A law enforcement officer testified in the grand jury proceedings of the Breonna Taylor case that police never actually ended up executing the search warrant at her home.
“Were drugs money or paraphernalia recovered from apartment 4? … The answer to that is no,” said an officer, according to audio reviewed by The Associated Press. “They didn’t go forward with executing the initial search warrant that they had for Breonna Taylor’s apartment.”
About 20 hours of Grand Jury audio recordings were released Friday in the case Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Brett Hankison. These recordings were originally going to be released on Wednesday, but the Office of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) got a short delay, saying they were removing personal information including social security numbers, names of minors, and addresses. Approximately three minutes and fifty seconds were removed, and an unredacted copy was filed in case the judge wants to compare the records, they said.
Taylor, 26, was shot and killed March 13 when police were attempting to execute a search warrant at her apartment in connection to a drug case concerning her ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover. As previously described by Cameron at a press conference last week, officers said they opened fire when Taylor’s current boyfriend Kenneth Walker shot Sgt. Jon Mattingly in the leg after cops entered the residence.
“We knocked on the door, said ‘police,’” Louisville police Lt. Shawn Hoover said in an interview recorded March 13 and played for the Jefferson County grand jury, according to the AP. “Waited I don’t know 10 or 15 seconds. Knocked again, said police, waited even longer.”
Walker has said he did not hear police announce themselves. Officers said they did.
“So it was the third time that we were approaching, it had been like 45 seconds if not a minute,” Hoover said. “And then I said, ‘Let’s go, let’s breach it.’”
Three officers opened fire–Detective Brett Hankison, Detective Myles Cosgrove, and Sgt. Mattingly. Taylor was killed by police officers. Investigative labs disagreed on whether Cosgrove fired the fatal shot, Cameron said. The AG said self-defense applied in the cases of Cosgrove and Mattingly because Walker opened fire. Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment because at least some his 10 rounds entered a neighboring apartment occupied by three people: a man, pregnant woman, and a child, Cameron said.
“While there are six possible homicide charges under Kentucky law, these charges are not applicable to the facts before us because our investigation showed, and the grand jury agreed, that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in the return of deadly fire after having been fired upon by Kenneth Walker,” Cameron said.
But one of the grand jurors filed to make the proceedings public, and to let the jury speak about it. Their motion said the AG was using jurors “as a shield to deflect accountability and responsibility for those decisions,” according to The Louisville Courier- Journal.
Cameron has said that he did not recommend murder charges in the shooting of Taylor.
“They’re an independent body,” he told WDRB in an interview on Tuesday. “If they wanted to make an assessment about different charges, they could have done that. But our recommendation was that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their acts and their conduct.”
Hankison, who was fired for allegedly firing “blindly” in the shooting, pleaded not guilty to charges on Monday. Mattingly likewise denies wrongdoing.
“Regardless of the outcome today or Wednesday,” he said, writing before the Hankison indictment was announced, “I know we did the legal, moral and ethical thing that night. It’s sad how the good guys are demonized, and criminals are canonized.”