A member of the grand jury has filed a motion in Jefferson Country calling for all records in the Breonna Taylor investigation to be released to the public.
The grand juror, who is not named in the filing, is requesting the release of the transcript, recordings and reports because “the full story and absolute truth of how this matter was handled from the beginning to end is now an issue of great public interest and has become a large part of the discussion of public trust throughout the country,” according to the filing.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who is named in the filing, has received multiple requests — from the Taylor family and the public — to release the investigative materials in the Taylor probe since he announced a decision last week in the case.
Cameron said he does not plan to release the investigative files because he said he does not want to taint former officer Brett Hankison’s trial.
The grand jury presented its findings Wednesday, indicting former officer Brett Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment. He was the only officer involved in the probe to be charged, but his charges stem from him firing into a neighboring apartment the night of the March raid at Taylor’s home.
Ultimately, of the officers who fired shots, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove were cleared of any wrongdoing and were found justified in shooting.
According to the filing, the grand juror points out that Cameron was asked why a dozen witnesses said they did not hear the police knock or announce themselves, to which the juror said the AG relied “on one witness to the contrary,” adding, “he (Cameron) thought the ‘more pertinent question is what was the evidence provided to the grand jury?'”
The juror, in the filing, explains that Cameron believes the grand jury received enough evidence and testimony to bring them to indict Hankison, the rest of which he has said he won’t get into because “the specifics again of the proceedings themselves are secret.”
But the filing also explains that while grand jury proceedings are secret, the “counsel may divulge such information as may be necessary in preparing the case for trial or other disposition.”
The grand juror explained that there is “compelling public interest” for the records to be released and that members of the public “have demonstrated their lack of faith in the process and proceedings in this matter and the justice system itself,” putting blame on Cameron for using the grand jury to shift “accountability and responsibility” on them.
“The only exception to the responsibility he foisted upon the grand jurors was in his statement that they ‘agreed’ with his team’s investigation that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their actions,” the filing describes.
According to the filing, it’s those reasons that the individual is calling for the records to be made public because of the continued calls for their release “when the highest law enforcement official fails to answer questions and instead refers to the grand jury making the decision.”
“It is patently unjust for the jurors to be subjected to the level of accountability the Attorney General campaigned for simply because they received a summons to serve their community at a time that adherence to the summons forced them to be involved in a matter that has caused such a palpable divide between sides,” the filing details.
All in all, the grand juror is calling for the release of the records because “truth being of paramount importance to all affected parties and the community as a whole, justice demands a full public release of the grand jury proceedings.”
The juror explains that the publicist and criticism around the sealed investigation have prompted him to remain anonymous while “feeling compelled to act in a manner that promotes transparency, truth and justice without further sacrificing anyone’s right to feel comfortable in their own mind and body for their compulsory grand jury participation and the decisions that were alleged to be exclusively theirs by Attorney General Daniel Cameron.”
The full filing can be viewed here.
Cameron’s office has not responded for comment on the filing. He was again pressed about releasing the files when Taylor’s relatives and family attorneys held a news conference Friday in downtown Louisville.
Cameron’s office issued this statement in response to the Taylor family’s allegations:
“Attorney General Cameron understands that the family of Ms. Breonna Taylor is in an incredible amount of pain and anguish, and he also understands that the outcome of the grand jury proceedings was not what they had hoped.
“Regarding today’s statements at the press conference, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but prosecutors and grand jury members are bound by the facts and by the law. Attorney General Cameron is committed to doing everything he can to ensure the integrity of the prosecution before him and continue fulfilling his ethical obligations both as a prosecutor and as a partner in the ongoing federal investigation.”