Two of the grand jurors who heard the Breonna Taylor case are speaking out against Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s handling of the investigation and the actions of Louisville Metro Police officers who carried out the operation that led to her death.
In an appearance on CBS This Morning with Gayle King, the two unnamed jurors and attorney Kevin Glogower said there were several inconsistencies between Cameron’s public characterization of the proceedings and the level of involvement from grand jurors.
Juror 2 said the only charge presented to the grand jury was wanton endangerment for Brett Hankison, but no charges related to the shooting death of Taylor or against the other officers were on the table.
“They didn’t give us the charges up front,” Juror 2 said. “When they gave us all of that testimony over 20-something hours, and then to say that these are the only charges that they’re coming up with, it’s like, what did we just sit through? And then to be told that we’re not charging them with anything else, to me, it was a betrayal.”
Glogower said that approach goes against normal grand jury procedure, which he said would start with the presentation of laws and charges. The facts of the case would then be presented and applied to the law, almost like “a roadmap.”
“What happened here was, it was done in the complete reverse,” Glogower said. “From a legal perspective, it looked like they weren’t following the grand jurors, and they only wanted the grand jurors to follow them.”
In a press conference following the grand jury’s decision to charge only Hankison, Cameron said that there were six possible homicide charges under Kentucky state law. He said that his investigation showed that none of those charges were applicable to the case, and that the grand jury agreed.
Both grand jurors said they were “livid” when Cameron made that statement, adding that the grand jury never met Cameron.
“The first time I heard the words, ‘six possible murder charges’ was in that news conference,” Juror 1 said. “And personally, when I do something, I take responsibility for it. We had not done that.”
The grand jurors described the actions of LMPD officers the night of the raid as “negligent” and “criminal.” Grand Juror 1 said he believed the evidence would amount to charges of murder, attempted murder or manslaughter.
Neither juror found police testimony credible, saying that there were “too many inconsistencies.” They found Kenneth Walker’s testimony believable, and Juror 2 said the 911 call made by Walker “resonated” with him.
“He didn’t know who it was that was coming in,” Juror 2 said. “He had no idea. You could hear the distress. Everything about what he said was believable. It made sense all the way through.”
The jurors said the LMPD raid was “a mess,” noting the lack of a risk assessment and flaws with the original search warrant.
“It was one mistake right after the other, right after the other,” Juror 2 said. “They covered it up. That’s the evidence that I saw, and I felt like there should’ve been lots more charges on them. They covered it up.”
Jurors said they are speaking out to provide clarity to the public. They said it’s “about truth and accountability.”
Another factor in their decision is Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer.
“I need her to know that it wasn’t us,” Juror 1 said. “I have no idea how she feels, I can only imagine. But I needed her to know that we tried. We were only allowed to decide on what they gave to us.”
Jurors said they made the decision to remain anonymous for the safety of their families. When asked if they believe other grand jurors share their view of the case, they said they don’t think they are “alone in this.”