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tv   NBC Bay Area News at 11AM  NBC  September 23, 2020 11:00am-11:30am PDT

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i certainly understand the public's desire for answers to many questions of the investigation. simply put, we had to try with jefferson county residents beginning on monday. fletcher b. graham, the grand jury has competing but balanced functions. on the one hand, its purpose is to investigate.
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on the other, the grand jury serves to protect the public against unfounded criminal prosecutions it operates independent of the court and the prosecutor. the victim and the accused. after hearing the evidence from our team, voted to -- outside influence.
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for wantonly placing three individuals in apartment three in danger of serious physical death. the charge one endangerment in the first degree is a class d felony. first degree with under circumstances manifesting the difference to the value of human life, engages in conduct which creates a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to another person. important to understand that all
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the charges specific meetings and ramifications. encompasses the taking of a life by another. while there are six possible homicide charges under kentucky law, these are not applicable to the facts before us. and the gr that mattingly and cosgrove were justified in the return of deadly fire after having been fired upon by kenneth walker. let me state that again. according to kentucky law, the use of force by mattingly and cosgrove was justified to protect themselves. this justification bars us from pursuing breonna taylor's death. the truth is now before us, the facts have been examined and a grand jury comprised of our peers and fellow citizens has
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made a decision. justice is not often easy. it does not fit the mold of public opinion an does not conform to shifting standards. it answers only to the facts and to the law. with this in mind we must now ask ourselves, where do we go from here? we continue to prosecute the charges brought in this case as it now proceeds through the justice system and moves to trial. that is our responsibility. this will be done while the fbi continues its investigation into violations, potential violations of federal law. i know that not everyone will be satisfied with the charges we've reported today. my team set out to investigate the circumstances surrounding miss taylor's death. we did it with a singular goal in mind, pursuing the truth. kentuckians deserve no less, the city of louisville deserves no
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less. every person has an idea of what they think justice is. my role as special prosecutor in this case is to set aside everything in pursuit of the truth. my job is to present the facts to the grand jury and the grand jury then applies those facts to the law. if we simply act on emotion or outrage, there is no justice. mob justice is not justice. justice sought by violence is not justice. it just becomes revenge. in our system criminal justice isn't the quest for revenge, it's the quest for truth, evidence, and facts and the use of that truth as we fairly apply our laws. our reaction to the truth today says what kind of society we want to be.
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do we really want the truth or do we want a truth that fits our narrative? do we want the facts or content to accept our own version of events? we as a community must make this decision. i understand that miss breonna taylor's death has become a part of a national story and conversation. we must also remember the facts and the collection of evidence in this case are different than cases elsewhere in the country. each is unique and cannot be compared. there will be celebrities, influencers and activists who having never lived in kentucky will try to tell us how to feel, suggesting they understand the facts of this case and that they know our communityetter than we.
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but they don't. let's not give in to their attempts to influence our thinking or capture our emotions. at the end of the day, it is up to us. we live here together. we work here and raise our families here together. i urge those protesting on the streets to remember this, peaceful protests are your right as an american citizen. instigating violence and destruction are not. i have spoken with both mayor fisher and governor bashirrs in the days leading up to this announcement and urge them to do what is necessary to maintain law and order and to protect our cities and our people. we have a long road ahead,ehis the criminalte and as we address the pain in the louisville community. i am committed to being part of the healing process. when tragedy occurs we must
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mourn. we must also do everything we can to prevent it from happening again. today consistent with that view, i am announcing that i will create a task force to review the process for securing, reviewing and executing search warrants in kentucky. the task force will consist of a variety of stakeholders including citizens, members from the law enforcement community, representatives from the judiciary, defense attorneys and elected leaders. i will be issuing an executive order in the coming days to create this task force. i believe a top to bottom review of the search warrant process is necessary to determine if changes are required and establish best practices. you have my word that i will also vigorously prosecute the criminal charges announced today. i can assure you my team of
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prosecutors will continue to give this case their attention and time. we'll also continue to support the good men and women of our law enforcement community who put their lives on the line every day to protect and to serve. i will fight for those across our state who feel like their voice isn't heard and feel marginalized, judged, and powerless to bring about change. in a world that is forcing many of us to pick a side, i choose the side of justice. i choose the side of truth. i choose a path that moves the commonwealth forward and toward healing. you have that choice as well. let's make it together. thank you and god bless. i will now take some questions.
