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AG Releases Breonna Taylor Grand Jury Recordings

Frankfort, KY – Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron released 15 hours of video that showed the grand jury proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case that led to the indictment of one former Louisville officer.

A judge ruled on Monday that the recordings of the grand jury presentation would be added to the Breonna Taylor case file in response to a lawsuit that was filed by a grand juror, CNN reported.

After asking for extra time to redact personally-identifiable information from the videos, Cameron’s office on Friday released the records and transcripts of the proceedings that led to the indictment of former Louisville Metropolitan Police Department (LMPD) Detective Brett Hankison, FOX News reported.

Taylor was killed on March 13 after her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, opened fire on LMPD detectives who were serving a warrant related to a drug investigation at her apartment.

Officers returned fire and Taylor was fatally shot.

An investigation by a special prosecutor determined that the officers who killed Taylor were justified in their use of lethal force.

But prosecutors asked a Jefferson County grand jury to indict former Det. Hankison on wanton endangerment charges for shooting recklessly into the occupied apartment next door.

The videos that were released on Oct. 2 included interviews with witnesses, 911 call recordings, and other evidence that was presented to the grand jury over a two-and-a-half-day period, The New York Times reported.

However, the prosecutor’s charging instructions to the grand jury were not included in the data release.

“As is customary in the recording of Grand Jury proceedings, juror deliberations and prosecutor recommendations and statements were not recorded, as they are not evidence,” Kentucky’s attorney general said in a statement.

Cameron has said multiple times that his office did not recommend charges against the officers who shot Taylor.

But he has also insisted the grand jury was given “all of the evidence” and could have pursued additional charges against other officers if they believed it was merited, The New York Times reported.

Although many of the details from the investigation of the Taylor shooting had been released to the public or leaked before the grand jury recordings were provided, there were many new pieces of evidence revealed by prosecutors in the recordings.

Prosecutors showed grand jurors an interview with LMPD Lieutenant Shawn Hoover, who told investigators the day after the incident that he believed Walker and Taylor were lying in wait to shoot the officers, the Daily Mail reported.

“We were, in my opinion, we were ambushed,” Lt. Hoover said in the video. “They knew we were there. I mean, hell, the neighbors knew we were there.”

A number of Taylor’s neighbors have told the media that they didn’t hear the LMPD officers knock or announce themselves as “police” prior to busting into the apartment.

Cameron said during the press conference after former Det. Hankison’s indictment that at least one civilian witness had reported hearing the officers loudly announcing themselves prior to the entry.

Additionally, the grand jury heard an interview with LMPD Detective Myles Cosgrove where he explained that before they made entry, one of Taylor’s neighbors came to his door and argued with Det. Hankison, The New York Times reported.

Det. Cosgrove said the neighbor yelled “something about leave her alone, there was some girl there.”

Prosecutors also played recordings of Det. Hankison’s radio calls immediately after the shooting for the grand jury, The New York Times reported.

The detective told the dispatcher that LMPD Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly had been shot by an “AR,” meaning an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, by someone who was “barricaded” in the apartment.

He also told investigators in a March 25 interview that was played for the grand jury that he had seen a person with what he believed to be an AR-15 in Taylor’s apartment.

Prosecutors said investigators later determined that Sgt. Mattingly had been shot by a 9mm round from a handgun, The New York Times reported.

Prosecutors played an interview with Det. Hankison for the jurors during which he said Walker had initially lied and blamed Taylor for shooting at the officers, the Daily Mail reported.

“She was the one who shot at us,” Det. Hankison claimed Walker said.

One of the neighbors interviewed by investigators said a police officer told her afterwards that “some drug-dealing girl shot an officer,” the Daily Mail reported.

Walker later admitted that he had been the one who opened fire on the officers.

Taylor’s boyfriend filed a lawsuit that claimed Sgt. Mattingly had been shot by another LMPD officer during the chaos of the gun battle.

But Cameron has previously said that ballistics proved it was Walker’s 9mm round that struck the sergeant’s femoral artery.

Taylor’s boyfriend told investigators after the shooting that one of the officers had asked him if he had been hit by any bullets, The New York Times reported.

“No,” Walker said he told investigators in the recording.

Then he claimed the officer replied, “That’s unfortunate,” according to The New York Times.

Grand jurors peppered prosecutors with questions throughout their presentation, The New York Times reported.

They wanted to know what officers knew when they executed the search warrant at Taylor’s home, and if they were aware her ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, had already been taken into custody.

However, the warrant being served at Taylor’s apartment wasn’t for Glover.

Jurors also asked if investigators had diagrams of the apartment or if they had recovered any of the items they were looking for in the search.

Prosecutors told the grand jury police didn’t have diagrams and played an interview with an officer about the search warrant at Taylor’s home , The New York Times reporters.

“Were drugs, money, or paraphernalia recovered from apartment 4? … The answer to that is no,” the officer said on the recording, according to the Daily Mail.

“They didn’t go forward with executing the initial search warrant that they had for Breonna Taylor’s apartment,” he explained.

The information in this story was sourced from multiple media outlets who were reviewing the grand jury recordings immediately after their release and reflects only the portions that had been analyzed by publication time.

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Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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