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A Grand Juror In The Breonna Taylor Case Said They Were Never Asked To Consider Charges Directly Linked To Her Death

"AG Cameron white washed what his office presented to the grand jury," attorneys representing Breonna Taylor's family said. "This failure rests squarely on the shoulders of Daniel Cameron."

Last updated on October 20, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. ET

Posted on October 20, 2020, at 3:33 p.m. ET

Darron Cummings / AP

Tamika Palmer, Breonna Taylor's mother (right), listens to a news conference, Friday, Sept. 25.

A Kentucky grand jury was not asked to consider any charges directly linked to the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor inside her home, one of the anonymous grand jurors said in a statement Tuesday.

Instead, the grand jury was only asked to consider three wanton endangerment charges against former Louisville police detective Brett Hankison, who fired his gun into a neighboring apartment during the March 13 incident, according to the statement released by the anonymous grand juror's attorney.

"The grand jury was not presented any charges other than the three Wanton Endangerment charges against Detective Hankison," the statement read. "Questions were asked about additional charges and the grand jury was told there would be none because the prosecutors didn't feel they could make them stick."

The anonymous juror's attorney just sent out a press release with a statement by the juror. It confirms what many have suspected: "The grand jury was not presented any charges other than the three Wanton Endangerment charges against Detective Hankison."

Only Hankison was charged on Sept. 23 after the grand jury indictment on the three charges was announced.

Attorneys representing Breonna Taylor's family blasted Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron Tuesday, calling his decision "a despicable miscarriage of justice."

"We now know what we suspected: Attorney General Daniel Cameron took the decision out of the grand jury's hands," the statement added. "He didn't allow the grand jury to do what the law says they have the right to do."

The family's attorneys called for the appointment of a new independent prosecutor to review the case and "do the work AG Cameron failed to do."

"It is a despicable miscarriage of justice that is disrespectful of the life of Breonna Taylor that AG Cameron white washed what his office presented to the grand jury," they said. "This failure rests squarely on the shoulders of Daniel Cameron."

After the announcement of charges in September, Cameron said the grand jury had decided no officer would be charged for Taylor's death, saying the two officers who had shot at her — Jon Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove — were found to have been justified in firing their weapons by state investigators because Taylor's boyfriend had fired his gun first.

Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were asleep when police rammed their door open. One of the three officers involved in her death said he saw the couple standing beside one another at the end of a corridor with Walker holding his gun drawn.

Walker shot one of the officers in the leg, later telling authorities he believed their apartment was being broken into. The police responded by firing about 20 rounds, hitting Taylor at least six times.

"According to Kentucky law, the use of force by Mattingly and Cosgrove was justified to protect themselves," Cameron said at the time. "This justification bars us from pursuing criminal charges in Ms. Breonna Taylor's death."

But according to the anonymous grand juror, the jury was not asked to consider that portion of the case or told about self-defense or justification.

"The grand jury did not agree that certain actions were justified, nor did it decide the indictment should be the only charges in the Breonna Taylor case," the juror wrote. "The grand jury was not given the opportunity to deliberate on those charges and deliberate only on what was presented to them."

The state attorney's office did not respond to questions regarding the grand juror's account, but in a statement, defended the decision to seek only charges against Hankison.

"As Special Prosecutor, it was my decision to ask for an indictment on charges that could be proven under Kentucky law," Cameron said in a statement to BuzzFeed News. "Indictments obtained in the absence of sufficient proof under the law do not stand up and are not fundamentally fair to anyone. I remain confident in our presentation to the Grand Jury, and I stand by the team of lawyers and investigators who dedicated months of work to this case."

The decision not to file charges against the two officers outraged protesters across the country, sparking another wave of demonstrations.

After the announcement, one of the grand jurors sought a court order to allow them to speak publicly about the case, saying through an attorney they were looking to address "mischaracterizations laid upon the public."

On Tuesday, Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Annie O'Connell ruled the juror would be allowed to speak about what are normally secret proceedings, calling it a "rare and extraordinary example of a case where, at the time this motion is made, the historical reasons for preserving grand jury secrecy are null."

Cameron had filed a motion seeking to keep the anonymous grand juror from speaking out publicly.

On Tuesday, he said his office did not agree with the judge's decision allowing the grand juror to speak about the case, but said his office would not appeal the decision.

The judge's decision came after recordings of the grand jury were published, and after body camera footage released by the Louisville Police Department showed officers left her body unattended for several minutes after being shot.

"I cannot speak for other jurors, but I can help the truth be told," the juror wrote.

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