According to the Jefferson Circuit Court clerk, many requests have been received related to the Grand Jury recordings ordered to be filed in the case of Commonwealth v. Brett Hankison, 20-CR-001473.
The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office has provided its redacted filing with the court Friday, and it can be found at the following link:
UPDATE 5:35 P.M. FRIDAY, OCT. 2, 2020
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The latest on the release of grand jury proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case (all times local):
A small, subdued group of people gathered at the downtown Louisville, Kentucky, park that has been the scene of numerous protests after Breonna Taylor was fatally shot by police more than six months ago. Many of those who showed up at Jefferson Square Park said they had not been able to listen to the audio recordings of grand jury proceedings that were released publicly Friday. As recently as last week, protesters thronged the park and filled the streets to protest the jury’s decision not to charge any police officers in connection with Taylor’s shooting. While many of the barricades in the park had been removed earlier this week, large orange dump trucks still blocked roads into the space that protesters have dubbed “Injustice Square.”
Body camera footage captures a police officer saying that after he and others heard that Breonna Taylor had been shot and killed, “we weren’t rushing in there to check.” The remark came during the officer’s conversation with a SWAT team that had just arrived on the scene of the botched drug raid on March 13. The footage was shown to the grand jury that was weighing whether to file charges against police. Audio recordings and transcripts of the grand jury proceedings were released publicly Friday. Officers also were captured on body camera footage asking, “Who was shooting at us?” as they apprehended Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Walker fired at police when they entered Taylor’s apartment.
The lone officer indicted in connection with the botched drug raid that ended with Breonna Taylor’s death says he began shooting when he saw flashes from a gun come from inside Taylor’s apartment. Officer Brett Hankison told investigators looking into police actions during the March 13 raid that his fellow officers were positioned “like sitting ducks.” Hankinson said he began shooting, and the lights from gunfire inside the apartment continued, so he opened fire again through a window. He said as soon as he “returned fire through the window, the threat stopped, the gunfire stopped.” Hankison’s interview with police investigators was played for a grand jury. The jury indicted the fired officer on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing into a home adjacent to Taylor’s. He has pleaded not guilty.
The police officer who fired the shot that killed Breonna Taylor told investigators that that he fired four or fewer shots after he and other officers entered Taylor’s apartment on the night of March 13. The investigation later showed that Det. Myles Cosgrove actually fired 16 times. A rattled Cosgrove told investigators that he saw “vivid white flashes” amid the darkness, but that he didn’t have any sensation in his hands “or any recollection that I’m firing a gun.” He said that “due to the fact that those flashes were happening, that is why I believe there is gunfire.”
A SWAT commander told investigators looking into the police raid at Breonna Taylor’s house that Officer Brett Hankison did not appear to have identified any target before he began shooting rounds. Lt. Dale Massey’s interview with investigators was played for a grand jury considering whether to file charges against any of the officers involved in the botched drug raid on March 13 that ended with Taylor’s death. The jury indicted Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing into an adjacent home. No one was hurt. Hankison has pleaded not guilty. Referring to Hankison, Massey said it seemed “like there was no target identification whatsoever for those rounds that were shot outside the apartment.”
One of the police officers who entered Breonna Taylor’s apartment the night she was fatally shot said the scene was chaotic and confusing. Det. Myles Cosgrove told investigators reviewing the events of March 13 that he saw “vivid white flashes” amid the darkness. But he said he didn’t hear anything. He said he knew someone had been shot and later discovered it was a fellow officer, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly. He also says that he knew he had fired his gun. Cosgrove also told investigators that officers had been told that they were approaching the house of a “soft target” and that they should “use our maturity as investigators get into this house.” He said that even though they had a no-knock warrant they decided to knock and announce their presence. Cosgrove’s interview with investigators was included in a recording of grand jury proceedings made public Friday.
A supervisor of the firearms training program at the Louisville police department told an investigator looking into police practices the night Breonna Taylor was fatally shot that officers are not trained to “shoot suppressively” and that they should be assessing the situation as they’re shooting. In a recording of an interview that was played for the grand jury in the case, Lt. Steve Lacefield told investigators: “Our training is: shoot until there’s no longer a threat.” Taylor’s boyfriend fired his gun after police broke down the door of Taylor’s apartment. Police then returned fire.
Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend told police that he and Taylor had just fallen asleep when they heard banging on the door the night of March 13. Kenneth Walker told investigators conducting an internal police review that Taylor asked once who was there and they heard no response. Walker told police he grabbed his gun, which he said was legally registered, and that Taylor was “yelling at the top of her lungs, and I am too at this point. No answer. No response. No nothing.” Walker said when they got out of bed and were walking toward the door, “the door like comes like off the hinges.” He said that’s when he “let off one shot,” but still couldn’t see who was there. He said after he fired his gun “all of a sudden there’s a whole lot of shots,” and he and Taylor dropped to the ground. He told police “They’re just shooting, but we’re both on the ground and all the shots stop,” and that Taylor was “right there on the ground, bleeding.”
Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend told investigators that, minutes after the shooting, after he opened fire at police and officers fatally shot Taylor, “One officer told me I was going to jail for the rest of my life.” Speaking to internal investigators a few hours later, he said he wasn’t sure which officer said that to him. The interview was played for a grand jury in proceedings that were publicly released Friday. Walker went on to say that an officer “asked me, ’Were you hit by any bullets?′ I said no. He said, ‘That’s unfortunate.’ Exact words.” In the audio recording of the grand jury session, someone in the room is heard saying, “That’s not appropriate.”
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund says it will conduct its own review of the grand jury audio recordings released in the Breonna Taylor case, and that it will make public its assessment of the case “in the near future.” Sherrilyn Ifill is the human rights law organization’s president and director-counsel. Ifill said in a statement Friday that “Breonna Taylor’s family, the residents of Louisville, and those across the country who have advocated for accountability for the killing of Ms. Taylor want to understand how the evidence in this case was presented to the grand jury.” Ifill said the release of these audio recordings “ is a critical first step in that process.”
A neighbor of Breonna Taylor told investigators that police told her that “some drug-dealing girl shot an officer” after officers entered Taylor’s apartment on the night of March 13. An investigator for the Kentucky Attorney General’s office relayed the information to a grand jury in the case. The grand jury proceedings were released publicly Friday under a court order. In fact, it was Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who opened fire when police entered the apartment.
The fired Kentucky officer indicted on minor charges in the Breonna Taylor case told police investigators that Taylor’s boyfriend initially claimed Taylor was the one who shot at officers when they entered her apartment. Brett Hankison said in a March interview heard by the grand jury that Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, told him that Taylor was dead. Hankinson said that Walker said “she was the one who shot at us.” Walker later confessed that he was the one who opened fire.
Two neighbors interviewed by investigators with the Kentucky attorney general’s office said they did not hear police officers knocking before they entered Breonna Taylor’s apartment on the night of March 13. An investigator told the grand jury that one neighbor said he was awakened by the sound of what he thought was somebody kicking his door in. The investigators said the neighbor “knows for a fact he did not hear anyone saying Louisville Metro Police Department or anything prior to being awakened.” Another neighbor told investigators that he did not hear anyone knocking on apartment doors. Taylor’s boyfriend also told investigators that he did not hear police announce themselves.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Police who shot Breonna Taylor announced themselves as law enforcement before entering her apartment, according to grand jury testimony that was among hours of audio recordings released Friday.
The recordings do not include prosecutor recommendations or grand jury deliberations.
“We knocked on the door, said police, waited I don’t know 10 or 15 seconds. Knocked again, said police, waited even longer,” Louisville police Lt. Shawn Hoover said in an interview recorded March 13, the same date Taylor was shot, and later played for the grand jury.
“So it was the third time that we were approaching, it had been like 45 seconds if not a minute,” Hoover said. “And then I said, `Let’s go, let’s breach it.’”
Grand juries typically meet in secret, and releasing testimony and other evidence from their proceedings is rare. A court ruled that the content of the proceedings, typically kept secret, should be made public.
The grand jury in Taylor’s case brought no criminal charges against the officers for her killing, angering many in Louisville and around the country and setting off renewed protests.
Officers had a “no-knock” warrant to search Taylor’s apartment for drugs. But Attorney General later said officers announced themselves. It’s a key issue because the officers said they opened fire after Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a gunshot at them. Walker said he didn’t know the men who burst into the home were police.
One law enforcement officer testified that police ultimately never executed the warrant to search Taylor’s apartment.
“Were drugs money or paraphernalia recovered from apartment 4? … The answer to that is no,” the officer said on the recording. “They didn’t go forward with executing the initial search warrant that they had for Breonna Taylor’s apartment.”
At one point in the tapes, Brett Hankison, the officer who the grand jury did indict for wanton endangerment for shooting wildly into another apartment, said he thought the shooter inside her home had an assault rifle.
