A third grand juror in the Breonna Taylor case is speaking out and alleging that prosecutors did not really pursue justice for a 26-year-old nurse killed by the Louisville Metro Police Department.
“I felt like there should’ve been more charges,” the grand juror recently told the Associated Press–personally speaking out for the first time since the inquiry ended with three minor charges of wanton endangerment against former Officer Brett Hankison.
The third grand juror, who has decided to maintain her anonymity for now, described the end result as disappointing “slap on the wrist” and said she left the grand jury with the distinct impression that Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s (R) office was simply trying to “close it up” in order to clear the police who killed Taylor during a bullet-riddled no-knock raid.
“[N]o, that’s not the end of it,” the grand juror said. “I didn’t feel that the family was getting justice.”
Multiple Louisville Police officers raided Taylor’s home in early March because they claimed to believe she had received drugs intended for someone who lived 10 miles away from her–despite the local postal inspector contradicting the department’s alleged belief. That understanding of the evidence was incorrect, leading to Taylor’s death.
Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker said he didn’t know police were bursting into the apartment and that he opened fire in self-defense, believing them to be intruders. Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly was shot in the leg by Walker. Three officers fired back more than 20 rounds in total. Taylor was shot eight times. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Cameron said the officers other than Hankison were justified in returning fire because Walker shot first.
The officers filed a nearly blank report that incorrectly claimed Taylor suffered zero injuries after the incident. Among other discrepancies, the report also claimed no force had been used when entering Taylor’s apartment. This was also incorrect–a battering ram was used by the police to gain entry.
“All of them went in blindly, you really couldn’t see into that lady’s apartment as they explained to us, there was just a TV on,” the third grand juror said, describing Taylor’s apartment. She went on to say the police “went in there like the O.K. Corral, wanted dead or alive.”
As Law&Crime previously reported, the third grand juror originally spoke out in late October–by way of her attorney Kevin Glogower, who also represents two additional anonymous grand jurors dissatisfied with the Kentucky Attorney General’s work on the Taylor case.
“After much reflection, Anonymous Grand Juror #3 has joined Anonymous Grand Jurors #1 and #2 in promoting truth and transparency regarding the Breonna Taylor case,” the attorney said at the time. “Anonymous Grand Juror #3 firmly supports the fact that no additional charges were allowed at the conclusion of their service. The legal team for the three Grand Jurors will continue to protect their anonymity and aid them in their courageous efforts.”
The disclosures made by the other two grand jurors were made possible by a court order. In October, Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Annie O’Connell allowed any grand jurors the ability to speak out, publicly or otherwise, about the widely-scrutinized proceedings. The case itself stemmed from a lawsuit for transparency filed by the first grand juror.
The third grand juror also said Cameron, when announcing that grand jurors agreed no other charges in the case were warranted, was trying to shift blame to the grand jury.
“I felt like he was trying to throw the blame on somebody else, that he felt like, we as jurors, we weren’t going to (speak) out,” she said. “He made it feel like it was all our fault, and it wasn’t.”
[image via Jon Cherry/Getty Images]
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]