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Breonna Taylor: Third grand juror expresses frustration with investigation

Posted at 6:23 AM, Nov 17, 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A third person who served on the grand jury that weighed charges against the police officers involved in the raid that led to the death of Breonna Taylor says she felt the investigation was incomplete.

In an interview with The Associated Press, the woman said she thought prosecutors wanted only to give the officers involved "a slap on the wrist and close it up."

"I felt like there should've been more charges," she told the AP in a phone interview.

Taylor was killed on March 13 when officers conducted a narcotics raid on her apartment. Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he drew a gun when he heard a pounding at the door. He maintains officers did not identify themselves and says he fired at officers when they breached the door, thinking they were intruders.

Officers returned fire, killing Taylor. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who investigated the case, said officers were justified in returning fire because they were fired upon first.

While officers say they did identify themselves as police and say a witness in the building also testified that they heard police ID themselves, several of Taylor's neighbors are on record as saying they did not know who was at the door.

One officer, Brett Hankison, was charged with a crime in connection with the incident. He faces three counts of wanton endangerment for firing his gun toward the apartment building following the raid. No officers faced charges in connection with Taylor's homicide.

"All of (the officers) went in blindly, you really couldn't see into that lady's apartment as they explained to us, there was just a TV on," the grand juror told the AP of Taylor's apartment. She added that officers "went in there like the O.K. Corral, wanted dead or alive."

The grand juror told The Associated Press that she was surprised that they were not presented with the opportunity to consider other charges. She also took issue with Cameron's justification in September that grand jurors had "decided" not to charge the other officers with a crime.

"I felt like he was trying to throw the blame on somebody else, that he felt like, we as jurors, we weren't going to (speak) out," she told the AP. "He made it feel like it was all our fault, and it wasn't."

Typically, grand jury proceedings are held in secret and details of their investigations are held tightly under wraps. But following Cameron's press conference, a judge issued a ruling that allowed grand jurors to speak publicly about the process. Two grand jurors have since come forward to express their frustrations with how the case was handled.

"I didn't feel that the family was getting justice," the grand juror said.