Breonna Taylor’s mother is asking the Kentucky Prosecutors Advisory Council to appoint an independent prosecutor to present the case of her daughter’s death before a new grand jury, saying the state attorney general’s handling of the case “undermines the trust and integrity of the entire process.”
“At minimum, my daughter deserves, as do all aggrieved victims, a competent and capable prosecution team which is committed to properly investigating the case, evaluating the law from an unbiased lens, presenting the evidence and allowing the grand jurors to perform the functions guaranteed to them under the law,” wrote Tamika Palmer in her request for relief.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced in September that a grand jury indicted former Louisville Metro Police Department Detective Brett Hankison on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment in connection with his actions on the night of the raid that killed Taylor.
But neither Hankison, nor any of the other officers who were part of the raid that night, were charged in connection with her death.
Hankison has pleaded not guilty.
Cameron said at a press conference on September 23 that the grand jury was “given all of the evidence, presented all of the information and ultimately made the determination that Detective Hankison was the one to be indicted.”
But in a September interview with CNN affiliate WDRB, Cameron said he didn’t seek murder charges against Cosgrove or Mattingly.
“Ultimately, our judgment is that the charge that we could prove at trial beyond a reasonable doubt was for wanton endangerment against Mr. Hankison,” Cameron told the station.
CNN Senior Legal Analyst Laura Coates said at the time that it’s rare, if not unheard of, that a grand juror would go beyond the statutes presented to them by the prosecutor.
Palmer wrote in her request that, were it not for members of the grand jury who placed “themselves and their freedom in jeopardy” to speak out after the indictment was announced, her family “would have remained in the dark as to these lies expressed by AG Cameron.” She said he was untruthful about pursuing every possible action against the officers.
“The Attorney General’s unwillingness and refusal to prosecute Breonna’s case, despite grand jurors confirming that they found probable cause to indict the officers on multiple offenses, calls into question whether we face a ‘stacked deck’ when perpetrators are members of law enforcement,” Palmer wrote in her request.
CNN has reached out to the Prosecutors Advisory Council and Cameron’s office for comment.
Palmer described the day the indictment came down, saying she drove an hour to Cameron’s office to meet with him. He told her his office was only able to obtain an indictment for Hankison, she said.
“The Attorney General advised me that the grand jury declined to indict other officers and that his team had done the best they could,” Palmer said. “AG Cameron and one of his prosecutors then advised me that I should consider finding peace through the Lord and watched as I sobbed uncontrollably.”
Palmer said she stopped and got sick on the side of the highway on her drive back to Louisville after the meeting.
She said Cameron’s actions “deprived” grand jurors of their right to indict officers on crimes associated with gunshots into Taylor’s home, “into her body and into the homes of black neighbors living above and behind her.”
Palmer’s attorney, Lonita Baker, told CNN that information provided by grand jurors in the case confirmed that Cameron’s office’s presentation of the case was “flawed” and not in compliance with Kentucky law.
“Through this process, we seek to have an independent prosecutor appointed to present a full and unbiased case to a new grand jury,” Baker said in a statement to CNN.
The prosecutors council is made up of a panel including three commonwealth attorneys, three county attorneys, two citizen members as well as Cameron himself. Baker said Palmer is asking Cameron to recuse himself from this decision.