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Daniel Cameron discusses first year as Attorney General

Posted at 8:01 PM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 20:01:15-05

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — On December 17, 2019, Daniel Cameron took the oath of office, becoming the 51st Attorney General of Kentucky and the first African American in state history to serve in that role.

Less than three months later, the coronavirus hit Kentucky, and Breonna Taylor was shot and killed after Louisville Metro police officers raided her apartment. Both events would become a big part of Cameron's first year on the job.

On Wednesday, Cameron discussed both during an end of year interview with LEX 18.

When it came to the topic of fighting against some of Gov. Andy Beshear's coronavirus decisions, Cameron specified that he's not questioning the governor's intentions. Still, he does believe some of the orders violate the constitution.

"Some of the orders that have been issued by the governor, we've had a conversation about them. That's the way that I look at this - having a conversation about the breath of those orders and whether they are consistent with our constitution and the principles they're in. There has been no animus in any of these decisions," said Cameron. "I hope people understand we've taken great care and deliberation in making the decisions, where we have, as it related to moving forward in some of these challenges that we've raised. But it's all because we need to protect the constitutional rights of our citizens - that frankly, all of us hold so dear and value."

On investigating Breonna Taylor's death, Cameron acknowledged that the outcome was not what many wanted, but he stands by the investigation.

"I know the outcome is not what everyone wanted, but it was the outcome that was appropriate based on the facts and the law," said Cameron.

"Kenneth Walker fired the first shot. The officers - these two officers in particular - Sgt. Mattingly and Det. Cosgrove - returned fire, and the sad and unfortunate part here is that Breonna Taylor was hit by that return fire. But those officers were returning fire after having been fired upon," said Cameron.

When LEX 18 asked Cameron if he believed Taylor and her family received justice, he didn't answer the question specifically, but he reiterated that the situation was a tragedy.

"I've been unequivocal in saying that this is a tragedy, and it needs to be observed as a tragedy. By all accounts, Breonna was a part of the glue of her family, was progressing in her career in the healthcare industry, was a solid and great contributor to the community. So, I've said from the beginning that this was a tragedy. I've also said that sometimes the criminal justice system is inadequate to respond to a tragedy."