The Kentucky Prosecutors Advisory Council declined to appoint a special prosecutor in the case of Breonna Taylor’s March death in a botched police raid, according to a report by CNN affiliate WDRB.
Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, had requested a special prosecutor to present the case before a grand jury, saying the state attorney general’s handling of the case “undermines the trust and integrity of the entire process.”
The council voted unanimously to deny the request during a virtual meeting Friday, saying they did not have the legal authority to do so, according to the report by WDRB.
WDRB reported that the council member Chris Cohron said state law governing the council’s duties doesn’t apply in the Taylor case, where Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron served as prosecutor.
Cameron’s office was named special prosecutor in the case after Jefferson Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine recused himself in May. WDRB reported that Cameron, a member of the council, did not attend the meeting and his representative left before the panel considered Palmer’s request.
A grand jury did not indict any of the Louisville Metro Police officers involved in the raid on charges connected with Taylor’s death. Former detective Brett Hankison was indicted, however, on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree for allegedly firing blindly into an apartment next to Taylor’s. He has pleaded not guilty.
Ben Crump, an attorney for Taylor’s family, said the council’s decision was “yet another gross miscarriage of justice in this case, and yet another example of a system which is biased towards law enforcement members and which shuns Black women.”
“The level of cowardice that we have witnessed by the Louisville Police Department, the attorney general’s office, and now the council, is staggering,” Crump said.
Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was shot and killed by Louisville police officers in her apartment during a flawed forced-entry raid in the early morning hours of March 13.
Palmer made the request for a special prosecutor after some grand jurors said they weren’t given the opportunity to consider homicide charges.
“Questions were asked about additional charges and the grand jury was told there would be none because the prosecutors didn’t feel they could make them stick,” one of the jurors said in a statement.
Another panel member said the jury was only allowed to consider three wanton endangerment charges against Hankison.
Palmer wrote in her request that her daughter deserves “a competent and capable prosecution team which is committed to properly investigating the case, evaluating the law from an unbiased lens, presenting the evidence and allowing the grand jurors to perform the functions guaranteed to them under the law.”
The nine-member council consists of the state attorney general, three commonwealth’s attorneys, three county attorneys and two citizen members. All members except the attorney general are appointed by the governor.
CNN’s Elizabeth Joseph, Jamiel Lynch and Sonia Moghe contributed to this report.