LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Tuesday that, while presenting evidence to a grand jury last week, he didn’t recommend any charges against two of the three Louisville police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor on March 13.
Cameron told WDRB that he determined it was “not appropriate” to recommend charges against Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly or Detective Myles Cosgrove because Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot at them before they returned fire. Then-Detective Brett Hankison, who fired into Taylor’s apartment from outside, was charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for endangering the lives of three people in the apartment next door.
“The charge that we could prove at trial, beyond reasonable doubt, was for wanton endangerment against Mr. Hankison,” Cameron told WDRB. “Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly were fired upon by Mr. Walker. They were justified in returning fire.”
Walker has said he didn’t know the police were at the door on March 13 and that he fired a “warning shot,” thinking it was an intruder. Cameron said last week that one witness claimed to have heard police announce themselves on the night of the shooting, though the Courier-Journal reported that the witness previously told police the opposite, raising questions about the evidence presented to the grand jury.
Cameron told WDRB that he presented discrepancies in the witness’s account to jurors, but he argued that even if police hadn’t announced themselves, they would’ve been justified in firing back at Walker.
“Whether they knocked or didn’t knock does not have any bearing on the justification of Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly to return fire,” he said.
The attorney general is expected to comply with a court order issued this week to release grand jury recordings after an unidentified juror accused him of using jurors “as a shield to deflect accountability and responsibility for these decisions.” On Wednesday morning, Cameron’s office filed a motion asking for a one-week delay to the release so officials can redact names and personal information from the recording.
Hankison, who was fired from the police department in June, pleaded not guilty Monday to wanton endangerment charges. Mattingly and Cosgrove remain on the force.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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