An anonymous juror who served on the grand jury in the Breonna Taylor case released a statement on Tuesday claiming that the jury did not agree that the fatal shooting of Taylor was justified. The juror went on to say that the only charge presented to the grand jury during the proceedings was wanton endangerment—the charge that was ultimately brought against Louisville police officer Brett Hankison, one of the three cops who was involved in the shooting. The other two officers did not face any charges, and none of the three were indicted on charges directly related to Taylor’s death.
The juror claimed that homicide laws were not explained during the proceedings, even though the panel asked about them. The same went for self-defense and justification laws.
“Questions were asked about the additional charges and the grand jury was told there would be none because the prosecutors didn’t feel they could make them stick,” the statement said. “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.”
While the proceedings of grand juries are typically kept private, on Tuesday Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Annie O’Connell ruled that this case was “a rare and extraordinary example” where the typical reasons for preserving grand jury secrecy do not apply. Judge O’Connell clarified that this ruling only applied to this particular case, because “there exists additional interest to consider in making this decision: the interest of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky to be assured that its publicly elected officials are being honest in their representations.” The judge’s ruling will allow grand jury members to speak publicly and also to answer questions about the case.
This development comes less than a month after a motion filed by a member of the grand jury on Breonna Taylor’s case prompted Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to release recordings from the proceedings. In a statement, Cameron said that he disagrees with the Judge’s decision, but does not plan to appeal it, saying “as Special Prosecutor, it was my decision to ask for an indictment on charges that could be proven under Kentucky law.”