Body camera video in Breonna Taylor case leaked on social media and Vice
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Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump urges the Kentucky attorney general to release the transcript of the grand jury investigation on behalf of Breonna Taylor’s family.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Just days after a grand jury made no charges against the Louisville officers who shot Breonna Taylor, evidence of the case leaks on social media and digital news sites, raising questions about the investigation into his death.
Video footage examined by The Courier Journal appearing to be from body cameras worn by Louisville subway police officers in Taylor’s apartment on March 13 shows potential violations of policies designed to maintain the integrity of the investigation.
In an excerpt posted on Saturday by the digital site VICE NewsFormer Detective Brett Hankison can be seen walking into Taylor’s apartment while investigators are inside working on the scene after his death.
Hankison was one of three officers who shot Taylor’s apartment that night. He was fired and charged with free endangerment after some of his bullets hit an occupied apartment next to Taylor’s.
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Hankison, sergeant. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove fired more than 30 shots after Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker fired when officers kicked in the door as they attempted to serve a ‘no knocking’ search warrant . Walker said he didn’t realize the police were at the door.
In body camera footage posted to VICE, Hankison can be seen talking about a shell casing on the ground, saying, “Is it theirs?
“It’s ours, looks like,” replies an unidentified officer before telling Hankison to “go back until they get the PIU (Public Integrity Unit) in here.”
Hankison doesn’t come out right away, asking instead, “Are there any weapons visible?” as he shines a flashlight around the apartment. He then asks if there is a “long gun”.
The former detective’s presence at the crime scene would violate Louisville Police policies to remove officers involved in a shooting from active investigation.
Video and other evidence from the Taylor investigation have been closely watched.
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For months, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s administration and the police department refused to release the documents in the investigation file, prompting Le Courier Journal sued for access.
Police Department spokesman Lamont Washington declined to comment on Sunday, saying “the investigation file has not been released by the department at this time.” He added that the ministry was still carrying out an “internal review” of the case, so it would be inappropriate to comment.
Representatives for Fischer did not immediately respond to an email request for comment.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has also refused to disclose evidence from his investigation. He described his office’s findings on Wednesday after the grand jury announced his indictments but released no supporting evidence.
But over the weekend, other videos have surfaced on social networks, including an unidentified officer walking to the door of Taylor’s apartment and asking, “Has anyone died here?”
Additionally, a Facebook account named “Julia Roberts” posted Snapchat videos containing snippets of apparent body camera footage posted by Kendrick Wilson.
Wilson told reporters on Sunday he obtained the footage from Sam Aguiar, an attorney for Breonna Taylor’s family, who helped negotiate the family’s $ 12 million settlement with the city. He asked Aguiar to release more of the documents he obtained under seal, despite the regulation’s requirement that lawyers destroy that evidence.
Wilson has a pending harassment lawsuit in federal court against Hankison. Aguiar is his attorney in this case, taking over as Wilson’s attorney in August at no cost, the attorney said.
In a video clip posted by Wilson, an officer he claims to be not Hankison says his bullets went through Taylor’s window. In another, an officer can be heard declaring that there was a shot dead “black woman” inside, along with the gunman – indicating that police may have known Taylor had been seriously injured before Walker left. apartment and not be stopped.
Wilson told viewers there was “a lot more where it came from.” But in a rambling interview on Sunday, he declined to produce further evidence. Instead, he accused the police of collusion.
“I’m not going to spend time trying to prove anything,” Wilson said when asked for proof of his far-reaching claims. “I will spend time exposing corruption.”
At the end of his appearance, Wilson accused reporters of corruption in a swearing rant and walked away.
Aguiar confirmed that he hired Wilson as an investigator in June to work on the Taylor case. Wilson was retained on a contract basis and Aguiar paid him approximately $ 18,500 for his work.
Aguiar also said Wilson appears to have posted the only footage he has access to. Asked by a reporter in Sunday’s interview, Wilson said he knew what a PIU, or Public Integrity Unit, case is – the investigation findings have been passed to Cameron for possible charges.
Pictures show policy violation after shooting
The VICE report says that in body camera footage reviewed by the media outlet, none of the officers present for the March 13 raid are separated or associated with an escort, as Louisville Police policy requires.
This “escort officer” is responsible for staying with the officer throughout the initial investigation, explaining the investigation process, transporting him to the PIU office and “verifying that the officer is isolated from all those not essential for the remainder of the initial investigation, ”according to police standard operating procedures reviewed by The Courier Journal.
VICE also reports that Detective Michael Campbell, who was present at the raid, is helping interview the neighbors. And Cosgrove, the media reports, stays put with a gun.
The conduct of these officers is noted in an investigation report obtained by VICE. And a SWAT commander, Lt. Dale Massey, later told investigators Hankison was “way too involved” and asked for him to be separated, according to VICE.
Wilson got into trouble with Hankison
Wilson, 35, had several encounters with Hankison, 44, dating from 2016, who Wilson described in his federal lawsuit filed in October 2019. The trial remains pending.
In it, he calls Hankison a “dirty cop” with a “vendetta” and says he has ruled that Wilson “must be engaging in illegal activity and must secure his conviction.”
In his trial, Wilson describes three times that Hankison arrested him in bars where officers worked as security after hours. The arrests are confirmed by court records and the three cases were dismissed.
He also says Wilson and Hankison had interactions outside of the arrests, “including during a relationship with the same woman.”
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He also alleges that officers executed a search warrant at his home and hair salon in October 2019, kicking the door of his home and pointing guns at his girlfriend before handcuffing her during the search.
Officers seized a legally detained firearm as well as Wilson’s license and cell phone, according to the prosecution, which accused Hankison, a narcotics detective, of having played “a role in the issuance of these warrants, which were executed by narcotics officers “.
Roberts also started a GoFundMe for Wilson, describing it as “Kendrick’s fight against CORRUPTION”.
“Please support Kendrick in his fight against CORRUPTION!” It reads. “We always want justice for Kendrick and Breonna Taylor. They deserve JUSTICE!
The fundraising goal is $ 1 million. Sunday evening, he had raised $ 25 from an anonymous donor.