LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A crowd of people at Jefferson Square Park Friday chanted “release the transcript.”It’s something attorneys for Breonna Taylor’s family, Ben Crump and Lonita Baker, have been pushing for since the grand jury decision on Wednesday.
“Not only do we want the recordings and the transcript, but what we also want is for you to quit dodging the questions Daniel Cameron,” Baker said Friday.
This comes after Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron held a press conference Wednesday announcing the grand jury decision to charge former Lousiville Metro Police Detective Brett Hankison with three counts of wanton endangerment for the bullets that hit a neighboring apartment the night of Breonna Taylor’s death. The grand jury decided not to bring forth any criminal charges against the other two officers, Sgt. Jonathon Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove.
In that news conference, Cameron said the FBI ballistics report found that Cosgrove fired the shot that killed Taylor. Cameron also said Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, admitted to firing the first shot. That’s why Cameron said the grand jury decided Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their actions through self-defense.
The public has yet to see that FBI ballistics report. Gov. Andy Beshear, who served as Kentucky's Attorney General before Cameron, said he’d like to see that information released now that the grand jury decision is over.
“Given that today’s announcement only related to a specific officer and shots that were fired that reached a different apartment, it would seem that the investigation and or any further movement on other actions that occurred that night are done and that there can’t be any prejudicing any jury that is out there because, according to today’s announcement, there won’t be any. I think it is time to release those ballistics reports,” Beshear said Wednesday following Cameron’s press conference.
Cameron was asked on Wednesday if he had any plans to release the transcripts.
“The role we now have is to pursue the ongoing prosecution against Detective Hankison, so I think it would be irresponsible of this juncture for this office to release any sort of file, again because we have this ongoing prosecution,” Cameron said.
Grand jury proceedings are private, not public information. Beshear said, while it is not common to release a grand jury transcript, it could be done.
“You do have to be careful in a grand jury proceeding about what you can and cannot disclose, though there have been situations one was after the fact, but in Ferguson where transcripts were released almost in the whole,” Beshear said.
Some have also asked Cameron about the racial makeup of the grand jury members, but he did not divulge that information.
“The fact that this has received so much scrutiny. I think it would be inappropriate for me to share the information about the makeup of the grand jury just to the extent that I can protect them,” Cameron said.
Beshear said he feels the demographic makeup of the grand jury is a legitimate question.
“I think it is something they consider responding to. I think in a city of Louisville that is already so diverse, I don’t think that would give out anybody’s identity or compromise who they are,” Beshear said.
More recent statements from Cameron’s office indicate he plans to hold firm on not releasing that information as he now turns his attention to prosecuting Hankison on the wanton endangerment charges.
While it’s not the same as the grand jury transcripts, some information about what happened on March 13 may be coming to light soon as the city plans to release a redacted version of the LMPD Public Integrity Unit file.
“We are working with the attorney general and the FBI so we can release as much of the file as possible without jeopardizing any of the criminal investigations that are going on. We are in the process of redacting any information that needs to do so within the PIU. We will have more information relative to that next week, but yes, we intend to do so with as much of it as we can,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said last week.
We followed up with the mayor’s office on this Monday. A spokesperson said they plan to release as much information as possible as soon as possible. PIU files typically include witness statements and any video or documents related to the case.