Breonna Taylor case: Dispute arises over grand jury secrecy
LOUISVILLE, Ky (AP) - An attorney for a major juror who helped weigh the charges in the Breonna Taylor case. The black woman, who was killed in a police raid, asked a judge to publicly testify the anonymous juror and accused the Kentucky attorney general of throwing the panel "under the bus" in his public comments.
Kevin Glogower, attorney for the anonymous grand juror who sued to speak publicly, told Judge Annie O'Connell of the Jefferson County Circuit Thursday that the goal is not to publish evidence that has not become public, or “Being part of a global corporation Discussing racial relations. "
"It's more about the discussions that were held directly with the prosecutors," said Glogower. "That is not included in the recording."
Glogower warned that future grand jurors will not serve if the prosecutor can "throw them under the bus like here". He didn't elaborate on it.
The grand jury secrecy dispute arose on Wednesday, the same day police files were released showing contacts between Taylor and a man she was previously with and suspected of drug trafficking. The release of these files raised new questions about what led narcotics investigators to raid Taylor's house in March, leading to the woman's death in a police shootout. None of the white officers were directly charged with Taylor's death by the grand jury last month, sparking renewed street protests.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron filed a motion Wednesday asking the judge to dismiss the grand juror's motion. He said in a statement that the grand jury procedures are kept confidential by precedent to protect the safety and anonymity of everyone involved - grand jurors, witnesses, and others.
Cameron had previously said he had no concerns that great jurors would speak publicly and he consented to the release of tapes that were presented to the grand jury last week. However, these records did not include any discussion of possible criminal acts by the officers who shot Taylor.
Ben Crump, an attorney for Taylor's family, issued a statement late Thursday describing Cameron's motion as a "slap in the face" and "another attempt to hide the corruption of his office".
"If he's got nothing to hide and has done everything right, as he claims, then he shouldn't have a problem letting the big jury speak to the public," said Crump. "You deserve that vote and Breonna's family deserve answers." ”
Victor Maddox, an attorney who has represented the state in legal proceedings, warned that "nothing would undermine the public interest more than for this court to obliterate the entire law of grand jury secrecy" by allowing the anonymous juror to speak.
As the 90-minute verbal argument continued, Glogower reiterated that his client would like to remain anonymous, hoping that "there might be a possibility that maybe everyone is a little happier with the way it is handled." He pleaded with the jury for permission to publish an anonymous written statement "addressing some of the attorney general's concerns".
In the grand juror's suit, Cameron is alleged to have been "using the grand jury to divert accountability and responsibility for (the indictment) decisions," and asking permission to speak publicly about the case. Under Kentucky law, grand jurors may be despised in court to discuss a case.
Cameron found prior to the grand jury trial that the officers had acted in self-defense. He has confirmed that he has not recommended a murder charge to the grand jury.
This is not the first time a grand juror has sued the right to public speaking. In August, federal court ruled against a large jury who sought details of the 2014 police investigation into the 2014 fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
At the end of the hearing, Judge Annie O'Connell vowed to resolve the case "as soon as possible."
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