening communications” to Cameron.
You will die if you do not give Breonna Taylor justice,” Wesley Forrest Clay allegedly wrote to Cameron in September. “That is a threat. Try me.”
It’s important to note that Cameron is reacting to a new threat. But the grand jury’s decision that was possibly coerced by Cameron and his office likely further emboldened police officers across the country to act recklessly knowing they will be protected by the justice system — presenting a threat to all Black people far more consequential than those reportedly being sent to the attorney general.
It also can’t be forgotten how Cameron, who has failed Taylor and her family in too many ways, has been going above and beyond the call of his duty to keep grand jurors quiet despite multiple motions filed by their attorneys to have them speak publicly about the case presented to them. Cameron last week filed his own motion against the grand jurors’ motions because, as the Louisville Courier-Journal reported, “the failure to delay any order lifting the secrecy of the grand jury would immediately result in irreparable harm to the commonwealth because jurors could talk before Cameron’s office could file an appeal.”
The grand jurors contend that Cameron and his office never presented the option of charging the cops involved in Taylor’s shooting with anything except wanton endangerment for the bullets that hit a neighboring apartment occupied by white people. Lawyers for Taylor’s family were demanding charges of nothing less than manslaughter, which carries a much stiffer penalty than wanton endangerment.
In other words, there has been absolutely no accountability for Taylor’s death even though cops were directly and undeniably responsible for killing her while in search of someone who was already in police custody. Her death was completely preventable. But Cameron has worked hard to justify it and defend the more than 30 bullets fired by three officers by claiming they were simply defending themselves against Taylor’s boyfriend, who, suspecting an intruder, fired his legally owned gun at the apartment’s front door after it was knocked off the hinges by law enforcement who he says never identified themselves.
In fact, at least 12 independent witnesses also said police never identified themselves. But Cameron decided to believe the single witness who said police did identify themselves.
Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, revealed this week in an exclusive interview with CBS This Morning that neither he nor Taylor heard police identify themselves.
Walker said after he and Taylor heard a “loud bang” at the door, they never got a response when they asked who was there.
“You all did ask ‘who is it?’” Gayle King asked Walker.
“Several times,” he said while shaking his head. “Both of us. There was no response.”
When King told Walker that police said they identified themselves, he said that wasn’t true.
“If they knocked on the door and said who it was, we would hear them,” Walker said before adding: “I’m a million percent sure that no one identified themselves.”
All of the above and more is why Mallory, who’s been on the front lines of protests centered on Taylor’s death, was compelled to accurately call out Cameron based on his clear and deliberate actions.
“I thought about the ships that went into Fort Monroe and Jamestown with our people on them over 400 years ago and how there were also Black men on those ships that were responsible for bringing our people over here,” Mallory said late last month while reacting to the grand jury’s indictment of just one the three cops who shot at Taylor. “Daniel Cameron is no different than the sellout negroes that sold our people into slavery and helped White men to capture our people, to abuse them, and to traffic them while our women were raped, while our men were raped by savages.”
It is in that context that Cameron hired armed security personnel, acting exponentially quicker to protect his own life than he did to secure justice for Breonna Taylor’s.
But hey, at least Cameron is safe, right?
This is America.