Attorney General Daniel Cameron
(KY) – I have to give it to this man, he’s able to obfuscate and misdirect very effectively, but then again, he is a trained attorney. So let’s talk about some of the things A.G. Cameron said. The one that bothered me the most was his insistance that the Grand Jury is independent with the implication being that there could be no bias. This is absolutely false.
The Reality About Grand Juries
The Grand Jury is a jury; a decision making body. And like any group that needs to make a decision, they need information about the situation. Someone has to present that information to them in a way that allows them to understand what it means. Someone has to explain things like trajectory, blood splatter, and rifling marks. Someone has to tell them what witnesses said, match up timelines and so on.
In this case, it was either A.G. Cameron or one of his subordinates, I’ll just call them the prosecution since that is the role they play. The prosecution goes before the Grand Jury and ‘presents their case.’ That’s what they do. It’s how they are trained. They do not have training in presenting something in a neutral fashion. There is no defense attorney present to counter any false impressions given by the prosecution or to bring up evidence that the prosecution conveniently decided wasn’t relevant. This is our system. It’s how it works with every Grand Jury. It’s no surprise this system skews in favor of the government.
The prosecution is not supposed to take a case to the Grand Jury if they do not feel the person is guilty. But we all know sometimes they feel forced to do it to pretend they are seeking justice. The reality is they know that the general public doesn’t understand that the Grand Jury is led by nose by the prosecution. The public doesn’t understand that the prosecution can argue something strongly to the Grand Jury if they want the person to go to trial, or can argue something weakly if they don’t want him to face a trial. The public doesn’t understand that the prosecution can decide what is relevant evidence and ignore pesky little facts that bring their version of events into question.
They Never Wanted to Prosecute the Officers
From the beginning, they never wanted anything to happen to the officers. A.G. Cameron didn’t even meet with Breonna’s family until “more than 150 days after Louisville police killed her.” The desire not to charge the officers is why A.G. Cameron made the comment, “…issues involving potential criminal acts concerning the shooting are better addressed by a state led investigation.” He was speaking about separating the investigations of civil rights violations and criminal violations.
This matters. It’s easier to convict someone under criminal laws and he knows it. He didn’t want the feds adding their weight to the criminal investigation. To get a conviction under a civil rights violation you would have to prove that the officers had a “specific intent” to take away her life. It’s doubtful that could be proved in this case and A.G. Cameron knows it. He stacked the deck in favor of the officers.
Mattingly Exemplifies Why We Need Reform
Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly sent out an agency-wide, poor me, email. “I know we did the legal, moral and ethical thing that night,” Mattingly wrote in the email. “It’s sad how the good guys are demonized, and criminals are canonized.” I would like to say this is unbelievable but it is completely believable which is why things need to change. What he did may have been legal but that’s the only thing he got right. And it being legal is a huge part of the problem. How was it moral or ethical to kill an innocent woman?
But he answers that question in the second sentence. He’s one of the good guys. So no matter what he does, no matter whether he wrongly takes a person’s life, it has to be right because, he’s one of the good guys. Let’s not give him a pass on the second part of that sentence, “…and criminals are canonized.” Is he saying Ms. Taylor was a criminal? Why was she a criminal? He was not there for her. He was not even there for her current boyfriend. She had a previous boyfriend, that she dumped, who used her address. That’s her crime? That’s bullshit. This is just prejudice. Mattingly’s continued belief that Ms. Taylor was a criminal, even now, when he knows that she was an innocent bystander, shows his inherent racism.
No Body Cams
As we all know, there is no body cam video to verify what happened. This is a huge problem. According to A.G. Cameron, they were narcotics officers in plain clothes so they didn’t wear body cameras. He says that like it’s supposed to mean something. Why don’t they were body cameras? They’re not working undercover. They want people to know who they are because they’re serving warrants. If you’re going to yell out, “police” as they say they did, why would you hesitate at wearing a body cam? They entered the apartment using a battering ram. I think carrying that around would be a bit more obvious and more of a giveaway that they were officers than wearing a body cam. But again, the job they were doing requires them to let people know they are the police. It makes no sense that they didn’t have body cams on.
Outcome for Louisville Police Department Officers
No charges were filed against Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly for the murder of Breonna Taylor. The bullet that was identified by the FBI as having killed her was fired by Detective Myles Cosgrove. No charges were filed against him for the murder of Breonna Taylor. Detective Brett Hankison fired through a glass door that had a closed curtain in front of it. His bullets entered another apartment. He will be charged with three counts of Wanton Endangerment.
So there you have it people. In Kentucky, police can bust into your home, kill you and it’s legal under Kentucky law. But if one of those officers shoots a wall, it’s a crime. This is the world we live in.