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Kentucky AG says he will release grand jury recording in Breonna Taylor case

Kentucky AG says he will release grand jury recording in Breonna Taylor case
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Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) committed Monday night to releasing a recording of the grand jury proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case. 

Cameron said in a statement to The Hill that he plans to release the recording Wednesday in compliance with a judge’s order, despite concerns about how it could affect the ongoing investigation and have other “unintended consequences.” 

His agreement to release the recording comes less than a week after the grand jury indicted one police officer involved in the shooting that resulted in Taylor’s death for endangering her neighbors. 

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“As the special prosecutor, our team has an ethical obligation not to release the recording from the Grand Jury proceedings, and we stand by our belief that such a release could compromise the ongoing federal investigation and could have unintended consequences such as poisoning the jury pool,” Cameron said in the statement. “Despite these concerns, we will comply with the Judge’s order to release the recording on Wednesday."

The state attorney general had previously refused to release grand jury proceeding records but faced pressure from lawyers for Taylor’s family, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) and an anonymous grand juror to do so.

“The Grand Jury is meant to be a secretive body,” Cameron's statement said. “It’s apparent that the public interest in this case isn’t going to allow that to happen.”

Cameron also noted the release of the recording, in addition to the judge's order, will address a Monday court filing from a grand juror who called on him to release the jury’s transcript and records. The anonymous grand juror also requested his fellow jurors be permitted to speak freely about the case in the filing made hours before Cameron’s statement.

“We have no concerns with grand jurors sharing their thoughts on our presentation because we are confident in the case we presented,” Cameron stated Monday. “Once the public listens to the recording, they will see that over the course of two-and-a-half days, our team presented a thorough and complete case to the Grand Jury.”

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Also on Monday, former Louisville Police Detective Brett Hankison pleaded not guilty during his arraignment on three counts of wanton endangerment. During the arraignment, the judge ordered a recording of the grand jury proceedings to be added to the court file by Wednesday at noon, The Washington Post reported

The grand jury decision did not charge Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, the two officers who shot Taylor, which sparked outrage and protests across the country. Hankison’s charges were also not directly related to the shooting of Taylor, meaning none of the three officers were charged with her killing.

Taylor, a 26-year-old Black EMT, died after the officers executed a no-knock warrant for a drug case involving her ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover. Her boyfriend Kenneth Walker thought intruders were entering the apartment and fired shots, leading officers to shoot back and kill Taylor.

The anonymous grand juror requested jury members be able to discuss “any potential charges and defendants presented or not presented” in the Monday court filing. 

“Attorney General Cameron attempted to make it very clear that the grand jury alone made the decision on who and what to charge based solely on the evidence presented to them,” the filing read. "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.”