The Latest: AG Recommendations Not In Grand Jury Files
LOUISVILLE, Ky.: The latest on the release of grand jury proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case (all times local):
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund says it will conduct its own review of the grand jury audio recordings released in the Breonna Taylor case, and that it will make public its assessment of the case in the near future. Sherrilyn Ifill is the human rights law organizations president and director-counsel. Ifill said in a statement Friday that Breonna Taylors family, the residents of Louisville, and those across the country who have advocated for accountability for the killing of Ms. Taylor want to understand how the evidence in this case was presented to the grand jury. Ifill said the release of these audio recordings is a critical first step in that process.
A neighbor of Breonna Taylor told investigators that police told her that some drug-dealing girl shot an officer” after officers entered Taylor’s apartment on the night of March 13. An investigator for the Kentucky Attorney General’s office relayed the information to a grand jury in the case. The grand jury proceedings were released publicly Friday under a court order. In fact, it was Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who opened fire when police entered the apartment.
The fired Kentucky officer indicted on minor charges in the Breonna Taylor case told police investigators that Taylors boyfriend initially claimed Taylor was the one who shot at officers when they entered her apartment. Brett Hankison said in a March interview heard by the grand jury that Taylors boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, told him that Taylor was dead. Hankinson said that Walker said “she was the one who shot at us. Walker later confessed that he was the one who opened fire.
Two neighbors interviewed by investigators with the Kentucky attorney general’s office said they did not hear police officers knocking before they entered Breonna Taylor’s apartment on the night of March 13. An investigator told the grand jury that one neighbor said he was awakened by the sound of what he thought was somebody kicking his door in. The investigators said the neighbor knows for a fact he did not hear anyone saying Louisville Metro Police Department or anything prior to being awakened. Another neighbor told investigators that he did not hear anyone knocking on apartment doors. Taylor’s boyfriend also told investigators that he did not hear police announce themselves.
The Kentucky officer indicted on minor charges in the Breonna Taylor case told a grand jury that he thought the gun Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend fired when police first entered her apartment was an AR-15 rifle. Police discovered later that the weapon was a 9 mm handgun. Officer Brett Hankison said in an interview heard by the jury that he saw intense fire flashing through the curtain and lighting up the room. He said he thought that even though he was wearing his protective vest there is no way we can challenge this guy with an assault rifle.
The grand jury proceedings released to the public do not contain prosecutors’ recommendations about what, if any, charges the jury should file against the officers who conducted the drug raid that led to Breonna Taylor’s fatal shooting. In a news release Friday, Attorney General Daniel Cameron said neither the prosecutors’ recommendations nor the jury’s deliberations were recorded as they are not evidence. He said not recording them was customary.