Just when you thought the fallout from the Breonna Taylor shooting was mostly in the rearview mirror, yet another twist has emerged in the story. For the third time, a member of the grand jury that declined to press charges relating to Taylor’s death against any of the officers involved has come forward (anonymously) to claim that the jury proceedings were flawed. Speaking only through the attorney representing them, this juror chimed in with yet another claim that the prosecution didn’t offer the jurors the opportunity to consider additional charges against the other officers at the conclusion of the proceedings. Considering how this new development may further inflame tensions in the streets of Louisville, this is hardly a welcome development. (NY Post)
A third grand juror in the Breonna Taylor case plants [sic] to speak out about the controversial deliberations that cleared three Louisville cops of any criminal liability in the 26-year-old emergency room tech’s death, according to reports.
The announcement comes just three days after two other jurors spoke out for the first time on “CBS This Morning”, calling Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron a “liar” for suggesting the 12-member panel signed off on clearing the cops.
“After much reflection, Anonymous Grand Juror #3 has joined Anonymous Grand Jurors #1 and #2 in promoting truth and transparency regarding the Breonna Taylor case,” Kevin Glogower, the attorney for the other two panel members, said in a statement, WWBT-TV reported.
As I mentioned above, this juror is the third one to step forward without identifying themselves. Two other jurors have already claimed that Daniel Cameron is a “liar” for suggesting that the jury agreed with the conclusion that further charges were not justified.
Given the anonymous, secret nature of the grand jury system, we’re left with a couple of pressing questions about these objections. If only three jurors have come forward, does that mean that a significantly larger number of jurors were okay with the conclusion? Or are they insinuating that a majority wanted more charges, but they weren’t offered the opportunity? That part hasn’t been made clear at all, but you don’t need a unanimous vote in such cases.
What’s also unclear is whether or not the jurors understood their role in the process. After hearing all of the evidence, it’s the prosecutors who offer up potential charges and ask the jurors if they believe it’s justifiable to move forward with them. It would be unusual for them to offer charges that look likely to fail at trial. If these jurors really want to make their case, their attorney should be doing more than simply hurling insults at the Attorney General. Some specifics about what procedures they believe were not followed correctly would be in order.
But unless that jury heard something shockingly different than the information that’s been made public thus far, expecting the AG to offer some sort of murder or homicide charges against the officers in Taylor’s death sounds unlikely in the extreme. We now know as supported by the testimony of Taylor’s own boyfriend that the conditions on that fateful evening were simply chaotic. The officers had been fired upon from a dark hallway where they couldn’t make out any details. They returned fire in the direction of where they saw a muzzle flash. Trying to prove intent to kill Taylor would be impossible. Even a charge of homicide via reckless endangerment would be a massive leap given the boyfriend’s admission that he shot one of the cops, claiming he thought they were intruders. It’s actually something of a miracle they weren’t both killed.
As I said, if there was other crucial evidence withheld from the public that the grand jury heard and it would suggest more direct culpability on the part of the police, the grand jurors should bring that forward through their attorney. But that would imply a massive coverup that the police and the DA couldn’t possibly have thought they would get away with. If the jurors’ only complaint is that the state isn’t even going to attempt to prosecute a case they would clearly lose badly, it’s not much of an objection.