Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron defended his decision not to present murder charges to the grand jury hearing the case of Breonna Taylor, telling the OutLoud podcast that such charges were not appropriate because Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired first at the police officers.
“The officers were justified in returning fire,” Cameron said. “It is not me making these decisions in a vacuum. I have a team of prosecutors and investigators with over 200 years of combined experience.”
Taylor was a 26-year-old Black woman who was shot and killed in her apartment by three Louisville police officers in March who had a no-knock warrant and forced entry into her residence in connection with a drug case, according to The Washington Times.
Walker, saying he did not hear the officers identify themselves, thought they were intruders and fired a warning shot.
Although policemen Jonathan Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove shot Taylor a combined six times, a grand jury did not press any charges against them in September.
The only charges decided upon were three counts of wanton endangerment against former officer Brett Hankison, who was fired in June after investigators said he “blindly” shot 10 times into Taylor’s residence, with some of the bullets entering an adjacent apartment, endangering three people unrelated to the case.
Cameron emphasized that critics who wanted the officers to be charged for Taylor’s death should put emotions aside, saying “I hope, over time, people recognize that our job was to the law and facts of the case.”
Cameron conceded, however, that Taylor’s death was “heart-wrenching” and that “Sometimes, the criminal justice system is inadequate to respond to a tragedy, and that is certainly the case here.”