Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron met with Breonna Taylor’s family for the first time on Wednesday, more than 150 days after Louisville Police killed her in her home.
Cameron’s office said in a statement he was “grateful” to hold the meeting, which included Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, sister, aunt, family attorneys and a local activist.
“The meeting provided an opportunity for Attorney General Cameron to personally express his condolences to the family,” the office said. “The investigation remains ongoing, and our office of Special Prosecutions continues to review all the facts in the case to determine the truth.”
Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was shot and killed by Louisville Police in her apartment during a flawed forced-entry raid in the early morning hours of March 13. None of the officers involved has been charged with a crime.
Lonita Baker, an attorney for the family, said in a press conference Thursday that Cameron told them he hadn’t met with the family earlier because he didn’t want it to interfere with the investigation. Cameron told them that investigators were waiting on a ballistics report from the FBI as well as planned interviews and re-interviews with witnesses, according to Baker.
“He did not give a timeline, however it is our position that we’re not going to wait forever,” she said. “We do want this resolved quickly and accurately so that Ms. Palmer and the family can get some answers as it relates to the murder of Breonna Taylor.”
Ben Crump, a civil rights attorney who represents Taylor’s family as well as George Floyd’s family, said he was hopeful charges would be filed against the officers before 200 days from her killing.
“We do expect charges to be filed sooner rather than later for those responsible for the death and the execution of Breonna Taylor,” he said.
Flawed police raid led to Taylor’s death
A CNN review of the March 13 shooting found that police assumed Taylor was home alone when she was in fact accompanied by a boyfriend who was legally armed. The decision to press forward with a high-risk, forced-entry raid under questionable circumstances contributed to the deadly outcome.
Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he shot at what he believed to be a home invader who had broken the door down. Three officers then returned fire, killing Taylor, the CNN review found.
The chaotic scene that night was exacerbated by an officer accused by his own department of “blindly” firing 10 rounds into Taylor’s apartment from an outdoor patio. The officer, Brett Hankison, has since been fired and is appealing his termination.
The officers were not wearing body cameras, police said.
The killing gained renewed attention after the Minneapolis Police killing of George Floyd, and widespread Black Lives Matter protests over the past few months have called on people to “say her name.”
In May, the Kentucky Attorney General was named a special prosecutor in the case and the FBI opened an investigation into the shooting.
Family attorneys meet with Louisville Mayor
On Thursday, Crump said the family’s attorneys also held a “positive, productive” meeting with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and the city attorney on Wednesday.
Crump and Baker “held no punches back,” he said, and challenged Fischer to terminate the officers and to work with protesters rather than restrict their rights.
“It was intense, long meetings, but we thought it was productive,” Crump said.
Taylor’s mother thanked those who have supported her and her family over the past five months.
“At this point, it’s bigger than Breonna. It’s bigger than just Black lives. It’s about bridging the gaps between us and the police. It’s about bringing back the communities. It’s about just being able to stand up for each other,” she said.
“There definitely shouldn’t be another Breonna Taylor. Anywhere.”
Activists across the country have continued a push to keep attention on Taylor and her case.
A portrait of Taylor was featured on the cover of the September issue of Oprah Winfrey’s “O, The Oprah Magazine,” the first time in the magazine’s history that anyone but Winfrey has been on the cover.
Last week, the magazine put up billboards around Louisville calling for the officers involved in her killing to be arrested and charged. The magazine put up 26 billboards — one for each year of her life.
“We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice,” Winfrey said in an article in her magazine announcing the billboards. “And that is why Breonna Taylor is on the cover of O magazine. I cry for justice in her name. The September issue honors her and every other Black woman whose life has been taken too soon.”