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Ky. AG Cameron to release grand jury recording Wednesday following grand juror motion

Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 7:39 AM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The office of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced Monday night that the recording from the grand jury proceedings will be released Wednesday.

This comes after a grand juror has filed a motion in the Jefferson Circuit Court to release grand jury transcripts and recordings relating to the Breonna Taylor investigation.

The motion, filed Monday afternoon, calls for the court to release any recordings and proceedings in the investigation and to make a declaration that any of the grand jurors have the right to disclose information about the process of grand jury proceedings in Jefferson County for the investigation.

The document states that Cameron has continued making statements that the grand jury alone made the decision on who or what to charge in the investigation based solely on the evidence presented to them.

>> COMPLETE COVERAGE: Breonna Taylor case

In the grand jury’s decision on Wednesday, former LMPD Detective Brett Hankison was given three charges of wanton endangerment in relation to the case, which he plead ‘not guilty’ to in an arraignment Monday.

In that arraignment, the judge ordered evidence including transcripts and recordings to be released and filed within the court file instead of just between prosecution and defense.

“The recording of the grand jury proceedings shall be filed in the court file by noon on Wednesday of this week,” Judge Ann Bailey Smith said.

The other two officers, Myles Cosgrove and Jon Mattingly, were not charged. Cameron said after revealing the grand jury’s findings Wednesday that the officers were justified in their use of force in the raid March 13, leading to Taylor’s death.

When Cameron was asked on why a dozen witnesses stated they did not hear police knock during the raid and he relied on one witness that stated the opposite, Cameron said he thought the “more pertinent question is what was the evidence provided to the grand jury?” the motion reads.

A mention was made on inquiries if the grand jury considered other charges such as manslaughter or reckless homicide, where Cameron said, “I won’t get into the specifics again of the proceedings themselves are secret. But what I will say is that our team walked them through every homicide offense, and also presented all of the information to the grand jury.”

The motion argues that there is a large amount of public interest in this case and that the citizens of the Commonwealth “have demonstrated their lack of faith in the process and proceedings in this matter and the justice system itself.”

“Using the grand jurors as a shield to deflect accountability and responsibility for these decisions only sows more seeds of doubt in the process while leaving a cold chill down the spines of future jurors,” the motion reads.

This motion is in addition to similar motions filed by the attorneys of Kenneth Walker and the family of Breonna Taylor, also requesting transcripts and recordings of the grand jury proceedings be released to the public.

Cameron released a statement on the motion by the grand juror Monday night.

“The Grand Jury is meant to be a secretive body. It’s apparent that the public interest in this case isn’t going to allow that to happen. 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. Despite these concerns, we will comply with the Judge’s order to release the recording on Wednesday. The release of the recording will also address the legal complaint filed by an anonymous grand juror.

“We have no concerns with grand jurors sharing their thoughts on our presentation because we are confident in the case we presented. 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. Our prosecutors presented all of the evidence, even though the evidence supported that Sergeant Mattingly and Detective Cosgrove were justified in their use of force after having been fired upon by Kenneth Walker. For that reason, the only charge recommended was wanton endangerment.”

Read the full motion below:

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