Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron responded to racially charged criticism launched at him for his handling of the Breonna Taylor investigation, saying the names he's been called are "repugnant."
"It is so unfortunate that because I have a different political philosophy and because in my role as the attorney general and as the special prosecutor in the Breonna Taylor investigation, because I led with the facts and the truth, and had that lead to the conclusion, somehow I betrayed my race," Cameron told Fox News host Tucker Carlson in an interview Thursday.
After Cameron announced that the officers involved in Taylor's death would not be charged with murder, outraged commentators called him names like "sellout negro," "Uncle Tom," and said he was "skinfolk" but not "kinfolk." The only charge was issued against one officer for wanton endangerment.
"It is repugnant. It is so disappointing, but it's par for the course," Cameron said in response to his critics. "Anytime someone stands for the truth, and when that truth is different from a narrative that has been pushed by others, this is how they respond."
Kentucky AG responds to harsh criticism he faced on Breonna Taylor decision www.youtube.com
"I'm here tonight to say that enough is enough," he added. "Black Republicans, folks that believe in the truth ... we are going to stand up.
"That's what I did in presenting all of the information to the grand jury in the Breonna Taylor investigation, and that is what I'm charged to do. That is my responsibility as the attorney general of the Commonwealth of Kentucky," he continued.
On Sept. 23, Cameron held a news conference to announce the results of the state attorney general's investigation into Taylor's shooting death.
TheBlaze covered the news conference and the facts of the night Taylor died as recounted by Cameron:
When the three officers charged into Taylor's apartment around 1 a.m. March 13, Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired one shot at them. The officers were not in uniform, and Walker said he thought it was a home invasion. Walker shot Mattingly in the leg. The three officers returned fire with more than 20 shots. Taylor was shot five times.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron said that despite reports that it was a no-knock raid, the officers did knock and announce themselves before entering the apartment.
Cameron said that because the police were fired upon first, the returned fire was justified and Kentucky state law prevented him from charging the police with Taylor's killing. Two of the officers Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, did not face any charges. The third officer, former LMPD Sgt. Brett Hankison, was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for allegedly firing his gun recklessly.
Asked by Carlson to dispel the biggest "myth" surrounding the facts of the shooting, Cameron criticized the claim that the police officer who was allegedly shot by Kenneth Walker actually shot himself.
"Well, the biggest myth that is being promoted right now is the idea that Sgt. Mattingly, one of the office officers who was administering the search warrant in the morning hours at Breonna Taylor's apartment, was shot by friendly fire, meaning shot by another officer," Cameron said. "Look, I've taken to calling this a conspiracy theory. In order to believe this narrative that's being promoted by the defense attorney in Louisville, Kentucky, you have to believe, (1) to defy physics and disregard the trajectory analysis, but you have to believe that the officer that was standing outside the apartment shooting into the apartment, that he had a magic bullet, and that that bullet went through the apartment unit and then made a sharp turn left without any obstruction or any impediment to match it up with the entry point of the wound that Sergeant Mattingly suffered.
"It is a silly notion; it's one of the biggest myths that has been promoted here in the last few weeks," Cameron continued. "Before three weeks ago and before this defense attorney uttered this statement, it was a foregone conclusion that what happened that evening was that Kenny Walker, Breonna Taylor's boyfriend, fired a shot at the officers. The officers responded and returned fire, justified in doing so because they had been fired upon. And the tragedy, and again, I've said this from the very beginning, the tragedy here is that Breonna Taylor was in that hallway as well and was hit.
"But the tragedy doesn't allow for me to not present the facts and the truth, and that's what we've done here," he said.
Cameron blamed celebrity and media commentators for driving false narratives about the shooting, leading to confusion about what happened.
"Well, again, there were a lot of people inside and outside, a lot of celebrities, a lot of folks that were either misrepresenting the facts because it was to their advantage, or didn't know all the information," Cameron said. "They made conclusions first and then want to cherry-pick the facts to meet those conclusions. I don't have that luxury as the attorney general here in the commonwealth. My responsibility is to the truth and to the information, and then that is ultimately what leads to the conclusion. We presented all the information to the grand jury. Ultimately, we presented to them as well the fact that the officers, Mattingly and Cosgrove, were fired upon and they were justified in returning their fire.
"We obviously have a prosecution into a third officer that was there that night," he continued. "I can't get into the specifics because that is an ongoing prosecution, but again, a lot of folks had already made up their mind and weren't interested in what the truth is, and now are still trying to cherry-pick so that they can fashion a narrative that meets their agenda and advances their own interests."
Since Cameron delivered his news conference in September, several new facts have come to light that raise questions about the findings the Kentucky attorney general's office presented.
Bodycam footage made public days after the investigation's findings were released appear to show Louisville Metro Police Department officers and SWAT team members breaking department policy regarding officer-involved shooting incidents.
As Leon Wolf wrote for TheBlaze:
Notably, for obvious reasons, officers who are involved in a shooting are prohibited per LMPD policy from being involved in the investigation of those shootings and are furthermore explicitly required to be promptly separated from the scene and paired with a "peer support" escort who can both comfort shaken officers and also vouch for the fact that the officers did not fabricate evidence or otherwise adulterate the crime scene.
Videos taken of the shooting aftermath show that this policy was flagrantly disregarded, particularly by the now-terminated Hankison and Cosgrove, and that the SWAT and Public Integrity Unit officers who were there complained aloud about the officers they were investigating still being "in the mix" and even actually in the active crime scene. One of the other officers involved in the raid was also observed to have left the scene and been canvassing witnesses.
Also, a ballistics report released recently contradicted Cameron's claim that Walker shot first and struck Mattingly and that friendly fire was ruled out.
From the New York Post:
Kentucky State Police said that "due to limited markings of comparative value," the bullet that hit Mattingly was neither "identified nor eliminated" as coming from a 9mm pistol fired by Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, the outlet said.
The ballistics report also contradicted Cameron's claim that the cops only carried .40-caliber handguns, when the shot that hit Mattingly was a 9mm.
The report said Police Officer Brett Hankison had also been issued a 9mm handgun.
A separate FBI ballistics report has been received by Cameron's office but has not yet been released.