Release of Breonna Taylor grand jury recordings is uncommon, analyst says

Friday, October 2, 2020
Breonna Taylor grand jury audio release could set precedent
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One legal expert said it's uncommon for recordings like this to go public, but it could impact similarly high-profile cases.

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (KTRK) -- On Friday, a Kentucky judge ordered the audio recordings from the three-day grand jury hearings in the Breonna Taylor case be released.

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This comes after a judge, during former police officer Brett Hankinson's hearing, ordered the recordings to be filed as part of the discovery. The grand jury indicted Hankinson on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for firing shots into an apartment, behind Taylor's, the night she was shot and killed by police.

An anonymous member of the grand jury also filed a motion asking for the transcripts of the hearings to be released. The member also asked the judge to allow them to speak publicly about the evidence that was presented and the decision that was made.

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"The public will get to see a great deal of what was presented as evidence, which may help shed light to why a grand jury chose not to indict the other two officers and why it chose to indict the one officer of this one charge and not of murder," legal analyst Steve Shellist said.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron filed a motion to delay the release of the recordings to have time to redact names and personal information.

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Shellist said while it's uncommon for recordings like this to be released, it could pave the way for it to happen again. Although, he added, it could hinder people from wanting to serve on a grand jury.

"It may cause grand jurors in the future to say 'I don't want to serve on a grand jury, if it's made public, because I don't want to be a target for my decisions.'"

Taylor's family, along with her boyfriend, have been calling for more transparency and demanded the grand jury to release the transcripts.

READ MORE: A timeline of events related to the death of Breonna Taylor

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