The attorney for an anonymous grand juror in the Breonna Taylor case filed a reply Sunday to the Kentucky attorney general’s request for a stay of any court order allowing the juror to speak out publicly until after a potential state appeal.
The anonymous juror wants to publicly discuss their service on the Taylor case. Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Annie O’Connell has yet to rule on the request after hearing arguments last week.
On Friday, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron indicated he would appeal if O’Connell allows the juror to speak out. He filed a motion by the state requesting a stay of any order allowing the grand juror to speak publicly while the state appeals the case or seeks additional relief.
The filing by the grand juror’s attorney, obtained by CNN on Sunday evening, says Cameron has made several public statements and announcements about the grand jury process, but is preventing grand jurors from doing the same.
“Anonymous Grand Juror #1 submits the Attorney General cannot choose to part from the rules in disclosing information and then use his position to prevent others from responding to his misleading remarks,” the filing says in part.
The way Cameron has handled the case filed by Anonymous Juror #1 and made public disclosures about the grand jury procedure “makes it overwhelmingly clear it is his position he should be allowed to discuss portions of the grand jury proceedings that were not recorded but no one else should have the same ability, no matter how inconsistent his public statements are with the actual recordings,” Kevin Glogower, the grand juror’s attorney says in the court filing.
The 26-year-old Taylor was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers who broke down her apartment door during a botched drug raid on March 13.
The grand jury indicted former Detective Brett Hankison on three counts of felony wanton endangerment but none of the officers involved in the raid were directly charged with Taylor’s death.
The anonymous juror has gone to court seeking the release of information and documents reviewed by the grand jury as well as a “binding declaration” outlining the rights of grand jurors’ public disclosures about the case. Their attorney says they are concerned what was presented to jurors is not being publicly disclosed.
Cameron’s request for a stay, if granted, would stop the juror from speaking out while the state appeals the case or seeks additional relief, according to the filing.
Cameron’s filing on Friday argues in part that a failure to pause proceedings before the state could appeal “would immediately result in irreparable harm.”
“Grand jury secrecy has existed for centuries. Research has not revealed any Kentucky case permitting a grand juror to violate his or her oath, and the most analogous case from a sister state denied a similar request. There is no doubt that the question presented is substantial and is surely deserving of appellate review,” the document continues in part.
Ruling in court case pending
Glogower argued in a Kentucky court on October 8 that the juror specifically “wants to talk about their service on this grand jury” and is “not trying to be part of a global discussion in race relations.”
Glogower argued that Cameron opened the door to release grand jury material when he discussed grand jury proceedings during a press conference in September. Glogower said the comments “completely undid secrecy” surrounding the proceedings.
He called on O’Connell to release further grand jury material and the juror from secrecy.
In response, attorney Victor Maddox argued on behalf of the Commonwealth of Kentucky that the secrecy surrounding grand juries is “fundamental” to the criminal justice system.
Maddox argued that a decision to release further material, as well as to release this juror from secrecy, would be “breaking with centuries of precedent” on both the state and national level. He also said the release of such information could challenge Hankison’s right to a fair trial.
The grand jury indicted Hankison on three counts of felony wanton endangerment and he has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Cameron led the investigation into the police killing and presented evidence in the case to a Jefferson County grand jury over two-and-a-half days last month.
The anonymous grand juror has suggested that Cameron may have misrepresented to the public the case presented to the panel, Glogower said at a September 29 news conference. He said his client’s position was: “What was presented (to jurors) is not being publicly disclosed.”
After a court ordered Cameron to do so, the Attorney General released roughly 15 hours of audio recorded while jurors reviewed evidence like 911 calls and body camera videos and asked questions.
However, the recordings do not include juror deliberations or prosecutors’ recommendations and statements, Cameron said.
Glogower previously told CNN that the released recordings are missing some key information.
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