Breonna Taylor Grand Juror Accuses Attorney General of Deception, Fears Retribution if Unmasked

An anonymous member of the Kentucky grand jury that returned indictments in the Breonna Taylor shooting case filed suit against the Commonwealth of Kentucky Monday, asking for the recordings of the grand jury to be released. The grand juror also alleged that Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's claims that grand jurors were in agreement with the findings of his investigators were not entirely true.

Taylor was shot in March as members of the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department entered her apartment to serve a warrant. Taylor's partner, Kenneth Walker, believing that their apartment was being robbed, opened fire on the officers. Police returned fire, with Taylor being struck at least five times. Two officers involved in the shooting incident were not charged with any crime. Former Louisville officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment after firing his weapon towards surrounding apartments. The indictment sparked protests in Louisville and other U.S. cities.

In the Monday filing, the grand juror expressed concern that they could be found in contempt "if there was a public disclosure that contradicted certain things that [Cameron] stated happened during the proceedings, characterized the singularity of the decision in a different light, or raised doubts about charges that were presented during the proceedings."

According to the lawsuit, the grand juror decided to move ahead with litigation in order to "quell the fears of persecution, condemnation, retribution, and torment along with the fear of prosecution that apply not only to Grand Juror but quite possibly to the other grand jurors in this matter."

The grand juror requested in the filing that the recordings be released to the general public. No request for financial or punitive damages was requested.

daniel cameron
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's office announced Monday that secret recordings of the grand jury in the Breonna Taylor shooting case would be made public on Wednesday. Jon Cherry/Getty

During Hankison's Monday arraignment, Judge Ann Bailey Smith called for the grand jury recordings to be filed in the court by Wednesday.

Cameron has emphasized the inherent secrecy of the grand jury proceedings while discussing the indictment, choosing not to directly answer questions about recommendations that may have been made to the grand jury.

"What I will say is that we presented all of the information and they ultimately made a determination about whether to charge," Cameron said last Wednesday at a press conference. "In this instance, they decided to indict Detective Hankinson."

Cameron's office responded to the grand juror's lawsuit by announcing it would release the recordings to the public on Wednesday.

In a Monday statement, Cameron's office said it had "no concerns with grand jurors sharing their thoughts on our presentation because we are confident in the case we presented. Once the public listens to the recording, they will see that over the course of two-and-a-half days, our team presented a thorough and complete case to the Grand Jury."

Hankison pleaded not guilty to the charges levied against him during his arraignment. He is expected to participate in a pretrial conference in October. Hankinson's legal counsel requested that Hankinson be allowed to keep possession of a firearm, claiming he needed it for self-defense. Judge Smith denied the request.

Newsweek reached out to the office of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear for comment.