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in regards to the [ inaudible ]. >> i won't get into the specific of the makeup of the grand jury. >> you mentioned that breonna taylor was hit by six bullets and you identified the one that killed her. who shot the other five bullets and [ inaudible ] miss taylor. >> based on the evidence, there is nothing conclusive to say that detective hankison's any of his bullets hit miss taylor. >> i'm curious, to the family of those, based on what you're saying today, the grand jury basically found none of the officers involved are directly responsible for breonna taylor's death? >> as i said from the beginning and i appreciate that question, this is a tragedy. sometimes the criminal law is not adequate to respond to a
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tragedy. i fully acknowledge that and i know many that are watching today and those that are listening recognize that as well. but the response is that the grand jury was given all of the evidence presented all of the information and ultimately made the determination that detective hankison was the one to be indicted. >> the special prosecutor make a recommendation to the grand jury? >> grand jury proceedings are secret and so i'm not going to get into the specifics of details about that proceeding. i will say we presented all of the information and they ultimately made the determination whether to charge in this instance they decided to indict detective hankison. >> one question -- >> fired in self-defense, do you think they -- >> say that again. >> when it comes to officers firing back in self-defense do you think the current state law
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needs to be changed? >> well, what my role as a special prosecutor in this case was to provide the information and facts to the grand jury. detective cosgrove and sergeant mattingly were justified in returning fire because they were fired upon. i'll leave it to others to make determinations. we have vigorous self-defense laws in this state and that is something that existed prior to this case. i'll let others make judgments about that. yes, sir. >> one big question, surrounding this case is whether or not the officers knocked and announced their presence. talk about the evidence that you came to that they did announce their presence? >> yes. the statements that were made by officers there the night or the morning of march 13 show that they did knock and announce. the important point here is that information was corroborated by
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another witness who was in close law enforcement? >> the witness was a civilian. proximity to apartment 4 who >> if a warrant takes place corroborated that civilian or while there is a death involved would that not be a manslaughter charge? if there was a tedeath that occurred -- >> chris, to your question, it's important to step back and recognize that what we did was uncover all the information and facts related to the morning of march 13th. and then provided that information to the grand jury. the grand jury had every piece of detailde to make their assessment a ultimately their conclusion was that the decision needed to be made to indict mr. hankison. >> mr. cameron, with n"the new york times." number one you said she was shot six times. yet her death certificate says five. can you please explain the discrepancy? the second thing, journalists in
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this room, myself included, have taken apart that apartment complex looking for witnesses to the point you made about the knocking and announcing. of a dozen witnesses i spoke to, only one, a man 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? >> let me try to answer your second question first. your question was, is it enough for me? i think the more pertinent question is what was the evidence provided to the grand jury? what was sufficient for their purposes? they got to hear and listen to all the testimony and made the determination that detective hankison was the one that needed to be indicted knowing all of the relative points that you made. as to your first question, can you repeat it one more time? >> her death certificate says
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five and yet you are saying six. today is the first time i'm hearing six. >> so there is a bullet that was lodged -- bullet might be too generous a term. an object that was lodged into the -- into one of her feet and that is what is being referred to as the sixth i guess projectile. >> are you going to release the full grand jury report? >> can you say that one more time? >> are you going to release the full grand jury report? >> well, i am, right now, because there is a pending practice and because there is an ongoingrevisit that question, b this point i don't think it's appropriate for us to release any information. >> you said [ inaudible ] to apartment 4 and to apartment 3.