The Kentucky officer indicted on minor charges in the Breonna Taylor case told a grand jury that he thought the gun Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend fired when police first entered her apartment was an AR-15 rifle.
Police discovered later that the weapon was a 9 mm handgun.
Hankison said in an interview heard by the jury that he saw “intense fire” flashing through the curtain and “lighting up the room.” He said he thought that even though he was wearing his protective vest “there is no way we can challenge this guy with an assault rifle.”
The grand jury proceedings released to the public do not contain prosecutors’ recommendations about what, if any, charges the jury should file against the officers who conducted the drug raid that led to Breonna Taylor’s fatal shooting. In a news release Friday, Attorney General Daniel Cameron said neither the prosecutors’ recommendations nor the jury’s deliberations were recorded “as they are not evidence.” He said not recording them was “customary.”
CAMERON PRESS RELEASE, ISSUED 12:48 P.M.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (October 2, 2020) – Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s Office of Special Prosecutions today filed with the Jefferson Circuit Court the Grand Jury audio recordings related to the investigation into the death of Ms. Breonna Taylor.
The recordings were filed prior to today’s 12:00 p.m. ET deadline ordered by a Jefferson Circuit Court Judge in the case of Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Brett Hankison. In compliance with the Judges order of September 30, 2020, social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, and names of minors were redacted from the recording.
The audio recordings are approximately 20 hours long, and the redactions comprise approximately three minutes and fifty seconds of the entire proceedings. The Attorney General’s team also filed an un-redacted copy of the Grand Jury recordings under seal with the court so that the Judge could compare the redacted and un-redacted copies of the recordings, if needed.
Over the course of two-and-a-half days, the Attorney General’s team presented evidence in the case to a Jefferson County Grand Jury. The audio recordings contain the entire presentation of evidence. As is customary in the recording of Grand Jury proceedings, juror deliberations and prosecutor recommendations and statements were not recorded, as they are not evidence. Rule 5.16 of the Kentucky Rules of Criminal Procedure outlines the requirements for recording testimony before a Grand Jury.
“I’m confident that once the public listens to the recordings, they will see that our team presented a thorough case to the Jefferson County Grand Jury,” said Attorney General Cameron. “Our presentation followed the facts and the evidence, and the Grand Jury was given a complete picture of the events surrounding Ms. Taylor’s death on March 13th. While it is unusual for a court to require the release of the recordings from Grand Jury proceedings, we complied with the order, rather than challenging it, so that the full truth can be heard.”
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (CNN) – The highly anticipated audio recordings of the secret grand jury proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case were submitted to a Kentucky court and made public Friday following a two-day delay.
ORIGINAL STORY POSTED 11:58 A.M. FRIDAY, OCT. 2, 2020
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Hours of material in the grand jury proceedings for Breonna Taylor’s fatal shooting by police have been made public.
The release Friday was rare since such material is normally kept secret.
The jury brought no criminal charges against the officers for her killing, setting off renewed protests in Louisville and around the country.
A court ruled the content of the proceedings should be released.
Louisville Police used a narcotics warrant to enter Taylor’s Louisville apartment on March 13 and shot her after Taylor’s boyfriend fired at them.
Taylor was shot five times. Police found no drugs there.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, whose office led the investigation into police actions in the Taylor shooting, did not object to the file’s release. But on Wednesday, his office asked for a week’s extension to edit out personal information from the material. The judge gave him two days.
Cameron, a Republican and the state’s first African American attorney general, has acknowledged that he did not recommend homicide charges for the officers involved.
Cameron said two officers who fired their guns, hitting Taylor, were justified because Taylor’s boyfriend had shot at them first. The boyfriend has said he thought someone was breaking in.
The grand jury did charge fired Officer Brett Hankison with three counts of wanton endangerment for shooting into a neighboring apartment. No one was hit. He has pleaded not guilty.
Cameron said there was no conclusive evidence that any of Hankison’s shots hit Taylor.
The audio recording of the jury proceedings will be added to Hankison’s public court file.
Protesters have taken to the streets to demand more accountability in the case. Activists, Taylor’s family and one of the jurors called for the grand jury file to be released.
The release comes a day after the first woman to lead the Louisville Metro Police Department, Yvette Gentry, was sworn in as the department’s interim chief.
“I know I’m interim,” Gentry said at a small ceremony streamed on the department’s Facebook page. “But I represent something different to a lot of people being the first woman to take this title, so I’m not going to shortchange that.”