UPDATED: 6:00 a.m. ET, March 13, 2021 —
Kentucky’s embattled, Republican attorney general seems determined to help officers evade accountability for Taylor’s murder. The 26-year-old emergency medical technician was killed in her home when cops botched the execution of a no-knock warrant last March.
Last fall Cameron moved to keep quiet a grand juror in the case who filed a motion to speak out about the decision for an indictment that did not hold accountable any officers involved in the shooting accountable.
His particular gripe centered around the rapper taking a break during the performance of her hit song “Savage,” where she replayed a quote from activist Tamika Mallory.
“Daniel Cameron is no different than the sellout negroes that sold our people into slavery,” Mallory argued during a press conference after it was revealed a Jefferson County grand jury declined to bring forth charges directly related to Breonna Taylor‘s death.
“I agree that we need to love and protect our Black women, there’s no question about that. But the fact that someone would get on national television and make disparaging comments about me because I’m trying to do my job is disgusting.” Cameron said in response to the performance.
Megan and her dancers stood in victory poses with their fists raised high as “Protect Black women” flashed across the scene. Right before the audio clip, Megan also played a snippet of Malcolm X’s 1962 speech where he declared, “The most disrespected person in America is the Black woman.”
Only one officer, Brett Hankison, was charged in the case for firing shots into a neighboring apartment on the night of the botched raid. Cameron stated that the involved officers acted lawfully because they were fired upon by Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker while entering Taylor’s apartment.
The attorney general later confessed he did not recommend murder or manslaughter to the grand jury for that very reason. Police claim that a bullet fired from Walker struck the thigh of Sgt. John Mattingly. Walker maintains he shot in self-defense, fearing an intruder.
While he voices support of Black women, his handling of the Breonna Taylor case shows anything but. Since the case gained national attention following the death of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Cameron’s actions consistently proved he was far from concerned with making sure Taylor’s case received the care and attention it deserved.
From the poorly planned release of his engagement photos to the release of the grand jury tapes, it’s apparent that Cameron is only invested in securing and upholding the idea of whiteness.
1. Cameron files motion to keep grand juror quiet
Cameron formally asked a judge to keep restrictions in place preventing grand jurors from speaking publicly about the case the attorney general’s office presented in the investigation into Breonna Taylor’s police killing.
“Cameron’s motion says 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.”
Cameron has said that his office’s investigation found that one officer should be indicted of wanton endangerment for bullets he shot that hit an apartment, not Taylor. That promoted a separate juror to file his own motion to speak out about the case. Cameron’s office wants them both to remain silent as questions remain about what exactly he and his office presented and recommended to the grand jury.
2. Daniel Cameron’s Engagement Photos Surface On The InternetSource:Twitter: @brandonujohnson
As Breonna Taylor’s family mourned the loss of their loved one, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron was celebrating his engagement. The photos began circulating on the internet in June to the disappointment of many who wondered if Cameron was invested in the case at all. Cameron wed his fiancé in early August, which also fell within the time Taylor’s family and supporters called for a grand jury to bring charges against the three officers in the case, Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove and John Mattingly.
3. Breonna Taylor’s Family Voices Frustration With Cameron’s OfficeSource:Getty
Taylor’s family began publicly voicing their frustration with Cameron’s office in the summer following the release of his engagement photos. An unnamed source spoke to TMZ in June who claimed the family saw the photos as a slap in the face. The source also claimed Taylor’s family believes Cameron’s office failed to prioritize scheduling a meeting to discuss the case.
4. Daniel Cameron Claims FBI Ballistic Report Stalled His InvestigationSource:Getty
Around late July Cameron began answering questions regarding a decision timeline. The Kentucky Attorney General claimed on several occasions that his office could not move forward until they received a ballistics report from the FBI, who was conducting an independent investigation. Cameron received the report in late August. But a September ballistics report by Kentucky State Police (KSP) did not conclude that the bullet which struck Mattingly came from Walker’s gun.
5. Taylor’s Family Demands An Indictment By OctoberSource:Getty
Cameron finally privately met with Taylor’s family in August. After the meeting, Taylor’s family and the family attorney’s told the public they expected an indictment by October, which would mark six months since Taylor’s death.
6. Daniel Cameron Makes Jaw-Dropping Appearance At RNCSource:Getty
While we shouldn’t be surprised regarding Cameron’s appearance at the National Republican Convention where he stumped for Trump, most of us wondered if he ever planned on transferring that energy towards the Breonna Taylor investigation. His decision proved sobering as the appearance came a week after meeting with Taylor’s family.
7. The Indictment And The AftermathSource:Getty
On September 23 members of the Jefferson County grand jury impaneled by Cameron declined to bring charges forth relating to her death. Only one officer, Brett Hankison was charged for wanton endangerment over firing shots which landed in a neighboring apartment to Taylor’s. Immediately Cameron was blasted over the proceedings which until that point were sealed. Many of Taylor’s supporters cried out at the lack of justice for Taylor and her family.
8. Grand Jury Tapes Released, Prove Conflicting Events Than Cameron’s AccountSource:Getty
A week after Cameron said he would not release the recordings of the grand jury proceedings, an unnamed member of the jury came forward to file a motion that the tapes be released. The files, which were not transcribed and included at least 15 hours of recordings, were released on October 2. In the recordings it evident that Taylor’s death resulted in a night of chaos, fueled with differing accounts from law enforcement over what transpired.
9. Daniel Cameron Files Motion To Prohibit Grand Jury Member From Publicly SpeakingSource:Getty
On Wednesday Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron requested the court dismiss a grand jurors request to publicly speak about the deliberations in the Breonna Taylor case, CBS News reports. The anonymous juror requested a judge allow them to share some parts of the proceedings.
“The grand jury process is secretive for a reason, to protect the safety and anonymity of all the grand jurors, witnesses, and innocent persons involved in the proceedings,” Cameron said in a released statement. “Allowing this disclosure would irreversibly alter Kentucky’s legal system by making it difficult for prosecutors and the public to have confidence in the secrecy of the grand jury process going forward.”
Lawyers for Taylor’s family released the following on behalf of Cameron’s motion:
“With each day that passes and with every action of Daniel Cameron, it becomes more and more evident that the Attorney General has something to hide. This motion is a slap in the face to Breonna’s family, and yet another attempt to conceal the corruption of his office. If he has nothing to hide, and he did everything right as he claims, then he should have no problem letting the grand jurors speak to the public. They deserve to have that voice, and Breonna’s family deserves answers.”
10. NAACP Legal Defense Fund calls for appointment of special prosecutorSource:Getty
The Legal Defense Fund is calling for the appointment of a new, independent special prosecutor, echoing the sentiments of Breonna’s family and numerous other critics who feel the whole investigation provided not the slightest semblance of justice. The report asks Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear to enact legislation to create an impartial counsel of prosecutors to assist in future cases of criminal wrongdoing by law enforcement. To date, Cameron has not acted. On Friday activists called for action from Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine, who previously recused himself from the case due to conflict of interest and referred the investigation to Daniel Cameron.