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consistent evidence of those shots hit taylor, can you expand on that a little? >> well that is what the evidence shows, is that there was nothing conclusive to demonstrate any of his bullets hit -- >> was the door open for [ inaudible ]. >> well, again, all the evidence was given to the grand jury and ic y made the decision that against mr. hankison. >> okay. thank you. >> yes. >> [ inaudible ] talk about why it took so long and [ inaudible ]. >> your last question about providing information, in any investigation, criminal investigation, the best practice
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and this is on state or federal level, is to not make too many specific comments about the investigation because you do not want to compromise that investigation. there are ethical considerations as investigators and prosecutors that were responsible to abide by as well. some of those obligations continue now because we have a responsibility to pursue the prosecution against detective that we needed to take this case in the attorney general's office as you know, the commonwealth's attorney was conflicted out of this case because of another matter that he was pursuing. i could have farmed the case out to another commonwealth's attorney in one of our 120 counties. instead, i did not do that because the resources that we have to bring to bear and the
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relationships that we have with our federal partners in my judgment were needed to uncover the truth in this case and part of the reason the investigation took so long is because we needed to make sure that we were doing a thorough job of looking at all the facts and gathering all the materials, interviewing witnesses, making sure that all of our people felt confident in their presentation to the grand jury. i will remind you as late as friday, we were still interviewing people in this case and so the length of it is because this case deserves a thorough and fair analysis. that was needed and deserved by breonna taylor and by her family for the officers involved, for the community of louisville and for the commonwealth. we needed to have a thorough
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investigation. we also got the fbi involved in terms of the ballistics report. we needed additional -- their ability to scrutinize and make an independent assessment as well. so the length of the investigation was a reflection, i hope people understand, of how important it was that we got this right. we didn't want to rush it and we did not. i am grateful to the team that is behind me for the work that they did. look, over 200 years of combined experience, these are prosecutors and investigators who don't care about political distinctions, don't care about influence in any particular regard. what they care about is the truth. and we presented that to the grand jury. >> sir -- sorry. >> i'm sorry. >> [ inaudible ]. >> i won't get into what our private conversation was. yes, ma'am. >> yeah. what do you say to people who say this is just another example
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of the black community not getting full justice? and what specifically do you plan to do to calm a community that's long been hurting and do you understand that anger people might feel? >> i certainly understand the pain. that has been brought about by the loss of miss taylor. i understand that as an attorney general who is responsible for all 120 counties in terms of being the chief legal officer, the chief law enforcement officer. i understand that as a black man how painful this is and -- which is why it was so incredibly important to make sure we did everything we possibly could to uncover every fact. i know -- look, this team,
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myself, the members the representatives of the attorney general's office have taken criticism and scrutiny, but that scrutiny in many ways was misplaced because there was not a day that people in this office didn't go to sleep thinking about this case and it wasn't a day or the first thing on our minds is getting to the truth in this case. obviously, again, the criminal law is not m respond to true here.w and grief and t but my heart breaks for the loss of miss taylor and i've said that repeatedly. my mother, if something was to happen to me, would find it very hard and i've seen that pain on miss palmer's face, i've seen that pain in the community.
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and what our responsibility in the a.g.'s office was to make sure that we uncovered every fact that we utilized every resource we could bring to bear bare. on the question of what i'm going to do, i've talked to partners in the community about helping to be a constructive member of any conversations moving forward. i recognize in my remarks, i mentioned the fact that we'll be establishing a task force in the coming days ahead to look at best practices for warrants, so there is a lot that i can do on this platform to help. >> sir, this is maria with "the washington post." a couple quick questions -- >> i hear your voice. >> sorry. over here in the back. >> that's okay. >> wanted to double check, did the grand jury consider the charges of manslaughter, reckless homicide and if not could you explain why and do you
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anticipate any other charges in this case? >> i apologize. could you say that a little louder. >> sure. did the grand jury ever consider manslaughter, reckless homicide or those kinds of charges and if not please explain why and do you anticipate any other charges or is this it? >> i won't get into the specifics again of the proceedings themselves are secret but i will say is that our team walked them through every homicide offense and also presented all of the information that was available to the grand jury and then the grand jury was ultimately the one that made the decision about indicting detective hankison for wannen to endangerment. i think in t happened in the wee hours of march 13th, of that
