In rare move, Breonna Taylor grand jury proceedings released


Hours of grand jury proceedings were made public Friday in the case of Breonna Taylor’s fatal shooting by police, a rare release of such material.

The jury brought no criminal charges against the officers for the killing of the 26-year-old Black woman, angering many in Louisville, Ky., and around the country and setting off renewed protests.

A court ruled that the content of the proceedings, typically kept secret, should be released.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, whose office led the investigation into police actions in the Taylor shooting, did not object to the file’s release. But on Wednesday, his office asked for a week’s extension to edit out personal information from the material. The judge gave him two days.

Cameron, a Republican and the state’s first African American attorney general, has acknowledged that he did not recommend homicide charges for the officers involved.

Police used a narcotics warrant to enter Taylor’s Louisville apartment on March 13 and shot her after Taylor’s boyfriend fired at them. Taylor, an emergency medical worker, was shot five times. Police found no drugs there.

Calls for more accountability

Cameron said two officers who fired their guns, hitting Taylor, were justified because Taylor’s boyfriend had shot at them first. The boyfriend has said he thought someone was breaking in.

The grand jury did charge fired officer Brett Hankison with three counts of wanton endangerment for shooting into a neighbouring apartment. No one was hit. He has pleaded not guilty. Cameron said there was no conclusive evidence that any of Hankison’s shots hit Taylor.

The audio recording of the jury proceedings will be added to Hankison’s public court file.

Protesters have taken to the streets to demand more accountability in the case. Activists, Taylor’s family and one of the jurors called for the grand jury file to be released.

The release comes a day after the first woman to lead the Louisiana Metro Police Department, Yvette Gentry, was sworn in as the department’s interim chief.

“I know I’m interim,” Gentry said at a small ceremony streamed on the department’s Facebook page. “But I represent something different to a lot of people being the first woman to take this title, so I’m not going to shortchange that.”

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