Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the first African American to hold the role in his state, is slated to speak during the second night of t
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the first African American to hold the role in his state, is slated to speak during the second night of the Republican National Convention on Tuesday.
Cameron was thrust into the national spotlight amid an investigation in the March officer-involved shooting death of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor. He is to decide whether three Louisville police officers will face criminal charges for their actions while executing a no-knock search warrant.
The state attorney general has refused to set a timeline for the investigation but has repeatedly vowed to “make sure we get this right.” As public pressure intensifies five months since Taylor’s death, Cameron, who is considered a protégé of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has heard from celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Beyoncé and LeBron James, about the case.
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Oprah put Taylor on the cover of her O magazine in August and launched a billboard campaign around Louisville.
It’s been about three months since Taylor’s case landed in the state attorney general’s lap in mid-May after a local prosecutor recused himself. McConnell’s Democratic challenger in November, Amy McGrath, last week called on Cameron to release details or give the case to someone else.
“As I’ve said before, we are committed to a thorough and complete investigation, and we continue to work with our federal partners to leave no stone unturned,” Cameron said in a statement Friday. “That takes time, and it takes the use of the best investigators, prosecutors and labs we can access.”
On Sunday, Cameron dispelled rumors that a decision in the case would be announced this week.
“There are rumors circulating about an announcement on Tuesday regarding our investigation into the death of Ms. Taylor. The investigation remains ongoing, and our office does not plan to make an announcement this week,” the attorney general tweeted.
Cameron has said he’s waiting for information on ballistics tests being conducted by the FBI. He met with Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, earlier this month, as well as U.S. Attorney General William Barr and FBI Assistant Director Calvin Shivers on Monday.
Taylor’s case received renewed attention after the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Large-scale demonstrations soon reached Louisville, and nearly 90 protesters were arrested in July after showing up at a home recently purchased by Cameron. Felony charges against them were later dropped by Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell, The Courier-Journal reported.
As recently as last week, more than a dozen protesters – a group of White senior citizens – gathered outside the state attorney general’s suburban Louisville home. One was arrested on a misdemeanor trespassing charge and six others were issued citations.
An armed militia marched into downtown Louisville in late July demanding Cameron make his decision whether or not to charge the officers involved in Taylor’s death within a month.
Taylor, a 26-year-old Louisville emergency medical tech studying to become a nurse, was shot multiple times March 13 when police used a battering ram to bust down the door of her apartment.
Her boyfriend, Kenny Walker, was with Taylor at the time and told investigators he first heard knocking at the door but thought the apartment was being broken into when he fired a shot at Louisville Police Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly. Mattingly was struck in the leg and returned fire along with other officers who were outside the apartment.
Taylor was struck by their returning fire in her hallway and died at the scene.
Police had secured a controversial no-knock warrant that allows for sudden entry, but Mattingly insisted they knocked and announced themselves before entering. The warrant was approved as part of a narcotics investigation into a suspect who lived across town, but no drugs were found at Taylor’s home.
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The officers were not wearing body cameras at the time, and there is no video of the raid. Walker was initially charged in the shooting, but charges against him were dropped.
Legal experts have told the Associated Press that prosecutors may face significant obstacles in bringing homicide-related charges against the police officers given there’s a valid self-defense argument because they were fired upon while conducting a lawful police operation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.