Breonna Taylor Case: Third Grand Juror Frustrated That Cops
A third anonymous grand juror from the Breonna Taylor case is now speaking out. Critical of the investigation in which the Louisville police officers involved in Taylor’s March 13 killing, she says, they were given a “slap on the wrists.”
The woman, in an Associated Press interview, decided to join the two others who said last month that the jury was not given the tools they needed to consider serious charges against former officer Brett Hankison, Sgt. John Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove.
In September, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced that only Hankison would face three counts of “wanton endangerment.”
“I felt like there should’ve been more charges,” she said, noting that jurors were not allowed to consider more charges because prosecutors had told them that the use of force in the shooting was justified.
Taylor, 26, was killed when officers served a “no-knock” drug warrant at the apartment she shared with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Believing intruders were trying to break in, Walker grabbed his licensed firearm and when officers burst through the door, he fired, striking Mattingly in the leg. He has consistently maintained that officers never identified themselves. Conversely, police said in grand jury proceedings that they did identify themselves.
The juror said that she did not understand why endangerment charges could not be considered against Mattingly and Cosgrove.
“All of them went in blindly, you really couldn’t see into that lady’s apartment as they explained to us, there was just a TV on,” she said, noting that police “went in there like the O.K. Corral, wanted dead or alive.”
Last month, the first two grand jurors — identified only as “Juror No. 1” and “Juror No. 2,” also criticized the process, and Cameron. In an interview with Gayle King on “CBS This Morning,” they expressed their misgivings about the entire procedure.
“They never gave us the opportunity to deliberate on anything but the charges for Hankison. That was it,” Juror No. 2 said. “There were several more charges that could have gone forward on all of those officers or at least the 3 shooters.”
Juror No. 1 said the jury wanted to consider charges but were told there would be none because the prosecutors “didn’t feel they could make them stick,” he said, noting that the Louisville police department could not provide a risk assessment. “It sounded like they hadn’t done one.”
Kevin Glogower, the attorney representing all three jurors said to the AP that they are speaking out despite Cameron’s expectation that they would remain silent.
The third juror told the AP that she decided to speak out because she wanted to let Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer know that “we didn’t have anything to do with” with harsher charges not being handed down.
“I didn’t feel that the family was getting justice,” she said.