Kentucky’s attorney general wants a court to seal evidence against the only police officer charged in connection with the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor as her mother is now demanding a prosecutor be appointed to review the case.
Jefferson County Circuit Judge Ann Bailey Smith on Wednesday was cool to a request from Daniel Cameron’s office.
Smith suggested that attempts to seal records in the case of Detective Brett Hankison were an effort to selectively release evidence to the public that the district attorney wants in the public domain.
‘I don’t see you coming to this with clean hands,’ Smith said.
The judge noted that state prosecutors have already released morsels of information related to evidence in Hankison’s case.
Lawyers for the Louisville Courier Journal asked the court to force the attorney general’s office to release all records as they relate to Hankison’s prosecution.
Taylor, a black emergency medical worker, was shot five times by three white Louisville Metro Police officers on March 13
‘Here we have a blanket request to keep it all under wraps,’ said Michael Abate, an attorney for the newspaper.
Hankison, who was fired in June, was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment, a Class D felony, for shooting into a neighboring apartment on the night of March 13.
In his termination letter, Hankison, who blindly fired 10 rounds into Taylor’s apartment during the raid, was accused of showing ‘an extreme indifference to the value of human life.’
Louisville police allow officers to shoot only when there is clear line of sight.
Taylor, a black emergency medical worker, was shot five times by three white Louisville Metro Police officers on March 13.
Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, fearing an intruder, told investigators he fired one shot from a handgun after police entered Taylor’s apartment to serve a narcotics warrant.
No drugs or cash were found at her home.
Jonathan Mattingly, a 20-year LMPD veteran, was shot by Walker. He and another officer, Myles Cosgrove, returned fire, killing Taylor.
Mattingly and Cosgrove, both of whom have been placed on administrative reassignment, have not been charged.
Hankison has appealed his firing, but a hearing on the case has been delayed pending the completion of a criminal investigation.
Cameron last month said the cops could not be charged with homicide because their actions were found to be in self defense after Taylor’s boyfriend opened fire on police first.
At Hankison’s arraignment last month, Smith ordered ‘all discovery documents shall be filed in the court file and not just between parties.’
In law, discovery is a pre-trial procedure in which the prosecution and the defense exchange information about the witnesses and evidence that they will present at trial.
But Assistant Attorney General Barbara Whaley asked the judge to seal the records until Hankison’s trial gets underway.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Ariel Zilber; The Associated Press