Black attorney general chokes up during Taylor announcement

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron addresses the media following the return of a grand jury investigation into the death of Breonna Taylor, in Frankfort, Ky., Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Of the three Louisville Metro police officers being investigated, one was indicted. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron addresses the media following the return of a grand jury investigation into the death of Breonna Taylor, in Frankfort, Ky., Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. Of the three Louisville Metro police officers being investigated, one was indicted. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Kentucky’s Black attorney general choked up Wednesday when explaining why a grand jury didn't seek criminal charges against police officers for Breonna Taylor’s death — but his sympathetic words fell on many deaf ears.

A grand jury indicted fired Officer Brett Hankison on three counts of wanton endangerment for shooting into a home next to Taylor's after police entered her house on March 13. The FBI is still investigating potential violations of federal law in the case.

Attorney General Daniel Cameron cited his own family in seeking to convey that he understood some people in Louisville and across the country would be angry at the jury's decision Wednesday. The jury relied on evidence Cameron presented.

“I understand that as a Black man, how painful this is ... which is why it was so incredibly important to make sure that we did everything we possibly could to uncover every fact,” Cameron told a news conference in the capital of Frankfort.

“My heart breaks for the loss of Miss Taylor,” Cameron said. “And I’ve said that repeatedly. My mother, if something was to happen to me,” he said, pausing as his voice faltered and he held back tears, “would find it very hard. ... I’ve seen that pain on Miss (Tamika) Palmer’s face,” he said, referring to Taylor's mother. "I’ve seen that pain in the community.”

But Cameron added that under the law, the officers who fired their weapons at Taylor were justified in using force to protect themselves after they were shot at by her boyfriend.

“If we simply act on emotion or outrage, there is no justice," he said.

Some reacted to Cameron’s remarks with anger, and claimed he was putting on an emotional show.