One of the grand jurors in the Breonna Taylor case called Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) a “liar” for saying last month that the grand jury was in agreement that two of the three of Louisville officers involved in Taylor’s death were justified in their actions that night.
In an interview with “CBS This Morning” that aired on Wednesday, two grand jurors involved in the case, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they decided to speak publicly on the case in part due to comments made by Cameron last month.
During a press conference weeks back, Cameron said, “While there are six possible homicide charges under Kentucky law, these charges are not applicable to the facts before us because our investigation showed, and the grand jury agreed, that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their return of deadly fire.”
In their interview on Wednesday, both grand jurors pushed back on Cameron’s comments, claiming they weren’t given the opportunity to deliberate on additional charges outside of the counts of wanton endangerment brought against former Louisville Police Officer Brett Hankison.
One of the grand jurors, identified as Juror No. 1, told the news network this week that Cameron’s press conference was the “first time” he had heard anything about “six possible murder charges,” saying: “It was not presented to us.”
“We didn't get a choice in that at all, so I was livid,” the second grand juror, identified as Juror No. 2, said. “By the time I heard what he was saying, everything that came out of his mouth, I was saying, 'Liar.' ... 'Cause we didn't agree to anything.”
“It was a betrayal,” he also said. “They didn't give us the charges up front ... when they gave us all of that testimony, over 20-something hours, and then to say that these are the only charges that they're coming up with, it's like, ‘Well, what did we just sit through?’”
Juror No. 1 told the network he thought there was sufficient evidence to bring forward other charges, including murder, attempted murder or manslaughter.
“I mean, just all of the evidence there — as we were listening to it, we were sure this was leading up to something like that,” he continued.
The second grand juror said the others were in an “uproar” after prosecutors told them they could only consider the wanton endangerment charge.
He also said “there were several more charges that could have gone forward on all of those officers, or at least the 3 shooters.”
Hankison was the only officer involved in the botched raid that resulted in the police killing of Taylor in March to be indicted.
The counts of wanton endangerment were related to bullets fired during the March 13 raid that entered an adjacent apartment, meaning neither Hankison, nor Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, were charged for Taylor’s death.
The decision to not charge any officer directly in the police killing of Taylor sparked public outrage last month and added fuel to protests against police brutality and racial inequality that have continued across the country since the police killing of George Floyd in late spring.