LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Three grand jurors in the Breonna Taylor case have filed a petition to impeach Attorney General Daniel Cameron, accusing him of committing “misdemeanors in office” that include lying to them about the Taylor investigation.
The petition, filed with the state House of Representatives on Friday, accuses Cameron of lying repeatedly to citizens about what was presented to the grand jury reviewing the March 13 fatal shooting of Taylor by Louisville police.
The grand jurors, who are not identified in the petition, claim Cameron (R) and his employees excluded information from jurors, and misled them and citizens in hopes of generating an outcome that would lead to political gain and “satisfy” Cameron’s political ambitions.
“The Grand Jurors did not choose this battle,” said Kevin Glogower, the jurors’ attorney, in a statement. “This battle chose them. These are randomly selected citizens who were compelled to sit on a grand jury and were terribly misused by the most powerful law enforcement official in Kentucky.”
The impeachment petition is the third filed with the legislature during the 2021 General Assembly, a 30-day session in which lawmakers must tackle a state budget. Kentucky law says that the House of Representatives “shall refer the petition(s) to a committee.”
The GOP-controlled House has created an impeachment committee chaired by Louisville Rep. Jason Nemes (R), who told WDRB News last week that the state law governing impeachments ought to be re-examined in light of the petitions filed this year.
In early January, four citizens petitioned to impeach Gov. Andy Beshear (D) over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The effort came after the Kentucky Supreme Court unanimously ruled in November that Beshear’s executive orders during the pandemic were legal and “necessary.”
Also this month, a group of 10 Kentuckians sought to impeach Rep. Robert Goforth, a Republican from Laurel County who allegedly choked a woman with an ethernet cable and tried to “hog tie” her during a domestic dispute. The impeachment petition accuses Goforth of “misdemeanors in office” such as breaching public trust, felonious acts of violence upon women, abuse of office and state property.
Despite fears by some that the impeachment procedure has been politicized, Glogower said his clients’ signatures on the petition against Cameron weren’t driven by politics.
“The grand jurors have no interest in politics, and to that end, I think it’s also important to note they have no interest in making a name or any type of money for themselves out of this,” he said. “The grand jurors are doing what they think is right as grand jurors, and as citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
Even though Glogower said he and the jurors discussed the long odds of success the petition may have, he said the process will give them another chance to speak publicly about the Taylor deliberations.
Cameron’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday afternoon.
House Speaker David Osborne said in a statement that he will “reserve further comment until our attorneys review it and the committee on committees has an opportunity to act.”
That panel has jurisdiction over referring the petitions to the impeachment committee.
Besides criticism over the Taylor case, the impeachment petition filed Friday claims Cameron used her name in a “joking or political manner” at last summer’s Republican National Convention, “inflicting further severe and permanent emotional distress on her friends and family.”
It also accuses the attorney general of inciting and supporting “insurrection and violence” in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 6 through his role as an executive committee member of the Republican Attorneys General Association, or RAGA.
The association paid for “radical robocalls inciting citizens to attend the violent actions” at the Capitol, the petition says. “At 1 p.m., we will march to the Capitol building and call on Congress to stop the steal,” the call said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We are hoping patriots like you will join us to continue to fight to protect the integrity of our elections.”
Cameron said last week he was not aware of the robocall.
But the petition argues that as an executive committee member Cameron “supported the efforts to goad, encourage, and fund the attacks on the Capitol and failed and refused to notify the FBI or other authorities who could have prevented the murders and damage had they known of the concerns in advance. These are ongoing breaches of his duty as a Kentucky lawyer and his duties as the state’s Attorney General.”
The jurors in the Taylor case have gone public with complaints about Cameron and the investigation multiple times since the attorney general announced on Sept. 23 that only one officer would be indicted, and not for shooting Taylor.
The grand jurors have said they believe additional charges should have been considered against other Louisville Metro Police officers involved in the raid.
Cameron’s attorneys recommended wanton endangerment charges against former LMPD Detective Brett Hankison for shooting into an apartment near Taylor’s unit. The jury indicted Hankison on those charges.
Taylor, 26, was shot six times and killed when officers raided her apartment near Pleasure Ridge Park as part of a larger narcotics investigation.
The jurors claim Cameron’s attorneys did not go into details of Kentucky’s self-defense law or go through “every homicide offense,” as Cameron said he did in his press conference that day.
Cameron has said the officers were justified in returning fire after Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, first fired a single shot from inside the apartment as police entered.
And he said grand jurors agreed with that finding.
The jurors claim that is untrue and that Cameron “misled” the public in his “hour long national press conference.”
And the jurors said Cameron lied to the public about what evidence was put before the grand jury, even claiming that certain evidence “did not exist” when it did.
Cameron’s actions exposed the grand jurors to “public condemnation by laying responsibility for the proceeding’s results at their feet.”
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