By EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News
(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) — Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is defending his decision to not give the grand jury on the case surrounding the death of Breonna Taylor the option to consider murder charges.
“It was not our judgment that there should be other charges that the grand jury should be advised of,” Cameron told ABC affiliate WBKO in Bowling Green, Kentucky, on Thursday.
“The grand jury can, you know, as an independent body, bring up other questions or other issues,” Cameron said.
“I fully take responsibility for the recommendation that we made,” he said. “Based on the facts, that was the appropriate recommendation to make.”
Six months after Taylor was killed in March by police at her Louisville home, Cameron convened a grand jury to investigate possible charges against the officers.
In September a grand jury indicted one officer, Brett Hankison, on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for firing into the apartment directly behind Taylor’s, where three people were inside. Hankison pleaded not guilty.
Hankison was fired and the other officers were placed on administrative duty.
But none of the officers involved in Taylor’s death were charged in connection to her loss of life, which ignited months of protests in Louisville and across the U.S.
Taylor, 26, was fatally shot in the early hours of March 13, when Louisville police tried to execute a search warrant as part of an investigation into a suspected drug operation allegedly linked to Taylor’s ex-boyfriend.
Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he thought intruders were breaking in, so he fired one shot from his licensed gun.
One officer was struck in the leg. Police opened fire and Taylor was struck multiple times.
Cameron told WBKO that the officers who opened fire were “justified” because they “returned fire after having been fired upon.”
“It is a sad case,” he said. “But my responsibility and job as the prosecutor is to make sure that the facts are presented to the grand jury, we made the recommendation as it relates to wanton endangerment to this other officer.”
Cameron told WBKO, “Not everybody is going to be happy with your decision. And I have to to live with that. But we did the right thing in this process.”
Attorneys for Hankison and Walker as well as Taylor’s family advocated for the release of the grand jury transcript and evidence connected to the case. Walker’s civil lawyers filed a successful motion this month to have the evidence collected by Louisville police department’s Professional Integrity Unit released to the public.
Last week a judge ruled in favor of an anonymous grand juror in the case, allowing the juror to come forward and speak publicly about the court proceedings. Cameron had argued against grand jurors speaking out, saying it could set a dangerous precedent for courtroom privacy. But after the judge’s decision, Cameron said he would not appeal.
Federal officials are also investigating possible civil rights violations.
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