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Breonna Taylor’s mother writes she has ‘no faith in the legal system’

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Tamika Palmer wrote a letter read Friday during a fiery news conference where her attorneys called on Kentucky’s Attorney General to release the transcript of the grand jury proceedings relating to Taylor’s death.

Breonna Taylor's mother says this week's announcement that no officer is being charged with her daughter's killing "reassured" her of why she has no faith in the legal system.

Tamika Palmer wrote a letter read Friday during a fiery news conference where her attorneys called on Kentucky's Attorney General to release the transcript of the grand jury proceedings relating to Taylor's death.

"I was reassured Wednesday of why I have no faith in the legal system, in the police, in the law — that are not made to protect us Black and Brown people," Palmer wrote in a letter read by her sister, Bianca Austin.

READ MORE: Dismay over Breonna Taylor decision spills into America's streets

Tamika Palmer, the mother of Breonna Taylor (left) listens to a news conference, Friday, September 25, 2020, in Louisville, KentuckyTamika Palmer, the mother of Breonna Taylor (centre) listens to a news conference, Friday, September 25, 2020, in Louisville, Kentucky

"When I speak on it, I'm considered an angry Black woman. But know this: I am an angry Black woman," Palmer's letter reads.

"I am not angry for the reasons that you would like me to be. But angry because our Black women keep dying at the hands of police officers."

Protests erupted in Louisville and across the country after Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced Wednesday that a grand jury did not charge three officers directly with Taylor's death, more than six months after police shot her in her home while executing a search warrant.

The grand jury indicted one officer on first-degree wanton endangerment charges, accusing him of blindly firing shots that penetrated the walls of a neighbour's apartment.

Breonna Taylor's aunt Bianca Austin, and sister of Breonna's mum Tamika Palmer, speaks during a news conference, Friday, September 25, 2020, in Louisville, KentuckyBen Crump and Tamika Palmer

The FBI has said it is separately investigating Taylor's death.

At Friday's news conference, an attorney for Taylor's family, Benjamin Crump, called on Cameron to release the transcript of the grand jury proceedings.

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"Breonna Taylor's entire family is heartbroken ... and confused and bewildered, just like all of us, as to what did Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron present to the grand jury," Crump said at Louisville's Jefferson Square Park.

"Did he present any evidence on Breonna Taylor's behalf, or did he make a unilateral decision to put his thumb on the scales of justice to help try to exonerate and justify (the killing) by these police officers?" Crump said.

"Release the transcript!" Crump said repeatedly, leading a crowd in a chant.

Breonna Taylor family attorney Ben Crump, center speaks during a news conference, Friday, September 25, 2020, in Louisville, Kentucky

Palmer also wrote that she "never had faith in Daniel Cameron to begin with."

"I knew he had already chosen to be on the wrong side of the law the moment he wanted the grand jury to make the decision," Palmer's letter reads, according to Austin. "What I had hoped is that he knew he had the power to do the right thing."

"He helped me realise that it will always be us against them -- that we are never safe when it comes to them."

Earlier, Crump said Friday he is counting on the federal investigation for justice.

"We hope the FBI investigation finally gets justice for Bre and her family," Crump tweeted.

https://twitter.com/AttorneyCrump/status/1309470708179693568

Grand jury proceedings are generally kept secret to encourage witnesses' and jurors' candour, prosecutors and legal experts say. Exceptions have included the release of grand jury proceedings in the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, and former Kentucky Assistant Attorney General John W. Stewart also have called for the grand jury transcripts to be released.

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Louisville's mayor is extending the city's curfew

After another night of protests Thursday, Louisville's mayor said he is extending the city's curfew through the weekend to balance people's "rights to peacefully protest with the duty to protect public safety."

On Thursday night, after a nearly two-hour peaceful standoff between the Louisville Metro Police Department officers and protesters on church property, police moved out to allow protesters to go home.

At least 24 people were arrested, Louisville police said. Some people from the protest broke windows at a restaurant, damaged some public transit buses, and tossed a flare into a library, breaking windows there, police said.

Protests have been taking place nationwide in response to the Kentucky grand jury's determination of no charges were brought against the officers related to the death of Breonna Taylor. St Louis, Missouri, United States

During a protest Wednesday night, two Louisville police officers were shot and suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said. Both are expected to recover, according to LMPD interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder.

A 26-year-old suspect has been arrested. He faces two counts of first-degree assault of an officer and 14 counts of wanton endangerment of a police officer.

About 130 people were arrested in connection with Wednesday night's protests, police said.

What led to Taylor's death

The incident that ended Taylor's life began with a narcotics investigation on March 13.

Then-Det. Brett Hankison, Sgt. John Mattingly and Det. Myles Cosgrove were executing a search warrant on Taylor's home, though her ex-boyfriend was the focus of the probe. Her ex-boyfriend was later arrested on drug charges. Taylor's family and their attorney have said she was not involved in her ex-boyfriend's alleged drug deals.

Taylor was sleeping next to her current boyfriend, Kenneth Walker III, in the early hours of March 13, when they heard a noise, he told investigators. They both got up and walked to the door.

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"She's yelling at the top of her lungs — and I am too at this point — 'Who is it?' " Walker recalled to investigators. "No answer. No response. No anything."

Police forced entry into the home, and Walker said he couldn't see but he fired one shot. After entering, Mattingly was shot in the leg, Cameron, the attorney general, said Wednesday.

Hankison was accused by his own department of blindly firing 10 bullets into Taylor's apartment from an outdoor patio. Hankison was fired in June, the Louisville police chief said, and is appealing his termination.

Breonna Taylor's family at a news conference, Friday, September 25, 2020, in Louisville, Kentucky

Cameron argued the officers were "justified in their use of force" because Taylor's boyfriend fired first.

Steve Romines, Walker's attorney, also disputed Cameron's assertion, telling CNN on Thursday morning, "That's what a jury is for."

Hankison, charged with first-degree wanton endangerment charges, will plead not guilty, his attorney, Stew Matthews, told CNN.

Hankison was booked in the Shelby County Jail, posted a US $15,000 ($21,000) bond and was released, Matthews said.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/world/breonna-taylor-mum-grand-jury-transcripts/05069453-46ba-41e4-94f8-4424c59d5d91

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