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Kentucky attorney general granted more time in releasing Breonna Taylor grand jury recordings

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A judge has granted Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron more time to release grand jury recordings about the March raid in which Breonna Taylor was shot dead by police in her Louisville home. The grand jury indicted one of the involved officers last week for firing blindly outside the 26-year-old Black woman’s home and endangering her neighbors, but no one was charged in Taylor’s death.

Jefferson Circuit Court judge Ann Bailey Smith on Wednesday granted Cameron two additional days to produce the audio recordings of the grand jury proceedings.

Kentucky AG Makes Announcement On Charges In Breonna Taylor's Death
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron 

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Cameron has acknowledged he did not recommend murder charges to the grand jury after coming under intense public scrutiny over the the panel’s ruling, which drew outrage and renewed protests over police brutality and racial injustice. Taylor’s family, along with lawyers and activists, have demanded that Cameron release the proceedings in the interests of transparency as key questions  linger over what evidence he presented. 

Also calling for the public release of the information is an anonymous member of the grand jury who accused Cameron in a legal filing of “using the grand jurors as a shield to deflect accountability and responsibility for these decisions.”

Cameron initially refused to release the information, citing the secrecy of grand jury proceedings. But he said this week he would comply with a judge’s order to file recordings of the proceedings in the public court by noon on Wednesday in the criminal case against former officer Brett Hankison, who is charged with three counts of wanton endangerment. On Wednesday, however, Cameron filed a motion with the court seeking more time to redact information in the audio file.

“The Grand Jury audio recording is more than 20 hours long, and our office filed a motion to request additional time, if the court permits it, to redact personally identifiable information of witnesses, including addresses and phone numbers,” Cameron’s spokeswoman Elizabeth Kuhn said in a statement obtained by CBS News.

In a separate motion, 13 anonymous witnesses also requested that personal information be redacted from anything filed in the public record, citing fear of reprisal in the case that’s generated nationwide controversy.

cbsn-fusion-louisville-police-prepare-city-for-an-upcoming-decision-in-breonna-taylor-case-thumbnail-552739-640x360.jpg
Breonna Taylor

Cameron had requested an additional week, but in a ruling on Wednesday, Bailey Smith allowed his office until noon on Friday to produce the redacted recordings.

In an interview with television station WDRB on Tuesday, Cameron said he did not recommend murder charges against Sergeant Jon Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, whose gunfire he said was justified because they were returning a shot fired by Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker. Walker has said police didn’t identify themselves before battering down the door during the early morning raid linked to a drug investigation, and Walker opened fire fearing someone was trying to break in. According to Cameron, the shot Walker fired hit Mattingly in the leg, and Mattingly and Cosgrove returned fire, killing Taylor.

No drugs were found in the home. The raid was linked to a drug investigation into Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, who did not live there.

Cameron has said the officers both knocked and announced themselves before the raid, but questions remain over what evidence and witnesses the grand jury heard. Cameron has said he is confident in the case his office presented.

Sofia Grimsgard and Costanza Maio contributed reporting.

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