Dismantling quite a few of the widespread myths about the Breonna Taylor case in the process of announcing that a grand jury had only indicted a single officer, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron made himself exceptionally clear on Wednesday afternoon…hours before predictable violence broke out across Louisville.
Among the other myths addressed by Cameron, the attorney general noted that officers were fully within their legal rights in executing the search warrant, which gave them a judge’s permission to search Taylor’s apartment.
“The Louisville police officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s shooting death ‘knocked and announced’ themselves — and did not execute a ‘no-knock warrant’ as previously believed, Kentucky’s attorney general said Wednesday,” reported the New York Post. “At a press conference, AG Daniel Cameron said a neighbor corroborated cops’ claims that they knocked on Taylor’s apartment door and announced themselves as police in the early hours of March 13.”
The proper execution of the search warrant did not save former Louisville Police Officer Brett Hankison from being indicted on three counts of “wanton endangerment in the first degree,” as the grand jury concluded that he shot his weapon “blindly through a door and window in Taylor’s building.”
However, the two other officers involved in the situation escaped charges as the grand jury found that they only returned fire after being shot at by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.
“Our investigation found that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their use of force after having been fired on by Kenneth Walker,” Cameron said.
Cameron said that it was up to him to see that justice was served and not to adjudicate the sorrowful situation of Taylor’s death.
“The decision before my office is not to decide if the loss of Breonna Taylor’s life was a tragedy,” Cameron said. “The answer to that question is unequivocally yes. I certainly understand the pain that has been brought about by the tragic loss of Ms. Taylor. I understand that as an attorney general who is responsible for all 120 counties, in terms of being the chief legal officer — the chief law enforcement officer, I understand that. I understand that as a Black man — how painful this is, which is why it was so incredibly important to make sure that we did everything we possibly could to uncover every fact.”
While Cameron’s words were timely and powerful, they were not enough to prevent the wild mob of protesters that besieged Louisville’s streets Wednesday night – a backlash that ultimately resulted in the shooting of two police officers.