‘I Felt Like There Should’ve Been More Charges’: 3rd Grand Juror in Breonna Taylor Case Speaks Out

Illustration for article titled ‘I Felt Like There Should’ve Been More Charges’: 3rd Grand Juror in Breonna Taylor Case Speaks Out
Photo: Jon Cherry (Getty Images)

Here’s a question: Do any of the grand jurors in Breonna Taylor’s case agree with the grand jury ruling not to charge the officers with her death?

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I ask because out of the 12 jurors involved in the proceedings in September, three have now spoken out to say that they were never given the option to consider murder charges for the officers who fatally shot Taylor and that the cops got off way too light.

In a recent interview with the Associated Press, the third grand juror to speak anonymously said that when the proceedings concluded with wanton endangerment charges for former officer Brett Hankison—the only officer involved in the shooting to be fired and charged criminally at all—she said to herself, “No, that’s not the end of it.”

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“I felt like there should’ve been more charges,” the unidentified female juror told AP. Like the other two jurors who have spoken out, she complained that they were told by prosecutors that the use of force was justified and they weren’t allowed to consider additional charges. She also wondered why neither Jonathan Mattingly nor Myles Cosgrove was charged with Hankison.

From AP:

“All of them went in blindly, you really couldn’t see into that lady’s apartment as they explained to us, there was just a TV on,” she said of Taylor’s Louisville apartment. The police “went in there like the O.K. Corral, wanted dead or alive.”

Hankison was fired in June for his actions during the raid.

Cosgrove, in his testimony to investigators, said the apartment was completely dark and he saw “vivid white flashes” and a “distorted shadowy mass, a figure in front of me.” He fired his handgun 16 times, according to ballistics evidence.

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As The Root previously reported, during a news conference announcing the results of the grand jury proceedings, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said that all of the jurors agreed that no additional charges were justified in the case. The third juror addressed that as well.

“I felt like he was trying to throw the blame on somebody else, that he felt like, we as jurors, we weren’t going to [speak] out,” she said. “He made it feel like it was all our fault, and it wasn’t.”

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Perhaps this is the reason Cameron fought so hard to block the first grand juror in the case from speaking out anonymously. That juror filed a motion on Sept. 29 saying that Cameron, “attempted to make it very clear that the grand jury alone made the decision on who and what to charge based solely on the evidence presented to them.”

“Using the grand jurors as a shield to deflect accountability and responsibility for these decisions only sows more seeds of doubt in the process while leaving a cold chill down the spines of future grand jurors,” the juror said, according to the filing. Fortunately, a judge ruled against Cameron which allowed jurors involved in the proceedings to speak out if they so choose.

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According to CBS News, a second juror spoke out late last month telling CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King that the whole thing “was a betrayal.”

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“They didn’t give us the charges upfront,” he said. “When they gave us all of that testimony, over 20-something hours, and then to say that these are the only charges that they’re coming up with, it’s like, ‘Well, what did we just sit through?’”

According to AP, Kevin Glogower, an attorney for all three grand jurors, agreed with juror No. 3 that Cameron simply never expected the grand jurors to speak publicly.

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“The expectation that day was nobody would ever contradict what [Cameron] was saying,” Glogower said. “He was hiding behind the secrecy rule and the history of the grand jury.”

Zack Linly is a poet, performer, freelance writer, blogger and grown man lover of cartoons

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