LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11/WTVQ) – Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Annie O’Connell has granted an anonymous grand juror’s motion to speak publicly about the grand jury proceedings in the Breonna Taylor case.
The grand juror will remain anonymous unless they choose to identify themselves. Judge O’Connell’s order says it gives grand jurors the option to come forward if they choose but “it is not intended to coerce, compel or even encourage” them to do so.
The court urged grand jurors to use “extreme caution” if they chose to disclose their identities due to potential public attention and scrutiny.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron previously filed two motions to keep the anonymous grand juror from speaking publicly.
Last week, Attorney General Cameron said,” I have concerns with a grand juror seeking to make anonymous and unlimited disclosures about the grand jury proceedings. The grand jury process is secretive for a reason, to protect the safety and anonymity of all the grand jurors, witnesses, and innocent persons involved in the proceedings. Allowing this disclosure would irreversibly alter Kentucky’s legal system by making it difficult for prosecutors and the public to have confidence in the secrecy of the grand jury process going forward.”
Judge O’Connell’s order says allowing the grand juror speak would not deter witnesses from coming forward in the future.
“..There is little concern that releasing the remaining undisclosed grand jury proceedings would create that effect. Rather, it is more likely that the already highly public nature of this matter (generated in part by the Attorney General’s own press releases, interviews and press conferences), and not the release of grand jury proceedings, would have that consequence,” the order says.
According to the Louisville Courier-Journal published a statement released by the grand juror which said:
“The grand jury was not presented any charges other that the three Wanton Endangerment charges against Detective Brett Hankison,” the grand juror said. “The grand jury did not have homicide offenses explained to them. The grand jury never heard anything about those laws.
“Questions were asked about additional charges and the grand jury was told there would be none because the prosecutors didn’t feel they could make them stick.”
The statement was released by the Glogower Law Office after Jefferson Circuit Judge Annie O’Connell issued a 10-page ruling on a motion allowing the grand juror to speak. O’Connell officially dismissed a grand juror’s motion to publicly speak about Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s handling of the investigation, the newspaper said.