The Kentucky Prosecutors Advisory Council on Friday unanimously voted to decline Breonna Taylor‘s mother’s request for a new prosecutor to investigate her daughter’s police killing, the Louisville Courier Journal reported.
Council members claimed they did not have the legal authority to grant the request.
Tamika Palmer filed the motion with the council in October after a grand jury empaneled by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron declined to bring forth charges in Taylor’s March 13 death at the hands of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD). Only one of the three officers initially charged in the case faces three charges of wanton endangerment for firing into a neighboring apartment.
Palmer argued that Cameron mishandled the case by not presenting adequate evidence to the grand jury that proved the LMPD acted negligently in obtaining the warrant to Taylor’s home and the events which lead to her being shot to death in her apartment.
The meeting was held on Skype where participants could view the proceedings.
Kentucky Prosecutors Advisory Council punted on appointing a new special prosecutor in the Breonna Taylor case, saying they don't have the authority.
The council agreed unanimously, then the public turned on their mics. pic.twitter.com/h0Z3bCFCcB
— Adam K. Raymond (@adamkraymond) December 4, 2020
— Deni Kamper (@WLKYDeni) December 4, 2020
Attendees who tuned in began yelling “opposed” as the decision was announced, prompting the meeting organizer to mute outside voices from chiming in.
“You’re wrong, and you know it,” another person said before being muted.
“You have the authority,” said another. “You’re scared.”
Attorneys for Palmer told the Louisville Courier-Journal that the grounds for declining the request were frivolous.
“There is plenty of authority that this council can appoint a special prosecutor by majority vote,” Lonita Baker said.
Cameron argued in September that there was no evidence to bring charges against Taylor’s death, prompting three grand jury members to file separate motions requesting the grand jury transcripts to be released.
Palmer’s request in October for a second “competent and capable” prosecutor sought to forge a new path for justice in her daughter’s murder.
“The Attorney General advised me that the grand jury declined to indict other officers and that his team had done the best they could,” she wrote in her motion to the council. “A.G. Cameron and one of his prosecutors then advised me that I should consider finding peace through the Lord and watched as I sobbed uncontrollably.”
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund last week released a 26-page report arguing that Cameron’s office leaned on inaccurate, misleading and irrelevant information to present to the grand jury in an effort to give preference to the LMPD.