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Breonna Taylor's family attorney Crump to AG Cameron: 'Release the transcripts'

Breonna Taylor's family attorney Crump to AG Cameron: 'Release the transcripts'
© Yahoo News

Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump had a simple message for Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) on Friday: Release the transcript of the grand jury proceedings in the case of Breonna Taylor.

“Did [Cameron] present any evidence on Breonna Taylor’s behalf? Or did he make a unilateral decision to put his thumb on the scales of justice?” Crump, who’s representing Taylor's family, said at a press conference in Louisville.

Members of Taylor’s family were present and spoke at the press conference as well.

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“If you want us to accept the results, then release the transcript so we can have transparency,” Crump said, addressing Cameron, Kentucky’s first Black attorney general. 

Taylor, a 26 year-old Black woman, was shot and killed in her own home by plainclothes Louisville police officers in March.

On Wednesday — over six months after Taylor’s death — Cameron announced that a grand jury had decided to indict only one of the three officers involved in her death. 

The three counts of first degree wanton endangerment that were handed down to former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison were not directly related to Taylor’s death, outraging Crump, critics and advocates for social justice.

Hankison was fired from the police department in June when it was found that he "blindly" fired into Taylor's apartment.

Cameron said there was no conclusive evidence that any of the 10 shots that Hankison fired into Taylor’s apartment March 13 hit Taylor. Rather, some of the bullets traveled into an adjacent apartment that housed three individuals unrelated to the case.

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Officers Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove collectively shot Taylor six times, with one of the shots fired by Cosgrove proving to be fatal.

However, Cameron said that under Kentucky law, Mattingly and Cosgrove’s use of deadly force was “justified,” since Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker fired at the officers first.

Walker has said he believed the officers to be intruders and never heard them announce themselves.

“No wanton murder charges for the bullets that mutilated Breonna Taylor’s body?” Crump exclaimed on Friday.

“There seems to be two justice systems in America, one for Black America and one for white America. … It follows a pattern … of the blatant disrespect and marginalization of Black people, but especially Black women in America who have been killed by police," he continued.

The three officers involved in the incident were in Taylor’s apartment with a no-knock warrant, but Cameron said the police trio banged loudly on the door and announced their presence. The head prosecutor said this was corroborated by a single civilian witness.

"Criminal law is not meant to respond to every sorrow and grief, and that is true here," Cameron said.

When asked by a reporter if his office made any criminal prosecution recommendation to the grand jury for the shots that killed Taylor, the attorney general responded, “Grand jury proceedings are secret. And so I’m not going to get into the specifics of details about that proceeding. What I will say is that we presented all of the information and they ultimately made a determination about whether to charge. In this instance, they decided to indict Detective Hankison.”

Taylor's death, which sparked the rallying cry "Say Her Name," was one the catalysts of a resurgent Black Lives Matter movement this summer that saw massive protests nationwide.

The Hill reached out to Cameron's office for comment