Grand Jurors in Breonna Taylor Case: Here's Our Side

Two of them speak out, say they 'didn't agree certain actions were justified'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2020 2:46 AM CDT
Grand Jurors in Breonna Taylor Case Speak Out
People gather in Jefferson Square awaiting word on charges against police officers, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, in Louisville, Ky.   (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Grand jurors in the Breonna Taylor case are telling their side of the story. After a Kentucky judge ruled Tuesday that jurors could come forward to talk about the proceedings publicly, a lawyer representing two of the jurors, who are so far remaining anonymous, released a statement, ABC News reports. In it, the jurors say the only charges presented to them were the wanton endangerment charges that ended up being filed against Brett Hankison for shooting into another apartment. The indictment sparked outrage, with many wondering why no homicide charges were filed for the fatal police shooting of Taylor herself. "The grand jury did not have homicide offenses explained to them," the statement says. "The grand jury never heard anything about those laws."

"Self-defense or justification was never explained either," it continues. Authorities, including the state's attorney general, have argued the officers' shooting was justified since Taylor's boyfriend shot at them after they entered the apartment on a no-knock warrant. The statement says the jurors asked questions about other charges, but prosecutors replied that they did not believe any other charges could be made to 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 statement says. "The grand jury was not given the opportunity to deliberate on those charges and deliberated only on what was presented to them." Meanwhile, one of the other officers involved in the case spoke out for the first time, telling the Louisville Courier-Journal race had nothing to do with the incident. "We were doing our job, we gave too much time when we go in, I get shot, we returned fire." (Read more Breonna Taylor stories.)

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