Beshear, Brown, Booker talk grand jury decision, won’t address ‘justice’ question

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – While justice may not have been done for Breonna Taylor in many people’s minds, the state still has a chance to pay tribute to Taylor’s legacy by working for change and to improve the lives of all residents, Gov. Andy Beshear and two Black state leaders said Wednesday.

Beshear spent almost the entire hour of his daily briefing answering questions about the grand jury decision in the Taylor case along with stat5e Rep. Charles Booker, who represents many of Louisville’s minority neighborhoods and Executive Cabiney Secretary J. Michael Brown.

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Under questioning from reporters, Beshear declined to criticize Attorney General Daniel Cameron, suggesting instead he hopes Cameron will take steps to release as much of the investigation as possible so the public can “process” it on their own.

When asked if justice was done for Taylor, Beshear side-stepped the question.

“I think we need to see the facts, the evidence…more explanation of the process would have helped…having more of the facts out there…the Attorney General spoke about the truth…I hope we will see more of that,” Beshear said.

During his press conference Wednesday, Cameron declined to release the race and sex makeup of the grand jury. Beshear said he hopes Cameron will change his mind on that point, noting if the grand jury showed diversity, it might ease some of the community  reaction.

“I think it is the right thing to do,” Beshear said.

Beshear, Brown and Booker all spoke about the work that remains to be done.

“We need to build the type of world all our kids deserve,” Beshear said.

Brown said changes are needed in the criminal justice system and the way information is presented to the public.

“The public rightfully expects to have things presented to them in a way they understand,” Brown said, noting expectations likely were “too built up” in the Taylor case.

“I hope we don’t take a regressive step…Breonna Taylor’s legacy is it can change behavior,” Brown concluded.

“Just me being here is a testament to what progress can look like,” Booker said, referring to a Black man being in elected public office.

“We have to do the work to honor Breonna Taylor,” Booker continued, adding “keep demanding change, keep leading change.”

As for a special session to possibly pass some laws that would promote social equality and affect police reform, Beshear said it is possible, but agreement hasn’t been reached.

“We must have substantial progress, we can’t just do something to look like we are doing something,” the governor said. “And we need agreements ahead of time if we are going to bring people here at $60,000 a day…We have some common ground, it just needs to be refined.”