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particular or specific date, and what happened that night in the apartment, i think it's -- it is unlikely there will be any additional prosecutions that come from that event itself. >> attorney general, so can you go into the confusion over the fatal shot that was fired and kind of what the issue was there in terms of determining that and also, did you present to the grand jury with any charges against mattingly and cosgrove? >> well, so as to your first question, what i think you asked about was -- >> the fatal shot. >> yes. the reports that were provided to us by the kentucky state police and then the fbi as it relates to ballistics, so initially we got the report from kentucky state police and it was
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inconclusive about making the determination into that fatal shot and so again, with the relationships that we have with our federal law enforcement community namely the fbi, i thought it imperative that we utilize that resource, and so they undertook an independent analysis and review of and conducted or provided a ballistic report. there is nothing that this team was able to glean suggesting that there was an objective reason for why fbi was able to lusively or definitively state that mr. cosgrove fired the fatal shot. both again, ksp, their lab, well regarded, well respected, fbi equally regarded and respected. that said, it certainly creates
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some issue in terms of providing that information to the grand jury and providing that at any subsequent prosecution and so it was from our judgment, important to provide both of those to the grand jury and then ultimately let them make a determination about what to do with that information. >> were they presented with charges for mattingly -- >> all right. we are watching we are watching a news conference with daniel camon the attorney general of kentucky. of kentucky,th grand jury decisiont against one of the officers involved in the breonna taylor raid. those charges specifically related to bullets that went into a neighboring apartment, not into breonna taylor's apartment and as i bring in nbc news illegal analyst danny se valleys, as i understand this correctly, no one is being held
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criminally liable for the death of brie i don't know eonna tayl >> they're being held liable for when bullets struck another apartment. this is going to be a hot issue in the next few days, if the grand jury concluded that bullets that went into a neighboring apartment were fired with some wanton recklessness, then how do they say that bullets that entered breonna taylor's body were not fired back into that force field that police generally have. they have a warrant allowing them to come into the premises, then they have the self-defense argument. but it does -- it results in a peculiar situation where you have bullets that hit nobody, those are wanton and reckless, bullets that killed someone, those bullets, those are different bullets and it will be interesting to see how the kentucky attorney general defends this in the coming days. >> all right. thank you for that
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clarification. let me bring in blayne alexander, she is in louisville where protesters have certainly started gathering to express their disappointment and even outrage. blaine? >> yeah. lester not only gathering but kind of moving around. we understand from the initial place they were they moved marching several places around louisville. you know, i want to go back to some of the reaction that we've heard, notably the reaction from an attorney for breonna taylor's family, benjamin crump. there's now a new tweet, a new couple tweets he put out with a different and a much stronger reaction. i want to read a little bit of that for you. he said, this is outrageous and offensive, talking about the decision, saying that if his behavior was wanton endangerment to people in neighboring apartments it should have been wanton endangerment in breonna taylor's apartment too it should have been ruled wanton murder. p that's a strong and different from the initial reaction we understand we got via tweet from
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attorney ben crump. this echos the reaction that we've been hearing in louisville from the people that we spoke to before this decision came down, to certainly the emotional reactions we've been seeing from the people who gather, people who walk by our cameras just kind of shouting and expressing outrage at this. certainly very notable that we'ring here this very strong reaction for attorney for breonna taylor's family. lester? >> i see the big heavy trucks blocking the street there. we've been reporting on the security precautions that were put in place in advan announcement. you say there are protesters in the streets. have there been much in the way of police presence as these crowds begin to gather? >> we have seen some police presence and i have to say about 15 minutes or so ago we saw four national guard vehicles come down this otherwise very empty street, i think you saw the live pictures, that was the first outward presence we've seen of national guard in louisville. we know they've been at the
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ready and on standby and ready to be deployed by the governor but that was the first sign we actually seen them physically here. now as for police officers themselves as we kind of walked through different parts of downtown we've seen several kind of standing out of the way, a number of officers standing at different road blocks as well throughout downtown louisville, lester. >> all right. thank you for that. we saw a few people there with long guns, open carry state. we note that. gabe gutierrez, what is happening where you are? >> hi, lester. we're here at jefferson square park where we were at earlier. a quieter scene. this is where protesters had been protesting for several months now. the question is what happens tonight? lester, what we heard from the attorney general, those are by far the most


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