Breonna Taylor’s mother calls for new prosecutor in daughter’s case
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Tamika Palmer is renewing her push for new oversight in the Breonna Taylor case.
Palmer, Taylor’s mother, said Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron lied to her about the proceedings leading to the indictment against former LMPD Det. Brett Hankison.
She’s now calling for a new prosecutor in the case.
In a letter to the Prosecutors Advisory Council, Palmer wrote that Cameron provided her a different story than what he announced publicly last month.
Hankison was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment, but only for the shots that went into neighboring apartments. Palmer said she was told the grand jury declined to indict the two other officers who fired their guns the night of the raid on Taylor’s apartment in March.
Subsequent statements from the grand jurors who heard the case said they were never presented with any homicide charges, just wanton endangerment.
Palmer said if two anonymous grand jurors had not come forward recently, her family would have remained in the dark about Cameron’s alleged lies. When he announced the findings of his office’s investigation last month, Cameron said the jurors were presented with all the evidence and agreed with the indictment.
He continued that the jurors felt Taylor’s death was justified, and it was the jurors who voted to return only three felony wanton endangerment charges against Hankinson. Cameron added that the jurors agreed Sgt. Jon Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove were justified in returning fire after Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired the first shot.
WAVE 3 News spoke to the two anonymous jurors who came forward about Cameron’s statements. Juror No. 1, a White man, was the first to come forward. Juror No. 2 is a Black man.
“(Cameron’s statements) are inaccurate,” juror No. 1 said. “The first time we heard anything else could be reviewed was in the news conference. We were never told of additional charges. We were told (prosecutors) couldn’t make anything stick. They didn’t go into detail of self-defense or six possible murder statutes and that the whole reason why this filing started.”
The two jurors added there were questions unanswered and evidence left unseen.
“A juror asked about the warrant,” juror No. 2 said. “They were told the warrant was fine and they didn’t need to think about it. They said let’s move on we’ll circle back and never did.”
Palmer and her attorneys filed an application to the Kentucky Prosecutors Advisory Council for a new prosecutor. The letter states Palmer request a competent and capable prosecutor willing to handle the case. It continues to say the grand jury was deprived of the right to indict on crimes associated with shots fired into Taylor’s home and her body.
The jurors said they were left out of the decision process, and evidence like ballistics was withheld. They added there was an uproar in the room when jurors heard only three charges would be offered; they felt more were appropriate. When asked about the raid, the jurors said officers involved in it lacked organization and broke procedures. They said criminal actions did happen during the planning and execution of the search warrant.
The jurors also spoke about the witness who Cameron said was used to confirm officers did knock and announce.
“Eleven witnesses said they did not hear officers knock and announce,” one of the anonymous jurors said. “One person who said they did knock and announce said no first, then, later on, said yes, then it came out that he had a language barrier. He did know they were the police.”
Two of the grand jurors fought a court battle for the right to speak publicly since the trial concluded. Cameron was against them speaking, citing tradition among other reasons for them to stay silent.
The renewed call for a new prosecutor said neither the victim’s loved ones nor the public should be misled about the events leading to the outcome of the grand jury proceedings.
You can read the full letter below.
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