In a last-minute delay that has infuriated Democrats and leaders of BLM, Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron has asked for another week before his office releases footage from the grand jury proceedings in the case that led to the indictment of one of the officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old Louisville health-care worker who was shot and killed in her sleep during a “no knock” warrant raid gone awry.
Yesterday, Cameron pledged to comply with an order from a judge calling for the release of the footage by noon Wednesday. Releasing materials from grand jury proceedings is an unusual move, but a member of the grand jury has spoken out claiming that Cameron never presented murder charges as an option during the proceedings. That would contradict what Cameron said during a public briefing announcing the decision, where he claimed the grand jury had been walked through every scenario. Cameron alter acknowledged that he didn’t recommend murder charges, in keeping with his prosecutorial discretion.
The fact that the other officers involved were let off without being charged, and only one of the offiers involved, former Louisville Metro Police detective Brett Hankison, was charged. And even then, he faced a charge of wanton endangerment for firing into a neighbor’s apartment, eliciting BLM activists to claim that “Breonna Taylor’s neighbors’ walls got justice before her”.
Still, the AG’s office filed a motion asking a court in Louisville for a one-week delay to allow the names of witnesses and their personal information, including addresses and phone numbers, to be redacted, a standard procedure that will almost certainly be granted. The materials have yet to be released by Cameron’s office. A judge is expected to rule shortly. Cameron’s office argued the delay is necessary “in the interest of protection of witnesses, and in particular private citizens named in the recordings.”
Cameron’s involvement could have political ramifications for the broader US as Mitch McConnell’s Democratic opponent Amy McGrath seeks to seize on the controversy. Cameron is one of McConnell’s “proteges”, according to media reports, and a rumored successor once the Republican majority leader is finally ready to retire. Cameron is also Kentucky’s first black AG. He says he didn’t recommend charges against the other officers because Taylor’s boyfriend fired first, which justifies their response.
Officers Jonathan Mattingly, who was shot in the leg by Taylor’s boyfriend, and Myles Cosgrove, who is believed to have fired the fatal shot, are still on the force.