Beshear, Fischer Call On Cameron To Release Evidence In Breonna Taylor Case
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer are calling on Attorney General Daniel Cameron to release more evidence from the Breonna Taylor investigation to the public.
Cameron provided some details of the investigation during a news conference on Wednesday, following the grand jury indictment of one of the officers involved in the March 13 raid on Taylor’s apartment.
But Cameron said that, at this point, he won’t publicly release the grand jury report or full investigative findings because of the ongoing prosecution of the case and FBI investigation into the shooting.
“I think it would be irresponsible at this juncture for this office to release any sort of file,” Cameron said.
Hours later, Beshear said that Cameron should post all of the evidence he can online in order to inform citizens.
“I believe that any information that does not jeopardize the Attorney General’s case or the FBI case, should now be open for the public to see,” Beshear said.
“Those that are currently feeling frustration, feeling hurt, they deserve to know more.”
Immediately following Beshear’s remarks, Fischer echoed the call for transparency.
“I believe that any information that does not jeopardize either the Attorney General’s case or the FBI case, should now be open for the public to see to be informed about all the facts in the case,” Fischer said. “So we call on everybody that has that information to release it.”
The Jefferson County grand jury indicted former Louisville police detective Brett Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots during the raid that ended up in a neighbor’s apartment.
He was not indicted for Taylor’s death and Cameron said that there was not “compelling evidence” that any of the bullets Hankison fired hit Taylor.
The two other officers involved in the raid — the ones who together shot Taylor six times — were not indicted. Cameron said they were “justified in firing after being fired upon,” saying that Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker was the first to shoot — a single shot that struck one of the officers in the leg.
The grand jury findings have sparked outrage from protesters in Louisville, some of whom had been calling for the officers to be charged with murder.
State Rep. Charles Booker, a Democrat from Louisville who rose to prominence while running for U.S. Senate during the initial weeks of the protest movement, said that “justice failed us today.”
“It failed is in a way that has been failing us for generations,” Booker said. “A woman, a Black woman, was killed by the agency paid to serve and protect her. That’s wrong. There is no justifying that.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who Cameron worked for in Congress, praised Cameron for the investigation.
“Throughout this process, I have called for a fair and thorough investigation into Breonna’s killing,” McConnell wrote in a statement. “Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron led a complete inquiry to find the truth and pursue justice. I have total confidence he followed the facts and the legal process in his decision.”
Grand jury proceedings are secret and Cameron declined to say whether he recommended the indictment against Hankison and that the other officers not be charged.
Robert Weisberg, a law professor with Stanford Criminal Justice Center, said that without evidence, observers can only speculate what was presented to the grand jury.
“We don’t know whether if in addition to presenting that evidence, the prosecutor urged the grand jury to make a homicide indictment,” Weisberg said. “It seems implausible, that the grand jury wasn’t given the whole narrative.”
Cameron said that any potential civil rights violations that took place during the raid, or in the procurement of the warrant used to justify it, would be investigated by federal justice officials. An FBI investigation into Taylor’s death is ongoing.
Producer Michelle Tyrene Johnson and Reporter Jess Clark contributed to this report.