NationalStacy M. Brown

Transparency Demanded in Breonna Taylor Case

The failure to indict Louisville Metro Police Department officers who broke into the home of Breonna Taylor, 26, a Black emergency medical technician, and shot her to death has led to more outrage and disgust over how little Black lives matter in America, particularly under the racially insensitive administration of President Donald Trump.

While the Sept. 23 decision by the grand jury in Louisville doesn’t directly fall under his administration’s jurisdiction, it’s clear that it at least had Trump’s imprint in the form of an attorney general who’s both a Republican and a devout supporter of the president.

Like the president, who often plays as fast and loose with the truth and has fought for four years to prevent the release of items like his personal tax returns and business dealings, Cameron has refused to provide the public with exactly what he presented to the grand jury.

Despite Taylor’s attorneys, Kentucky’s governor and the at-large public calling for transparency, Cameron has steadfastly ignored such requests.

Further upsetting to the masses, one of the six officers involved in Taylor’s killing has been indicted on three lesser charges of firing his weapon into an apartment next to Taylor’s.

Cameron and the grand jury never considered that an unarmed and innocent Taylor remains the victim.

“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,” Cameron claimed at a press conference following the grand jury announcement.

“My job is to present the facts to the grand jury and the grand jury then applies those facts to the law. If we simply act on emotion or outrage, there is no justice. Mob justice is not justice. Justice sought by violence is not justice. It just becomes revenge,” he belabored.

Having spoken a month earlier at the Republican National Convention, Cameron has made his way onto Trump’s ever-growing list of potential Supreme Court nominees if the president wins in November.

Following the grand jury’s decision, Trump praised Cameron.

“Daniel Cameron is doing a fantastic job,” Trump swooned. “I think he’s a star.”

Now, approximately one week after the grand jury’s decision, Cameron doesn’t appear ready to release what he presented to the panel.

An old legal adage says that a prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich if he or she so desired.

In layman’s term, if a prosecutor wants an indictment, there’s not much to prevent him or her from obtaining one.

Taylor died on Mar. 13 after police mistakenly believed her home to be a drug house, breaking her front door off its hinges while she slept next to Kenneth Walker, her boyfriend.

A frightened Walker, who had a licensed firearm, dialed 911, and when the first unidentified officer breached the apartment, Walker fired and hit the cop in the leg. The officers retreated but managed to blindly fire more than 20 rounds into Taylor’s home.

Eight of the bullets struck Taylor and killed her.

Taylor’s family reported that they never had any confidence in Cameron, a sentiment shared by many, including a long list of celebrities.

“Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor,” NBA legend Jalen Rose demanded during a live ESPN broadcast as the network headed toward a commercial break in its coverage of professional basketball’s playoffs.

Expecting the pushback, Cameron attempted a preemptive strike against celebrities, athletes and others who he believed would take him to task.

“There will be celebrities, influencers and activists who having never lived in Kentucky would try to tell us how to feel, suggesting they understand the facts of this case and that they know our community and the commonwealth better than we do,” stated the attorney general.

“But they don’t. Let’s not give in to their attempts to influence our thinking or capture our emotions. At the end of the day, it is up to us. We live here together. We work here and raise our families here together.”

In the age of social media, there remained little chance that Cameron would escape a wrathful public, including a large number of celebrities.

“I’m just gon’ let this sink into your hollow skull @danieljaycameron,” superstar Rihanna tweeted.

“Bulls–t decision!!! BLACK LIVES MATTER!!! Cannot be said enough times,” actor Viola Davis posted on Twitter.

They weren’t alone – not by a longshot.

After voicing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s quote that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, comedian D.L. Hughley lashed out at Cameron.

“So, I’d rather listen to a noteworthy person in history than a footnote in history. This isn’t a question of Black celebrities speaking out. I happen to have a Black wife and Black daughters and Black nieces and nephews,” Hughley told TMZ.

For good measure, and to counter Cameron’s statement dismissing celebrities “who don’t and haven’t lived in Kentucky,” actor George Clooney also slammed the attorney general and the grand jury decision.

“The justice system I was raised to believe in holds people responsible for their actions. Her name was Breonna Taylor and she was shot to death in her bed by three white police officers who will not be charged with any crime for her death,” Clooney responded.

“I know the community. I know the commonwealth. And I was taught in the schools and churches of Kentucky what is right and what is wrong. I’m ashamed of this decision,” he said.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear joined a chorus of others demanding that Cameron answer questions like how one officer could face charges of wantonly endangering Taylor’s neighbors’ lives by shooting into their homes but not with endangering Taylor?

If the officers had the right to defend themselves by shooting in response to Walker’s shot, did they have any justification for shooting Taylor, who wasn’t a threat?

Taylor’s family also have asked whether the grand jury was asked to consider homicide charges or whether Cameron made that decision himself.

“What has happened in a very long investigation, and ultimately a grand jury proceeding here, is that people haven’t seen the basic facts,” Beshear told NPR.

“They’ve been told, for instance, about two ballistics reports. If they’ve been described to the people, let the people see them and read them,” he said.

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Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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