Delay sought in release of Breonna Taylor grand jury files

University of Georiga students lead a Black Lives Matter protest in memory of Breonna Taylor
University of Georiga students lead a Black Lives Matter protest in memory of Breonna Taylor - (Copyright AP)
17:26pm, Wed 30 Sep 2020
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Kentucky’s attorney general is seeking to delay the release of secret grand jury proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case just as audio recordings were set to be released to the public.

Attorney general Daniel Cameron’s office filed a motion on Wednesday morning asking for a week’s delay to enable the redaction of names and personal information. A court in Louisville had been expected to release the audio recordings on Wednesday.

The filing said the delay is necessary “in the interest of protection of witnesses, and in particular private citizens named in the recordings”.

Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron - (Copyright AP)

Mr Cameron acknowledged this week that his recommendation to the grand jury was that only one of the officers be indicted, and only for the wanton endangerment of Ms Taylor’s neighbours.

Mr Cameron, a Republican protege of Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and the state’s first African American attorney general, has been criticized since announcing the grand jury’s indictment for not seeking charges against the officers for killing Ms Taylor. Mr Cameron said the other two officers who fired their guns were justified because Ms Taylor’s boyfriend had fired at them first.

Protesters took to the streets in Louisville and around the country to demand more accountability in the case, as frustrations spilled over after months of waiting for Mr Cameron’s announcement. Activists and Ms Taylor’s family called for the grand jury file to be released.

A protest in honour of Breonna Taylor in Georgia - (Copyright AP)

Mr Cameron said the record will show that his team “presented a thorough and complete case to the grand jury”.

Ms Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical worker, was shot five times in her Louisville home on March 13 by officers carrying a narcotics warrant. Ms Taylor and her boyfriend were watching a movie in her bedroom when police came to her door and eventually knocked it down. The warrant was related to an investigation of a drug suspect who did not live with her, and police found no drugs at her home.

Former officer Brett Hankison, who was fired from the force for his actions during the raid, pleaded not guilty to three counts of wanton endangerment on Monday.

Officers Jonathan Mattingly, who was shot in the leg by Ms Taylor’s boyfriend, and Myles Cosgrove, who Mr Cameron said appeared to have fired the fatal shot at Ms Taylor, according to ballistics tests, remain on the force.

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