Kentucky’s attorney general has agreed to release the recordings of the secret grand jury proceeding that considered charges against three officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron agreed to the release hours after a member of the grand jury sued to have the record of the proceedings opened to the public.
Cameron also said in a statement that the only charge he recommended to the grand jury was wanton endangerment. He had previously declined to provide details on what charges prosecutors brought to the grand jury to consider when it met last week.
On Monday, a grand juror, who was not identified, filed a court motion asking a judge to release the record of the grand jury proceedings.
Last week, the grand jury in Louisville issued charges against one of the officers, Brett Hankison, for endangering neighbours of Taylor who had bullets fired into their home. None of the the officers were charged in the killing of Taylor, who was shot five times after officers knocked down her door to serve a narcotics warrant on March 13.
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At an arraignment for Hankison on Monday, a judge ordered the grand jury recordings be released.
A spokesperson from the office of the attorney general told CBC News in an emailed statement on Tuesday the office was “confident in the case we presented” but will reluctantly comply with the judge’s order.
“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,” said Elizabeth Kuhn. “Despite these concerns, we will comply with the Judge’s order to release the recording.”
Cameron said in agreeing to the release of the recordings that 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,” Cameron said.
Cameron said last week that two of the officers, Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, were justified in firing their weapons because Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, had fired at them.
“Our prosecutors presented all of the evidence, even though the evidence supported that Sgt. Mattingly and Det. Cosgrove were justified in their use of force after having been fired upon by Kenneth Walker,” Cameron said in the statement. “For that reason, the only charge recommended was wanton endangerment.”
On Friday, members of Taylor’s family as well as her attorney called on the attorney general to release details of the grand jury presentation.