A decision was made in the Breonna Taylor case that caused shock and outrage among supporters around the world who hoped justice would be served. Among the many infuriated individuals was Kenneth Walker’s attorney Steven Romines who maintains his client’s account of the night Taylor died.
Walker was present when former detective Brett Hankinson, Sgt. Jonathon Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove executed a no-knock warrant and raided Taylor’s home back in March. He thought the officers were intruders as they allegedly hadn’t identified themselves and fired a warning shot in their direction, but as they fired back, Taylor was fatally shot.
Yesterday (Sept. 23), the grand jury ultimately decided to solely indict Hankinson on wanton endangerment charges for blindly shooting 10 rounds from outside of Taylor’s apartment. Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the use of force by Cosgrove and Mattingly was “justified” as they were acting in self-defense.
“In every other situation in Kentucky, a justification of self defense is determined by a jury, and it should be in this case as well. When we start letting elected politicians determine by prosecutorial fiat who should be charged and who shouldn’t then we are going down a very dangerous road,” Romines told “CBS This Morning” of the case. “It is the exact opposite of how our criminal justice system should work, and unfortunately, it happens oftentimes in police shooting cases that the prosecutors say the police were acting in self defense. The police do not have any higher right to self defense than any ordinary citizen does in Kentucky.”
“The issue of self-defense justification in Kentucky law does not apply when you kill a third party,” he continued. “If they’re acting in self-defense on Kenneth Walker as they claim, they don’t get to kill Breonna Taylor as well, and that’s the law.”
In Cameron’s explanation of the verdict, he claimed there was a witness who said officers identified themselves prior to entering Taylor’s home. According to Walker’s attorney, however, the same witness initially said no announcements were made, but changed their statement in subsequent interviews. He also added that a dozen neighbors who were interviewed didn’t hear the cops say anything about who they were.
Romines also asked Cameron to make the grand jury’s reports public.
“Release the entire file, and let people make their own decisions,” he said. “Indict them (Mattingly and Cosgrove), apply the presumption of evidence, apply the rule of reasonable doubt, let them go trial, and if they’re acquitted like everyone else, fine, but do not by prosecutorial fiat say they’re innocent, they’re exonerated and ‘I’m going to decide they don’t get prosecuted.’”
Following Taylor’s death, Walker was charged with attempted murder of an officer, but the chargers were later dropped. He is now suing the Louisville Metro Police Department as he claims he’s a victim of police misconduct.