'Enough is enough, America': Breonna Taylor's family demands transcripts from grand jury after officers cleared of wrongdoing

‘Breonna Taylor’s entire family is heartbroken, devastated, and outraged and bewildered, as to what did the Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron present to the grand jury’

Friday 25 September 2020 17:00 BST
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The family of Breonna Taylor demanded Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron release the transcripts from a grand jury proceeding that resulted in multiple police officers involved in the black woman’s death being cleared of wrongdoing during a press conference on Friday morning.

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents the family of the late 26-year-old medical worker killed by police while sleeping in her own apartment, led activists in demanding the release of the transcripts after it was announced this week that only one officer involved in the shooting death would be charged with wanton endangerment. None of the officers involved in Ms Taylor’s death have been charged with murder, a top demand of her family and protestors with Black Lives Matter who have led nationwide demonstrations since her death.

“Breonna Taylor’s entire family is heartbroken, devastated, and outraged and bewildered, as to what did the Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron present to the grand jury,” Mr Crump said on Friday. “Did he present any evidence on Breonna Taylor’s behalf? Or did he make a unilateral decision to put his thumb on the scale of justice to help try and exonerate and justify the killing of Breonna Taylor by these police officers, and in doing so ensured Breonna Taylor’s family never got their day in court, never got due process and … never got their justice.”

It was important for the Kentucky attorney general to release the transcripts, Mr Crump said, so the public could know if “there was anyone that gave a voice to Breonna Taylor” during the proceedings.

Ms Taylor’s mother Tamika Palmer also said in a statement dictated by her sister that she “never had any faith” in the attorney general, but hoped he knew “that he had the power to do the right thing”.

“What he helped me realize is that it will always be us against them,” her statement continued. “I was reassured Wednesday of why I have no faith in the legal system.”

Ms Taylor’s mother said the criminal justice system “as a whole” failed her daughter while calling on the country to demand justice, adding: “You can take the dog out of the fight, but you can’t take the fight out of the dog.”

The family of Ms Taylor also demanded that, if the transcripts show no charges were brought on behalf of the 26-year-old shooting victim, Kentucky officials appoint a special prosecutor to do so.

“Enough is enough, America,” Mr Crump said.

They were joined by the family members of other victims shot by police, including the father of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old black man who has become paralyzed after he was shot by officers in August in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

“I’m here for this family,” he said. “My son gave me the power to come here today. He cannot stand for himself today. So I stand for him. We stand for him. We are a family. We are a community … you cannot get rolled over. Jacob is standing for Breonna.”

Mr Crump led several chants on Friday, including “Release the transcripts” and “Say her name”.

He also slammed the decisions made this week clearing the officers involved in the shooting death, saying: “No wanton endangerment for the bullets that went actually into Breonna Taylor’s apartment? No wanton murder charges for the bullets that mutilated Breonna’s body? … It underscores what we’ve been saying all along, there are two justice systems in America. One for white America, and one for Black America.”

“If you want us to accept the results, then release the transcript,” Mr Crump said. “Release the transcripts so we can have transparency, and if you did everything that you could do on Breonna’s behalf, you shouldn’t have any problem whatsoever, Daniel Cameron, to release the transcript so that we can see you fought for all Kentucky citizens.”

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