Great Britain

Breonna Taylor grand jury say they were not given chance to consider criminal charges against officers

Two men who served as a grand jurors during the Breonna Taylor case have said they were not given the chance to explore charges related to her shooting death by officers.

The jurors, one a white man and the other an African American man, spoke out about the proceedings during an interview on Wednesday on CBS, but chose to remain anonymous.

According to the men, many members of the jury were upset over statements by Kentucky’s attorney general that the grand jury “agreed” that homicide charges against officers should not be considered.

Taylor, a decorated Emergency Medical Technician, 26, was shot dead by police officers in her apartment on 13 March during a drug raid in connection to her ex-boyfriend.

Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s then-boyfriend who was in the apartment with her at the time of the shooting, has said that police attempted to enter without identifying themselves.

Mr Walker, who is a licensed gun owner, is said to have fired his gun once when officers attempted to forcibly enter the apartment, according to police. Officers returned fire and Taylor was shot at least eight times.

Grand juror #2, who is Black, called police actions on the night of the raid “criminal” while grand juror #1 said police were “negligent."

"Their organisation, leading up to (the Taylor raid), was lacking," he said. “That's what I mean by negligent.”

One officer, Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment targeted at the shots fired from outside the apartment, but not the fatal shots that killed Taylor.

Two other officers who may have fired the shots that killed Taylor have not been charged.

The two grand jurors said many on the 12-member panel felt that other charges could have been pursued against the officers.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced at a widely-viewed news conference in September that the grand jury “agreed” the officers who shot Taylor were justified in returning fire.

“I really felt that this was all Cameron,” said grand juror #2. “This was up to him, we didn’t get a choice in that at all. I was livid.”

“There was several more charges that could’ve gone forward on all of those officers, or at least the three shooters,” grand juror #2 said.

Mr Cameron, the first African American elected to the job in Kentucky, has been criticised by many for his decision not to directly charge any officers with Taylor's killing.

The decision sparked widespread outrage and protests in Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia and Washington.

Reporting by the Associated Press

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