Witness in Breonna Taylor Case Told Grand Jury Cop Said 'Some Drug-Dealing Girl' Shot Another Officer, Recordings Reveal

Recordings of the grand jury proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case were released on Friday following Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron granting a request for the information to be made public.

Approximately 15 hours of recordings—split into 14 different files—highlight key witnesses and details of the case and testimony regarding what occurred the night Taylor was fatally shot. In one recording from September 22, the second day of the proceedings, a detective from the Office of the Attorney General's Department of Criminal Investigations shared an interview with one of Taylor's neighbors, Summer Dickenson.

According to the detective, Dickenson asked an officer outside of Taylor's apartment what had happened since she heard gunshots just moments ago. The officer responded, "Some drug-dealing girl shot at the police."

Dickenson proceeded to ask, "Are you sure?" to which the officer reiterated, "Some drug-dealing girl shot an officer." The exchange, which was described during the proceedings, was captured on Dickenson's Facebook Live that night.

Earlier on September 22, the recordings captured the testimony of Brett Hankison, the former Louisville Metro Police officer charged with wanton endangerment in connection to bullets that passed through the walls of Taylor's apartment and into that of her neighbors. In his testimony, Hankison said Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, told him "she was the one who shot" at the officers as Hankison was arresting him.

Walker confessed to firing one shot in self-defense, which hit Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly in the leg. No evidence indicated that Taylor fired any weapon.

According to other recordings, the grand jury heard at least two additional officers who were part of the raid say that they repeatedly knocked and announced themselves before entering Taylor's apartment, despite having a no-knock warrant. One officer said that they waited "45 seconds, if not a minute" before going inside the premises, while another said it was "a good two minutes" of knocking and saying, "police."

However, in 12 interviews of Taylor's neighbors conducted by the New York Times, 11 said that they did not hear the officers announce themselves, and one said that they yelled "police" just once.

The release of the recordings follows a series of court motions where an unnamed juror requested that the audio be publicly released. In the motion, filed on September 28, the juror said Cameron misrepresented the jury's deliberations when announcing the charges. The juror also alleged that Cameron did not offer the option to indict Detective Myles Cosgrove and Mattingly, the other two officers involved in Taylor's death.

"It is patently unjust for the jurors to be subjected to the level of accountability the Attorney General campaigned for simply because they received a summons to serve their community at a time that adherence to the summons forced them to be involved in a matter that has caused such a palpable divide between sides," a statement from the juror's attorney Kevin Glogower reads.

That same day, the judge overseeing a hearing for Hankison ordered Cameron to release the recordings of the grand jury proceedings by September 30.

However, on September 30, Cameron filed a motion requesting a one-week extension to file the grand jury recordings. A judge instead ruled that the attorney general's office be given a two-day extension.

Taylor was shot and killed in her home in Louisville, Kentucky on March 13 after police officers executed a no-knock warrant to search for drugs or cash from drug trafficking just after midnight. According to Walker, he and Taylor were in bed when the officers entered the apartment and they both feared people had broken in.

Cameron said that the office's investigation found that officers announced themselves that night based on one witness account.

Walker shot his handgun once the officers entered, which was then met by multiple rounds fired by Hankison, Cosgrove and Mattingly. Taylor was struck multiple times, with an FBI analysis concluding that Cosgrove fired the fatal shot. She reportedly received no medical attention as officers called an ambulance to the scene.

Protest in Chicago
A protester carries a sign in honor of Breonna Taylor on September 23, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. Natasha Moustache/Getty

The grand jury's decision to not indict Cosgrove or Mattingly—who are still working on the force—was met with outrage after it was announced last week. Protests demanding justice for Taylor continued in Louisville and across the country following the announcement. Hankison was fired by the Louisville Metro Police in June.

In an exclusive interview with WDRB-TV, Cameron said he never recommended murder charges to the grand jury considering the evidence against the three police officers involved in Taylor's fatal shooting.

"Ultimately our judgment is that the charge that we could prove at trial beyond a reasonable doubt was for wanton endangerment against Mr. Hankison," Cameron told WDRB.

He later added: "They [the grand jury] are an independent body. If they wanted to make an assessment about different charges, they could have done that. But our recommendation was that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their acts and their conduct."

The Taylor family's attorney Ben Crump urged Cameron to publicly release the grand jury's secretive process as many questioned the outcome of the proceedings.

"Since the grand jury decision was announced, we've been saying that Daniel Cameron clearly failed to present a comprehensive case that supported justice for Breonna," said Crump in a statement posted to his Instagram page on September 29. "That conclusion is supported by the grand juror who came forward to say that the attorney general misrepresented the grand jury's deliberations."