An attorney for the family of Breonna Taylor is calling for the Kentucky attorney general to release the transcripts from the grand jury that decided not to charge any of the officers involved in the Black woman’s death.
Speaking Friday in downtown Louisville, Ky., Ben Crump said the transcripts should be released so people can know if there was anyone who gave a voice to Taylor.
A statement read at the news conference from Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, said her daughter was failed by a lack of investigation into her fatal shooting
Protesters have taken to the streets around the country after the grand jury announced Wednesday that no officers would be charged in Taylor’s shooting death in March.
Instead, the grand jury brought three counts of wanton endangerment against fired Officer Brett Hankison for shooting into Taylor’s neighbour’s home.
Meanwhile, a not guilty plea was entered Friday morning for a man charged with shooting and wounding two police officers in Louisville during protests over Taylor’s death.
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Larynzo Johnson, 26, appeared in an orange jumpsuit Friday morning and only spoke when the judge asked if he understood the charges. He replied that he did.
Bond was set at $1 million US, and the judge appointed a public defender to represent Johnson at his next court date set for Oct. 5.
City settled civil suit
Protests have taken place locally since Taylor’s shooting death in March, growing nationally after the police shooting death of George Floyd in Minneapolis occurred in May.
Taylor, who was an emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times by white officers after her boyfriend fired at them, authorities said. He said he didn’t know who was coming in and opened fire in self-defence, wounding one officer. Police entered on a warrant connected to a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside.
State Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Wednesday that the investigation showed officers acted in self-defence. Hankison, who had already been fired, was charged with firing into a neighbouring apartment.
The FBI is still investigating whether Taylor’s civil rights were violated. But the burden of proof for such cases is very high, with prosecutors having to prove officers knew they were acting illegally and made a willful decision to cause someone’s death.
Since Taylor’s killing, Louisville has taken some steps to address protesters’ concerns. In addition to the officer who was fired and later charged, three others were put on desk duty. Officials have banned no-knock warrants and hired a Black woman as the permanent police chief — a first for the city.
Louisville also agreed to more police reforms as it settled a lawsuit that included $12 million for Taylor’s family. But many have expressed frustration that more has not been done.
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According to police, at least 24 people were arrested as of 1 a.m. Friday in a second night of protests after Cameron made the announcement. Authorities alleged the protesters broke windows at a restaurant, damaged city buses, tried to set a fire and threw a flare into the street.
Earlier, it got heated between some protesters and a group of 12 to 15 armed white people wearing military-style uniforms, but it didn’t turn physical.
A curfew will last through the weekend, and Gov. Andy Beshear called up the National Guard for “limited missions.”