After a Kentucky judge ruled on Tuesday, Oct. 20, that grand jurors who heard evidence in the Breonna Taylor case could speak publicly, one juror revealed that the panel was not given the chance by prosecutors to bring homicide charges in the case.
A person identified as Grand Juror #1 by attorney Kevin Glogower said in a statement that wanton endangerment was the only charge presented.
Former Louisville officer Brett Hankison was indicted last month for wanton endangerment, although the charge is not related to 26-year-old Taylor’s death, and is instead related to Hankison endangering Taylor’s neighbors by firing blindly into the apartment.
Officers were executing a no-knock warrant at Taylor’s residence on the night of March 13 during a narcotics investigation. Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, fired a shot at the door and said he did not hear officers identify themselves. He thought the officers were intruders. Police fired 32 rounds, and Taylor reportedly was struck at least six times.
Detective Myles Cosgrove, who fired the shot that killed Taylor, was not charged.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the use of force was justified, after his office investigated the case.
Grand Juror #1 also said in the statement that homicide laws were not explained, although the panel requested more information about them.
“Questions were asked about the additional charges and the grand jury was told there would be none because the prosecutors didn’t feel they could make them stick,” the statement said. “The grand jury didn’t agree that certain actions were justified, nor did it decide the indictment should be the only charges in the Breonna Taylor case.”
Self-defense and justification laws were not explained either, according to the juror.
It is highly unusual for details related to grand jury proceedings to be made public, but Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Annie O’Connell ruled that the records should be made public.
“There exists additional interest to consider in making this decision: the interest of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky to be assured that its publicly elected officials are being honest in their representations,” O’Connell wrote.
Cameron said he didn’t agree with the decision, but would not appeal it. He said he is still confident about the presentation made to the jury, and that it was his decision to “ask for an indictment on charges that could be proven under Kentucky law.”
Another grand juror said they were “pleased” with Tuesday’s ruling and would be discussing possible next steps with a lawyer.