New York Times Reporter Asks: Is One Witness Enough to Let Officers Off the Hook for Breonna Taylor’s Death?

Daniel Cameron (Jon Cherry / Getty)
Jon Cherry / Getty

Rukmini Callimachi of the New York Times asked Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron during a press conference on Wednesday why a grand jury had refused to indict three officers for the death of Breonna Taylor based on the word of one witness who heard them identify themselves.

Taylor was killed in the crossfire in March when police, serving a warrant late at night, were fired upon by her boyfriend, who thought they were intruders. They returned fire. Both her boyfriend and the police told investigators that the officers had knocked on the door, though the boyfriend disputed the claim that they had identified themselves as police.

Cameron announced Wednesday that one officer had been indicted for wanton endangerment — for firing into nearby apartments, though he hit no one — and that the other two officer would not face charges. He noted that an independent witness had corroborated claims that the police had announced themselves.

Later, Callimachi asked:

Journalists in this room, myself included, have taken apart that apartment complex looking for witnesses, to the point that you made about the knocking and announcing. Of a dozen witnesses that I spoke to, only one, a man who was directly upstairs, heard them announce. Do you think that’s enough — in the middle of the night, when somebody is asleep, for just one person, in a tight-knit apartment block, to have heard that? Is that a sufficient way of announcing?

Cameron said that the answer had been up to the grand jury, who had seen and heard all of the evidence and witness testimony.

Callimachi also asked about a discrepancy between Taylor’s death certificate, which said she was hit by five bullets, and Cameron’s account, which said she had been hit six times. Cameron said that the sixth bullet — or an “object” — had lodged into one of her feet.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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