Ju'Niyah Palmer Kicked Out of Court over Breonna Taylor Shirt
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Breonna Taylor’s Sister Kicked Out of Court for Wearing T-Shirt Demanding Arrests of Police Officers for Fatal Shooting

 

 

The sister of slain Kentucky woman Breonna Taylor, 26, was kicked out of court on Wednesday for wearing a shirt demanding the arrests of the officers who opened fire in a tragic March, 13, 2020 encounter.

Fired detective Brett Hankison, 45, is not on trial for Taylor’s death. He is instead facing charges of wanton endangerment because rounds he allegedly “blindly” fired entered a neighboring apartment, putting a couple and their child at risk.

Taylor’s sister Ju’Niyah Palmer told the Law&Crime Network’s Brian Buckmire that she was told the shirt–which stated “Arrest the Cops Who Killed Breonna Taylor”–was inappropriate to wear in front of jurors because it could present bias. The judge told her to change her shirt. It is a standard judicial rule for parties in court to not wear attire which advocates an outcome in a matter.

Palmer voiced frustration with the state’s case because prosecutors did not bring charges over her sister’s death.

“I left because I just feel like they’re running around in circles about what really happened instead of actually really presenting why they’re there,” she said.

Hankison, police Sgt. Jon Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove opened fire that night while officers were serving a no-knock search warrant on Taylor’s apartment. A police sergeant testified Wednesday that the original no-knock warrant was actually briefed as a knock-and-announce.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) announced that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified because Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker opened fire on police first, striking Mattingly in the leg. On top of that, at least three grand jurors who indicted Hankison have said that prosecutors only presented the wanton endangerment charges, not any homicide case over Taylor’s death.

But the attempted murder charge against Walker got dropped after he said he did not know police were at the door. He said cops barged in and did not announce themselves.

The FBI determined that Cosgrove fired the fatal shot, killing Breonna, Cameron said.

“They never gave us the opportunity to deliberate on anything but the charges for Hankison,” Juror 2 told CBS This Morning‘s Gayle King in an interview. “That was it. As a matter of fact, when they announced that those were the only charges, it was an uproar in that room. There were several more charges that could’ve gone forward on all of those officers. Or at least the three shooters.”

Juror 2 called Cameron a liar for saying that the grand jury agreed that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in shooting back.

Adam Konta, a criminal defense attorney speaking on Wednesday’s episode of Law&Crime Daily, said it was “impossible” for the state to prove criminal wrongdoing in Taylor’s death.

“This is always going to be a civil matter for Breonna Taylor’s family,” he said. “Whether we think something wrong happened in that no-knock warrant that night, whether we know something wrong happened, it doesn’t really matter for her family unfortunately because I don’t think they have enough to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.”

In opening statements on Wednesday, both sides acknowledged Taylor’s death while emphasizing that the case was about about the wanton endangerment allegations.

Buckmire also asked Palmer how she thought the prosecution was doing.

“Terrible,” she said. “I don’t feel like they’re doing exactly what they could be doing.”

[Image via the Law&Crime Network’s Brian Buckmire]

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