0741 GMT October 25, 2020
Demands to release transcripts from the grand jury hearing swelled after Breonna Taylor’s family attorney, Ben Crump, accused Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron of swaying the jury, rather than impartially presenting evidence as he was tasked, cbsnews.com wrote.
“Release the transcript so that we can have transparency,” he said at a family press conference after the decision.
Crowds chanted “release the transcript” with Crump on Friday before evening fell and police fired flashbangs to break up the demonstrations.
Taylor, an emergency medical technician (EMT), was killed in a botched drug raid by Louisville Metro Police, in which officers entered her home with a no-knock warrant and fired off more than 30 rounds, hitting her multiple times.
Only one officer was charged in the shooting. Brett Hankison was indicted on a wanton endangerment charge, for firing bullets that entered a neighbor’s apartment. The grand jury ruled the officers acted in legal self-defense because Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired first when he feared the squad of officers was a home invasion.
“They didn’t even mention her daughter’s name in this damn indictment process, in this grand jury hearing. How dare you,” Tamika Mallory, who leads activist group Until Freedom, said at a press conference.
Outrage over Taylor’s death was revived by the grand jury’s decision, prompting crowds of both young and old Americans to demand accountability and seek justice for the slain EMT this week.
“I’ve been doing this all my life,” protester Mary Williams told CBS News’ Adriana Diaz on Friday.
Williams is in her 70s and marched in the demonstration using a walker.
“This is for our children,” Walker said.
Another demonstrator, Karis Jefferson, took her children to see Taylor’s family and supporters speak, acknowledging the intensity of the situation.
“It’s a little heavy for children, but I think that they need to see it,” Jefferson said. “They need to know what’s going on so they can be the best that they can be, so they could be part of the change for the future.”
Attorney General Cameron’s office responded to the outrage, telling CBS News “everyone is entitled to their opinion, but prosecutors and grand jury members are bound by the facts and by the law.” He previously said he would revisit the matter of releasing the transcripts after the FBI concludes its own investigation.
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump is calling for the passage of the George Floyd Justice and Policing Accountability Act to enact meaningful, lasting change.
“It speaks to the systematic reform that we need in policing all across America,” Crump said.
“To prevent future Breonna Taylors, to prevent future George Floyds, to prevent future Jacob Blake, Jr.’s, to prevent future Pamela Turners.”
The police reform bill named for George Floyd would ban no-knock warrants, which was used in Breonna Taylor’s case, and raise the standard for what justifies use of force. That bill is held up in Congress, and Crump is calling for Americans to head to the polls in the upcoming election so policies can be changed.