Breonna Taylor: Pressure Mounting on Black Prosecutor to Charge Cops

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[Breonna Taylor]
AP: "Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the first African-American elected to the job in Kentucky, has declined to put a timetable on his decision since taking over the case in May."
Photo: YouTube

Despite mounting public pressure to file criminal charges nearly five months after Breonna Taylor’s death, prosecutors may face significant obstacles to bringing homicide-related charges against police officers who were shot at when sent to her house with a warrant, legal experts said.

Tensions have swelled in her home town and spread far afield as activists, professional athletes and social media stars push for action while investigators plead for more patience. The warrant also has been called into question and, with federal officials looking into potential civil rights abuses, the case could reach beyond the officers on the scene that night.

Taylor, a 26-year-old Louisville emergency medical tech studying to become a nurse, was shot multiple times March 13 after being roused from sleep by police at her door. The warrant was approved as part of a narcotics investigation into a suspect who lived across town, and no drugs were found at her home.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the first African-American elected to the job in Kentucky, has declined to put a timetable on his decision since taking over the case in May.

“It’s a tough issue. He has to figure out whether there’s probable cause to believe that there was an unreasonable use of force” by the officers, said Christopher Slobogin, director of the criminal justice program at Vanderbilt University. Slobogin said attorneys for the officers would certainly raise the warrant as a defense in a criminal case.

Cameron has seen increasing pressure from protesters in recent weeks. Dozens of activists who went to his Louisville home were arrested after they wouldn’t leave his yard, and last week, an armed militia marched into downtown and demanded that Cameron make his decision within a month. Taylor’s family and multiple cultural luminaries — from LeBron James to Oprah Winfrey — have called for three police officers who were at her home to be charged with her killing. Oprah put Taylor on the cover of her O magazine this month.

Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenny Walker, was with her at the apartment and fired a shot at Louisville police Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly after the door was broken down. Mattingly was struck in the leg and returned fire, along with other officers who were outside the apartment.

Taylor, unarmed, was shot several times in her hallway and died on the scene. The officers on the scene were not wearing body cameras and the department has said there is no video of the raid.

The warrant they were carrying has come under scrutiny, and the police lieutenant who sought it, Joshua Jaynes, has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation. Attorneys for Taylor’s family said it was based on erroneous information that a drug dealer was sending packages to Taylor’s apartment.

The FBI is investigating the case for civil rights violations, and agents at its state-of-the-art crime lab in Quantico, Virginia, are examining evidence.

Read the rest of this AP story here: https://apnews.com/57bacb8f4e647832ed83e1bc0bfaef44

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