LOUISVILLE (AP) — The mother of Breonna Taylor is calling for a new special prosecutor to investigate police actions in her daughter’s death, adding her voice to two grand jurors who are speaking out about the Kentucky attorney general’s handling of the case.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron “used and abused the grand jury system, misled the public and showed a blatant disregard for his legal, ethical and moral duties,” Taylor’s mother wrote in a letter sent Wednesday to the Kentucky Prosecutors Advisory Council.
Tamika Palmer said that on the day of the grand jury decision announcement last month, Cameron told her “the grand jury declined to indict other officers and that his team had done the best they could.”
But two anonymous grand jurors who came forward last week said the 12-member panel was not given the chance to explore charges related to Taylor’s shooting death by officers.
Palmer said after Cameron told her the grand jury was only able to indict a former officer for wanton endangerment, “Cameron and one of his prosecutors then advised me that I should consider finding peace through the Lord and watched as I sobbed uncontrollably,” she wrote in the letter.
Taylor, a Black emergency medical worker, was shot five times by white officers on March 13. Taylor’s boyfriend, fearing an intruder, told investigators he fired one shot from a handgun after police entered Taylor’s apartment to serve a narcotics warrant. No drugs or cash were found at her home.
One of the two anonymous grand jurors said he felt the police actions on the night of her death were “criminal.” The two men, one white, one African American, said they took issue with statements by Cameron that the grand jury “agreed” that homicide charges against the officers were not on the table because the Louisville police officers were justified in returning fire at Taylor’s apartment.
“We were never told of any additional charges,” one of the grand jurors said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday afternoon.
Palmer said she also had problems with the suggestion by Cameron that the grand jury agreed that the police returning fire was justified. Cameron made that statement at a widely viewed news conference in September.
“These statements were flat out lies,” Palmer said in the letter, which she wrote with assistance from her attorneys.
One of the grand jurors said he came forward because he “wanted it known to the public and Breonna’s mom that it was not the grand jury that made this decision.”
Former police Officer Brett Hankison, who was fired in June, was indicted by the grand jury on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing into a neighbor’s apartment.
Two other officers who fired their guns during the raid were not charged by the grand jury.
Palmer’s letter sent Wednesday asks the prosecutors council to appoint a new special prosecutor to the case.