Kentucky Attorney General to Serve as Special Prosecutor in Breonna Taylor Case

Attorney General Daniel Cameron, addresses the audience gathered at the Fancy Farm Picnic in Fancy Farm, Ky.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron, addresses the audience gathered at the Fancy Farm Picnic in Fancy Farm, Ky.
Photo: Timothy D. Easley (Getty Images)

The shooting death of Breonna Taylor at the hands of police has spurred national conversation and outrage. Now, the state of Kentucky has appointed a special prosecutor to handle the case.

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NBC News reports that state Attorney General Daniel Cameron will serve in the role in the Taylor case. “The Office of the Attorney General has been asked to serve as special prosecutor in the matter involving the death of Breonna Taylor. At the conclusion of the investigation, the office will review the evidence and take appropriate action,” Cameron announced on Wednesday.

On Thursday, The Root reported that Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear demanded investigators to “carefully review the results of the initial investigation.” Beshear has requested that Cameron “carefully review the results of the initial investigation to ensure justice is done at a time when many are concerned that justice is not blind.”

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Kentucky State Rep. Charles Booker wrote a letter to Cameron requesting that an independent investigation be carried out.

“Ms. Taylor was an innocent and valued member of our community, and it is unjust that she has been killed. The circumstances surrounding her violent death at the hands of officers of the Louisville Metro Police Department are deeply troubling.” Booker said in the letter.

On March 13, Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker were at home when officers Myles Cosgrove, Jonathan Mattingly and Brett Hankison attempted to execute a search warrant. According to a statement released by the Louisville Metro Police Department, the officers knocked multiple times and announced their presence when Walker fired on them, hitting Mattingly in the leg. The officers then fired back in response.

A lawsuit filed by Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, alleges that the officers did not announce their presence and that Walker fired on the officers in self-defense as he thought someone was attempting to rob them. The lawsuit alleges the officers committed wrongful death, excessive force and gross negligence.

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From NBC News:

The suit said the officers were looking for a suspect who lived in a different part of the city and was already in police custody. The Courier-Journal reported that records show the officers were investigating a “trap house” that was more than 10 miles away from Taylor’s apartment. They had been issued a “no-knock” search warrant for that residence.

A police spokesperson had no comment this week because the investigation was still ongoing. The officers were reassigned pending the outcome of the investigation.

Taylor and Walker had no criminal history or drug convictions. No drugs were found in the apartment.

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While initially the case didn’t receive much attention, awareness has begun to build over Taylor’s tragic death. She was 26 years old and an EMT in Louisville, Ky.

Jr Staff Writer @TheRoot. Watcher of wrestling, player of video games. Mr. Steal Your Disney+ Password.

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DISCUSSION

Showing up at the wrong address kinda invalidates the whole police defense, doesn’t it? No warrant and no probable cause to be there in the first place, so the entry and any commands (allegedly) issued would all be unlawful.  Also, is it normal for officers conducting a raid to have no prior knowledge or familiarity with the location they are raiding?  Don’t they plan these things, go over surveillance, meet up with other officers who are familiar with the location and the supposed occupants, etc.?  Is it normal for this kind of thing to happen totally blind where the guys breaking down the door had never seen the place before (and nobody else there to tell them they’re at the wrong address)?  Even without the police-inflicted homicide angle, this seems like exceptionally poor planning.