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Grand Juror On Breonna Taylor Case Claims Homicide Charges Were Never Offered

A grand juror in the Breonna Taylor case has spoken out against claims made by Kentucky attorney general Daniel Cameron, stating that the jury was never offered homicide charges to consider against the officers involved in the killing of Taylor. 

The grand juror made the anonymous comments after a Louisville judge allowed the panel’s members to speak publicly about the secretive proceedings. The juror didn’t file suit to speak publicly, however, until Cameron announced that no officers would be directly charged for the shooting death of Taylor during a botched narcotics raid that wasn’t even meant to occur at Taylor’s residency. 

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Instead, the grand jury only charged one officer out of the four with endangerment of Taylor’s neighbors due to the fact that some of the dozens of bullets fired hit her neighbors home; but no charges were made for the bullets that hit Taylor. The grand juror claims that when the jury asked about bringing other charges against the officers, they were told “there would be none because prosecutors didn’t feel they could make them stick,” according to the statement

Cameron has also been quite adamant about not allowing the grand jurors to speak about the proceedings, but didn’t appeal the judges ruling either. This could likely be because on September 23rd when Cameron announced the results of the grand jury investigation that resulted in one endangerment charge, he claimed that prosecutors “walked the grand jury through every homicide offense,” a claim that has now been refuted. 

Cameron also claimed that the “grand jury agreed” that the officers who shot Taylor were justified in their returning fire after Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, shot at the officers who barged into their home without any warning or announcement that they were law enforcement. The gun Walker had was legally owned as well. 

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However, the grand juror also refuted these claims and stated that the “panel didn’t agree that certain actions were justified, and grand jurors did not have homicide charges explained to them. The grand jury never heard anything about those laws. Self defense or justification was never explained either.”

Kevin Glowgower is the grand juror’s attorney, who claims that his client’s biggest discrepancy with the Kentucky attorney general is the way that the results were  “portrayed to the public as to who made what decisions and who agreed with what decisions.”

Beyond the statement posted on Tuesday the grand juror has no intention of speaking out further about the cases proceedings. Cameron has only acknowledged that his prosecutors didn’t present homicide charges due to the fact that the two officers who shot and killed Taylor were justified in returning fire after Walker shot them. 

Cameron said Tuesday that it was his decision “to ask for an indictment that could be proven under Kentucky law. Indictments obtained in the absence of sufficient proof under the law do not stand up and are not fundamentally fair to any one.” 

Breonna Taylor was a Black emergency medical technician who was working on the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic when she was shot multiple times in her own home while she was sleeping by white police officers who barged into the home. The officers were raiding the home as a part of an ongoing narcotics investigation, however, the officers didn’t announce their identity upon arrival and didn’t find any drugs in the home either. Her death fueled the already burning fires of racial justice in America, as protests against police brutality in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement have been ongoing since the spring.

Protestors

Barack Obama Praises Protests And Condemns Violence In New Statement

Millions of people all across America are uniting and taking to the streets to peacefully protest the unjust murder of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. The protests in general are meant to call massive attention to the centuries of racist treatment and lack of protection black people receive from the police; an organization that’s only purpose is to protect and serve ALL people. 

Many individuals are tired, sad, and hopeless, as their president has only intensified matters by sending in massive groups of armed officers to break up the protests; something every American has the right to do peacefully. Instead, the police just show up, start shooting rubber bullets, tear gas, and arresting anyone they can get their hands on. Over 1,600 American citizens have been arrested for expressing their right as a member of this country and protesting for the protections of black lives. That’s 1,600 people currently in jail who were protesting for the arrest of just four men; the former officers present at Floyd’s murder. 

Former president Barack Obama has released his official statement on the state of America today, and expressed how he knows this new generation of activists are more than capable of shaping strategies to enforce their beliefs and make a real change. 

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He began his statement by recalling the decades of peaceful protests that black individuals in America have organized to protest the same exact issue that we are still dealing with today; over 50 years later (and that’s just in terms of police brutality and the civil rights movement specifically, as we all know, the fight for racial equality among black people in America has been a fight since slavery). 

He then went on to urge anyone going to these protests with the intention to cause violence, property damage, or steal should rethink their privilege and position in the matter. These protests are all being organized with peace in mind, no one has resorted to violence or “riot-like” behaviour unless instigated by the police, or if they just show up and start destroying property because they’re privileged enough to know they’ll get away with it.  

“The point of protest is to raise public awareness, to put a spotlight on injustice, and to make the powers that be uncomfortable; in fact, throughout American history, it’s often only been in response to protests and civil disobedience that the political system has even paid attention to marginalized communities. But eventually, aspirations have to be translated into specific laws and institutional practices — and in a democracy, that only happens when we elect government officials who are responsive to our demands. Moreover, it’s important for us to understand which levels of government have the biggest impact on our criminal justice system and police practices.”

Obama then went on to state that while the president and the federal government are definitely at fault for a lot of things, when it comes to real systematic change the people need to turn their attention specifically to the U.S. Justice System and Congress. Local government officials such as mayors, county executives, police chiefs, etc. are all just as important to the advancement of our democracy as well, so when we’re voting, remember that! Even if it is just a small-town local election make your voice HEARD.

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“So the bottom line is this: if we want to bring about real change, then the choice isn’t between protest and politics. We have to do both. We have to mobilize to raise awareness, and we have to organize and cast our ballots to make sure that we elect candidates who will act on reform.”

To end his statement Obama wanted to emphasize that the more specific the people make demands for criminal justice reform, “the harder it will be for elected officials to just offer lip service to the cause and then fall back into business as usual once protests have gone away.” We’re all fighting the same battle, however, the systematic issues could vary based on your specific community. 

This is why it’s imperative to be specific when talking to your local government officials, don’t hold back and ask them why your community looks the way it does and how you can all change to better benefit the safety and lives of black people. 

“But as a starting point, here’s a report and toolkit developed by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and based on the work of the Task Force on 21st Century Policing that I formed when I was in the White House.”

These past few months have been extremely difficult and definitely disheartening but remember, the coverage of violence and anger that we see on social media constantly isn’t the only reality of America right now. Thousands of protests across the country have remained peaceful and many are breaking some ground within their own communities. So to end, as Obama did in his statement, there is plenty of change to be made and peace to be had, so “let’s get to work.” 

If you want to know more about the Black Lives Matter movement and how you can directly help from home, click here for access to dozens of petitions, donation pages, and fundraising efforts specifically for those fighting for racial equality right now.