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Kentucky AG Cameron: 'My heart breaks for the death of Miss Taylor'

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) lamented the police killing of Breonna Taylor on Wednesday as charges in the case were announced, saying, "My heart breaks for the death of Miss Taylor."

The comment came after a grand jury announced three counts of wanton endangerment against former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison following the March 13 incident.

"I certainly understand the pain that has been brought about by the tragic loss of Miss Taylor," Cameron said. "I understand that as an attorney general ... I understand that as a Black man how painful this is."

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Cameron said his office received "a lot of criticism and scrutiny" in the months leading up to the charges being announced while emphasizing that "the first things on our minds is getting to the truth in this case."

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

Taylor was shot and killed in her home by officers executing a no-knock warrant. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he thought the officers were intruders and opened fire on them. The officers returned fire, hitting Taylor multiple times and killing her.

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The three counts against Hankison were not related to Taylor's death but focused on 10 rounds he fired into Taylor's apartment, with some bullets traveling into an adjacent apartment. The grand jury ruled the other two officers involved in the case were justified in firing their weapons.

Police were granted a warrant into Taylor's home under suspicion her ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover used her apartment as a location to store drugs and money. Neither were found at her apartment.

Cameron told reporters on Wednesday that the officers were "justified in their use of force" because Walker fired the first shots at police, CNN reported.

"The decision before my office is not to decide if the loss of Breonna Taylor's life was a tragedy," Cameron said. "The answer to that question is unequivocally yes."

Protests over the death of Taylor erupted this year, coinciding with national outrage over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody in late May.

The Louisville Metro Police Department issued an emergency declaration Monday freezing time-off and vacation time for officers while Mayor Greg Fischer (D) ordered a 72-hour curfew from 9 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., beginning Wednesday through. 

"Our goal is ensuring space and opportunity for potential protesters to gather and express their First Amendment rights," Fischer said. "At the same time, we are preparing for any eventuality to keep everyone safe."