One of the grand jurors responsible for the widely criticized indictment against a Louisville police officer involved in Breonna Taylor‘s killing has spoken out weeks after filing a motion to legally speak out about the controversial case. The “Anonymous Juror #1” suggested that Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron — who was famously called a “sellout” by activist Tamika Mallory — and his office lied about the applicable charges police officers could have faced.
The juror released a brief statement Tuesday afternoon confirming critics’ suspicion that Cameron failed to present the option of any criminal charges other than wanton endangerment for gunshots that did not kill Taylor, who died in a hail of police bullets in her own home after cops botched serving a suspiciously obtained no-knock warrant in March. In fact, Anonymous Juror #1 said, grand jurors even asked if there were any other charges they should consider and were told no.
But after watching Cameron’s infamous press conference during which he defended the indictment of just one of the three cops involved and all but blamed Taylor’s boyfriend for her killing, Anonymous Juror #1 felt compelled out of a civic “duty” to speak out.
“The grand jury was not presented any charges other that the three Wanton Endangerment charges against Detective Brett Hankison. The grand jury did not have homicide offenses explained to them. The grand jury never heard anything about those laws,” Anonymous Juror #1 said in part before continuing later. “Questions were asked about additional charges and the grand jury was told there would be none because the prosecutors didn’t feel they could make them stick.”
Anonymous Juror #1 ended his or her statement by saying, “I can help the truth be told,” suggesting that Cameron and his office lied about what they presented to the grand jury as well as the public after the grand jury proceedings concluded.
Read the full statement below.
Ben Crump, the civil rights attorney representing Taylor’s family, cited “Cameron’s dereliction of duties” and called for a new, independent prosecutor to properly and fully investigate the case.
“We now know what we suspected: 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 part of a brief statement emailed to NewsOne Tuesday. “It is a despicable miscarriage of justice that is disrespectful to the life of Breonna Taylor that AG Cameron white washed what his office presented to the grand jury.”
Crump added: “We urge the appointment of a new independent prosecutor to do the work AG Cameron failed to do and seek justice for Breonna Taylor.”
The grand juror was speaking out after Cameron went above and beyond the call of his duty in attempts to institute a gag order surrounding the grand jury proceedings. At least two grand jurors have had lawyers file motions to seek permission for them to speak out publicly. It was unclear whether it is the first grand juror or the second whose statement was released Tuesday.
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.”
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 last week in an exclusive interview with CBS This Morning that neither he nor Taylor heard police identify 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.”