LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A judge has ruled that the anonymous grand juror from the Breonna Taylor case may speak publicly about the grand jury proceedings.
What You Need To Know
- Judge allows anonymous grand juror to speak publicly about grand jury proceedings
- Judge calls it a "rare and extraordinary example"
- Order is not meant to encourage other grand jurors, but it gives them the option
"As applied in this case, this Court finds that the traditional justifications for secrecy in this matter are no longer relevant and that the ends of justice require disclosure," wrote Judge Annie O'Connell in the order.
O'Connell acknowledged it is a "rare and extraordinary example."
"This is a rare and extraordinary example of a case where, at the time this motion is made, the historical reasons for preserving grand jury secrecy are null," she wrote.
The order, O'Connell wrote, is not meant to encourage other grand jurors to come forward; however, it gives them the option.
"Any one grand juror’s memory, opinions and perceptions are their own," she wrote. "No one grand juror speaks for the others, nor does one’s statement carry any more weight than another’s."
Following the announcement, the grand juror in the case, who still remains anonymous, sent a statement from their attorney. The statement said, "After hearing the Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s press conference, and with my duty as a grand juror being over, my duty as a citizen compelled action. The grand jury was not presented any charges other than the three Wanton Endangerment charges against Detective Hankison. The grand jury did not have homicide offenses explained to them. The grand jury never heard anything about those laws. Self defense or justification was never explained either. Questions were asked about additional charges and the grand jury was told there would be none because the prosecutors didn’t feel they could make them stick. The grand jury didn’t agree that certain actions were justified, nor did it decide the indictment should be the only charges in the Breonna Taylor case. The grand jury was not given the opportunity to deliberate on those charges and deliberated only on what was presented to them. I cannot speak for other jurors but I can help the truth be told."
The statement from the Glogower Law Office also said that a second anonymous grand juror was pleased with the results and that they were discussing possible next steps with lawyers.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron released his response on Twitter saying he would not appeal the decision. He said as special prosecutor it was his job to investigate and report the facts. He said, "Indictments obtained in the absence of sufficient proof under the law do not stand up and are not fundamentally fair to anyone."
Lonita Baker, one of the attorney's for Breonna Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, spoke with Spectrum News 1. Baker spoke about Cameron and said, "We always had an inkling that he never presented charges on behalf of Breonna and that’s been proven true today. But he also lied to directly to Miss Palmer Tamika Palmer Breonna Taylor’s mom and if you’re going to lie directly to her. You violated your responsibilities as a prosecutor. It’s a dereliction of duty as an officer of the court you just did not tell the truth and we can’t allow our elected leaders to go and check like that and to be able to hide under the shield of secrecy of the grand jury proceedings.”
Last week, Cameron filed a motion, asking the court to deny the grand juror's request.
“As I’ve stated prior, I have no concerns with a grand juror sharing their thoughts or opinions about me and my office’s involvement in the matter involving the death of Ms. Breonna Taylor,” Cameron said in a statement. “However, I have concerns with a grand juror seeking to make anonymous and unlimited disclosures about the grand jury proceedings."
"The full story and absolute truth of how this matter was handled from beginning to end is now an issue of great public interest and has become a large part of the discussion of public trust throughout the county," the grand juror's original motion states. "The legal system has placed the grand jurors in this matter on an island where they are left to wonder if anyone who finds them will treat them well or hold the pain and anger of the lingering questions against them."