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Breonna Taylor Case: State board rejects request for special prosecutor

Breonna Taylor
Breonna Taylor
Published: Dec. 4, 2020 at 9:35 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Kentucky’s Prosecutors Advisory Council ruled Friday it does not have the legal authority to appoint a special prosecutor in the Breonna Taylor case.

Unhappy with Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s decision not to directly charge any of the three Louisville Metro police officers involved in Taylor’s death, her mother, Tamika Palmer, requested a special prosecutor.

On Friday, the state’s PAC announced during a virtual call that based on Kentucky law, the group cannot fulfill Palmer’s request.

Immediately after PAC member Christopher Cohron made the announcement, there was backlash from the more than 200 people watching the meeting. Lonita Baker, an attorney for the Taylor family, disagreed with the ruling, saying the council does have the authority to make such an appointment, adding that the group misinterpreted the statute.

“Judges are the interpreter of the law,” Baker said. “That’s the next step we’re going to do, to try and get a judge to interpret what (the law) means for the citizens of the commonwealth, and if the courts agree that the attorney general is above the same repercussions that local prosecutors are.”

Baker also said Cohron disregarded the fact that the statute does not allow for the attorney general to inject himself as the special prosecutor.

“He could have appointed a different commonwealth or county attorney from a different jurisdiction,” she said. “The statute does not say the attorney general can inject himself into that case.”

Another attorney for the Taylor family, Ben Crump, issued a statement that read in part:

“This is yet another gross miscarriage of justice in this case, and yet another example of a system which is biased towards law enforcement members and which shuns Black women. The level of cowardice that we have witnessed by the Louisville Police Department, the attorney general’s office, and now the council, is staggering.”

Cameron ended up leading the Taylor case after Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine recused himself because he was already investigating Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.

LMPD officers shot and killed the 26-year-old Taylor during a narcotics raid at her home in March. Cameron announced in September that one of the officers involved, Brett Hankison, was indicted on wanton endangerment charges for shooting into nearby apartments. He has since been fired.

The other two officers involved in the raid, Sgt. Jon Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove, were cleared of any wrongdoing.

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