Family and advocates of Breonna Taylor returned to Jefferson Square Park on Friday morning with a message: The movement for justice isn’t over.
At a news conference at Taylor’s makeshift memorial, speakers decried Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s investigation as a “sham.”
Attorney Ben Crump called on Kentucky’s attorney general Friday to release the details of his grand jury presentation and reveal whether he presented any evidence “on Breonna Taylor’s behalf.”
“If you want us to accept the results, release the transcript,” Crump said during a press conference in downtown Louisville, surrounded by Taylor’s family, activists, protesters and legislators.
On Wednesday, a grand jury indicted former Louisville Metro Police officer Brett Hankison for three counts of wanton endangerment. The charges were connected to endangering three people who lived in an adjacent apartment, because Hankison fired bullets that ended up in that apartment. Cameron said evidence showed Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly fired justifiably after Taylor’s boyfriend shot Mattingly.
Crump questioned why Cameron didn’t see fit to at least charge Hankison for endangering Taylor’s life when he fired blindly through her patio door from outside. He was fired by LMPD after interim Chief Robert Schroeder found his actions displayed “an extreme indifference to the value of human life when you wantonly and blindly fired ten (10) rounds into the apartment.”
“Did [Cameron] present any evidence on Breonna Taylor’s behalf? Or did he make a unilateral decision to put his thumb on the scales of justice to help try and exonerate and justify the killing of Breonna Taylor by these police officers, and in doing so, make sure they Breonna Taylor’s family never got their day in court?” Crump said.
Crump thanked the activist community for “saying her name” all over the world and led the crowd in a new chant: Release the transcripts.
Jacob Blake’s father was also in attendance, along with Rep. Charles Booker and Rep. Attica Scott — “fresh out of jail for standing with Breonna Taylor.” Tamika Mallory of Until Freedom also spoke.
Attorney Lonita Baker asked whether it was Cameron’s unilateral decision not to ask the grand jury to consider Taylor’s death, or if the grand jury who “got it wrong.”
Baker also said Cameron wasn’t “fully up front” with Taylor’s mom, Tamika Palmer, when he said she would hear the details before the grand jury report.
“We learned when America learned,” Baker said.
In a statement released after the press conference, Attorney General’s office spokesperson Elizabeth Kuhn said that, while everyone is entitled to their opinions, the attorney general and grand jury are bound by the law. The statement didn’t address whether or how he informed the family, or his presentation to the grand jury; it acknowledged that Taylor’s family is “in an incredible amount of pain and anguish.”
“Attorney General Cameron is committed to doing everything he can to ensure the integrity of the prosecution before him and continue fulfilling his ethical obligations both as a prosecutor and as a partner in the ongoing federal investigation,” Kuhn said.
Taylor’s aunt, Bianca Austin, came to the mic to read a statement from Palmer.
She said Palmer never had faith in Cameron because he was “too inexperienced to deal with a job of this caliber.”
“What he helped me realize, it will always be us against them,” Austin read.
Palmer stood nearby as a family member hugged her and wiped her tears. She wore a t-shirt that said, I [heart] Louisville Police.
The heart was riddled with bullet holes.
This story has been updated.