Shocking Request by Grand Jury
A juror in the Breonna Taylor Grand Jury has requested that the information be made public. We don’t know if it was a male or female grand juror. We’re going to use male to avoid having to dance around pronouns but again, the gender of the juror is unknown. The juror was unhappy with what he felt was misrepresentation by Attorney General Cameron. It’ not surprising that he would be upset but it is extremely unusual for a juror from a Grand Jury to make this kind of request.
A.G. Hid Behind the Grand Jury
I can’t blame the juror for being upset with what happened. A.G. Cameron gave the impression at his press conference, that they Grand Jury did not find Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly or Detective Myles Cosgrove (with the Louisville Metro Police Department) guilty of anything. That presumption was based on the fact that the Grand Jury did not hand down charges on the two men, not even on Cosgrove who was the one who killed Breonna Taylor. A.G. Cameron previously, and again on Monday, said he gave all information to the Grand Jury but it wasn’t until the juror made this rare request that A.G. Cameron admitted he told the jury that no charges were justified against Mattingly or Cosgrove and that he ONLY recommended charges for Detective Brett Hankison. According the A.G.’s Monday comments per CNN,
“For that reason, the only charge recommended was wanton endangerment,” Cameron said.
In other words, the Grand Jury never truly had a chance to determine whether they felt Mattingly or Cosgrove committed a criminal act. They were blocked by doing so by the Attorney General who then went on to give everyone the impression that the Grand Jury had cleared the two men.
A.G. Cameron Still Trying to Dance Around the Facts
The Attorney General is now trying to obfuscate in a different way. Also in his Monday comments per CNN,
“Cameron, in a statement, said prosecutors presented all evidence, even though the facts showed use of force by two officers not charged was “justified” because they were fired upon.”
Note that he’s making it all about the use of force. The officers were fired on so they were justified in firing back. He is totally ignoring that officers did not identify themselves. He’s acting like the one witness who said he heard them identify themselves is sufficient even though he knows that witness originally said the officers did NOT identify themselves and only changed his statement after a couple of conversations with investigators.
If the officers did not identify themselves then they were in the wrong from the moment they busted open the door which means the death of Breonna Taylor is solely on them. If they did not identify themselves, Kenneth Walker would not have felt compelled to shoot in defense. All he knew was that someone was breaking into his home. He has every right to defend himself. Without him shooting, the officers wouldn’t have opened fired (yes, I’m giving them a lot of credit that they probably don’t deserve but let’s work with best case scenario). If they did not identify themselves, then they were criminally negligent and deserve to face charges for the murder of Breonna Taylor. They are officers. They know their actions can result in life or death. Because of that, they need to be held to a higher level of accountability.
The innocence or guilt of Mattingly and Cosgrove depends completely on whether they identified themselves, not on whether they were justified in their use of force.
Thank You to the Juror
I don’t blame the members of the Grand Jury for being angry that they were made out to be the ones who let Breonna Taylor’s killers off the hook. A.G. Cameron counted on the secrecy of the Grand Jury to hide his obvious attempts to keep the officers from facing any charges. He never expected there would be at least one person on the Grand Jury who was not willing to be the fall guy and who knew enough to ask for the release of information.
This juror has done more of a service to the public than he realizes. He has torn down the curtain that hides the reality of what prosecutors can do to manipulate cases for or against individuals. To fix our system, it may be time to remove the secrecy from Grand Jury proceedings. The individuals can remain anonymous, except for their race and gender, but the evidence presented should be reviewable.