Breonna Taylor case set to go before grand jury

Once the grand jury makes a decision, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is expected to make a public announcement to share his office’s findings.

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By Laura Strickler

The Kentucky attorney general is preparing to present evidence from the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor to a grand jury as early as next week, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The killing of Taylor, who was shot by officers after they broke into her Louisville apartment while executing a search warrant in March, set off waves of protests and helped spur a national reckoning over police misconduct.

The case will be presented before a grand jury in Louisville at an undisclosed location, according to the sources who were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The news was first reported by NBC Louisville affiliate WAVE.

Once the grand jury makes a decision, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is expected to make a public announcement to share his office’s investigative findings and the grand jury’s decision on possible indictments for the three officers who fired their weapons that night.

One of the officers has been terminated for displaying “an extreme indifference to the value of human life” when he “wantonly and blindly fired ten rounds into the apartment of Breonna Taylor,” according to his termination letter posted to the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Twitter account.

The two other officers who fired their weapons have been put on administrative leave by the police department.

Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician, was killed after midnight on March 13 when officers broke down her door seeking evidence in a narcotics investigation. The target of the probe did not live at the location.

Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a shot at the front door, striking one officer, according to the police. Walker said he believed it was a home invasion. Officers opened fire, hitting Taylor five times.

Cameron declined to offer specifics on the status of the case.

"When the investigation concludes and a decision has been made, we will provide an update about an announcement," he said in a statement. "The news will come from our office and not unnamed sources. Until that time, the investigation remains ongoing."

A grand jury of a dozen citizens is seated each month in Louisville and tasked with deciding on whether to bring charges on 15 to 20 cases per day. But the presentation of the Taylor case is expected to last a few days, according to the sources.

In order to indict any of the three officers who fired shots on the night of Taylor’s death, nine jurors must decide that there is “sufficient” evidence to believe a crime was committed, according to a source familiar with the process in Kentucky.

The local prosecutor, Tom Wine, recused himself from the case on May 22, handing it off to Cameron who was designated as a special prosecutor.

Sam Aguiar, a lawyer for the Breonna Taylor family who has filed a wrongful death lawsuit, said the family would be disappointed if the only outcome was to charge the officers who fired their weapons.

Aguiar said he and her family have unanswered questions about the legitimacy of the search warrant that led officers to Taylor's home the night she was killed.

“If they emerge with indictments that are only in relation to the actual shooting, we would have plenty of questions regarding all of the criminal actions leading up to and after the shooting,” he said in an interview Wednesday.