So That the Truth May Prevail: Heroic Lone Juror Sues To Release Breonna Taylor Grand Jury Transcripts

In a highly unusual legal move amidst the ongoing unraveling of law enforcement's dubious narrative about the murder of Breonna Taylor, a judge has granted the request of an anonymous juror in the case that their Grand Jury proceedings be made public - a demand Taylor's family has also made - because "certain questions were left unanswered" and Kentucky Attorney General David Cameron is allegedly using the jury "as a shield." Cameron, who argued the cops involved were justified and keeps changing his story about what they and he did, says he opposes the order but will comply; the judge hasn't yet ruled on another request by the juror to be legally allowed to speak openly about the case, because the public should know "the full story and absolute truth of how this matter was handled." This matter, of course, is the March murder of Taylor, 26, a black EMT asleep in her own bed who was shot five times by three white Louisville plainclothes cops on a botched drug raid. Following the lead of Cameron, a grand jury bafflingly declined to indict officers Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly for her death; they did, however, charge  Brett Hankison with "wanton endangerment" after wildly shooting into the apartment of Taylor's white neighbors, whose lives  evidently matter more than hers did. Despite widespread outrage and protests, police claimed there was no body cam footage; when it surfaced on social media and VICE News from 45 body cameras because so many American cops are pathological liars, it showed multiple violations of police policies, from messing with the crime scene to hysterically assaulting and threatening to sic a police dog on Taylor's boyfriend to failing to pair up with a mandated escort. “I’ve never seen anything like this," said a former LMPD narcotics cop who viewed the footage. “This is not how it’s supposed to work.”

The questions don't end there. Cameron, the state's first black A.G. and a Republican protege of Mitch McConnell so what else do we need to know, at first claimed he and the 12 members of the jury agreed there were no grounds for homicide charges against police; at a news conference, he said he'd presented the grand jury with “every homicide offense (and) all of the information that was available.” The next day, he acknowledged he'd never offered that option to jury members, and only recommended the wanton endangerment charge. In a later interview, he doubled down on several questionable claims: He  believed one eye witness who said police announced themselves, though 12 other neighbors said police never did; without evidence, he called the suggestion Mattingly was wounded, not by Taylor's boyfriend, but by his frantic comrades "silly"; he argued a murder charge was inappropriate because ballistics tests on Taylor were inconclusive and besides she "passed pretty quickly"; and the grand jury on their own could have suggested a murder charge - "They're an independent body - they could have done that" - though experts say a grand jury will never "go beyond the statutes presented to them by the prosecutor." In truth, alleges Benjamin Crump, Taylor's family's attorney, Cameron apparently "put his thumb on the scales of justice" in a charging statement that somehow left out the fact that jurors could indict police for the death. Kevin Glogower, who represents the unidentified juror, concurs: “If you watched the press conference after the reading of the indictment, the Attorney General laid a lot of responsibility at the grand jurors’ feet" - and then later walked it back when caught in a lie. Legal experts have called the juror's motion "an amazing declaration." Notes one, "Grand juries are said to be able to indict a ham sandwich, but apparently not if it’s killed an unarmed Black person. This will be clarifying."

Glogower says the grand juror came to him distressed last week after Cameron claimed the jury had agreed with his fictional decision not to charge the officers, arguing the A.G. "may not have presented all the evidence" and in fact misrepresented the case both to them and the public. "My client is 'aggrieved,' to use that term, that what was presented is not being publicly disclosed," Glogower said at a press conference just 18 hours after the juror filed a motion in Jefferson County Circuit Court requesting the release of the proceeding's transcripts and recordings, as well as permission to speak about the Taylor case in public. The juror, he says, "is not seeking any fame, any acclaim, any money" but just "wants to make sure the truth gets out." In response to the motion, a judge ordered recordings of the two and half day presentation to the jury be filed with the court by noon Wednesday; Cameron sought a one-week delay, arguing it was necessary to "redact personal identifiers of any named person" in the proceedings, but the judge only granted an extension until noon on Friday. In a separate motion, a "John Doe 1 through John Doe 13" have requested no identifying material be made public; they're apparently police in the @LMPD's Public Integrity Unit who feel threatened by the community's outrage about the case. As usual, police have managed to make themselves the victims in the case: Cosgrove, who allegedly fired the fatal shot at Taylor, has cited safety concerns for seeking to leave the force, and his family is trying to raise $75,000 to help buy out the rest of his service time on Givesendgo.com, which  calls itself "the #1 Christian crowdfunding site." The fundraiser cites "Myles'...nightmarish reality" and "psychological trauma" in a case "that has been forged into a tool for an agenda that has no regard for the lives that are being destroyed," it charges, evidently not including Taylor's among them. "Most people (don't know) what it's like to have the entire world turn on you with pure vitriol for simply performing your job exactly as you were trained to do by your superiors."
 
Which is precisely the problem, notes Breonna's mother Tamika Palmer. "I am an angry black woman," she said, "because our black women keep dying at the hands of police officers." And they in turn are part of a larger system that includes A.G Cameron, who "had the power to do the right thing...to start the healing of this city," but didn't. "It will always be us against them, (and) we are never safe when it comes to them," she said. "The officer (that) lied to obtain the search warrant failed her. The judge who signed the search warrant failed her. The terrorists who broke down her door failed her. The system as a whole has failed her." The entire grand jury process was a "sham proceeding that did nothing to give Breonna Taylor a voice," added their  attorney Ben Crump. "Nothing seems to say Breonna mattered." Cameron continues to defend his treatment of the case; he argues that while the community might find the grand jury findings "uncomfortable," "Truth has to mean something in our society." Ironically, his declaration echoes that of the lone, honorable, anonymous juror who felt compelled to step forward "so that the truth may prevail." He or she, in turn, brings to mind Henry Fonda's lonely dissenting juror in Sidney Lumet's great 1957 film, "12 Angry Men," a radical courtroom drama, morality play and condemnation of the U.S. jury system as 11 of 12 white men rush to pass judgment on a poor teenager of color. Reginald Rose's script is flipped - one among many is pondering possible innocence, not guilt - but it still argues for looking beyond our biases within a flawed system and science. Rose describes a quiet, thoughtful man "who sees all sides of every question and constantly seeks the truth...Above all, he is a man who wants justice to be done, and will fight to see that it is." Breonna Taylor still hasn't gotten justice. Amidst dark days, notes an admirer of the lone juror on Twitter, "Time for good people to cause good trouble."
 

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Cops charging into Taylor's apartment.

Breonna's mother Tamika Palmer

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