Letter to the editor: Sheriff’s opinion on Breonna Taylor case was wrong, tone-deaf
The sheriff is flat wrong in his assertion that a lack of indictments is the last word on Breonna Taylor’s death, which he made in a recent broadside against the Summit School District board and district Superintendent Marion Smith Jr.
It is important to understand that it is usually easy to get an indictment from a grand jury. There is a common saying in law coined by the former Chief Judge of New York, Sol Wachtler: that a grand jury can “indict a ham sandwich” if a prosecutor wills it.
Given the amount of leverage and power a prosecutor has to steer a grand jury towards criminal charges, the lack of any indictments relating to Taylor’s death may be blamed on a lack of effort from the prosecutor.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron demurred responsibility, saying the lack of indictments was solely the responsibility of the grand jury.
However, one of those grand jurors has taken the very unusual step of stepping forward to claim that Cameron never gave the grand jury instructions needed to indict officers for Taylor’s death; essentially steering the grand jury away from those charges.
As we speak, Attorney General Cameron is still fighting to keep his instructions to the grand jury secret from the public.
This is all just to say that those who had a problem with Breonna Taylor’s killing still have every right to be angry about the case. Justice was not served for her senseless and illegal killing — and there is very good reason to believe that injustice has been exacerbated by the prosecutor.
Regardless of the legal minutiae, it is utterly tone-deaf and divisive for Summit’s top law enforcement official to attack the county’s only Black public official for speaking on the subject of racial injustice in policing.
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