Former Los Angeles Police Department Sergeant Cheryl Dorsey went all out on Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron following Wednesday’s announcement on the outcome of the investigations on the death of Breonna Taylor.
The 26-year-old EMT was fatally shot several times in her home while sleeping with her boyfriend in a botched narcotics raid by the LMPD on March 13. The three officers who fired the shots – Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove – were not charged in Taylor’s death by a grand jury on Wednesday.
Only Hankison, who was fired in the aftermath of the incident, was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree for firing into the apartments of Taylor’s neighbors.
Appearing on CNN’s The Lead With Jake Tapper, Dorsey said she was not surprised by Wednesday’s announcement and stated emphatically that the press conference – which she labeled as a “non-indictment” – had nothing to do with Taylor and was solely about Hankison’s charges.
“It has nothing to do with Breonna Taylor. This was about officer Brett Hankison firing rounds into the next door neighbor’s apartment. It had nothing to do with the murder of Breonna Taylor,” Dorsey said.
“Those officers, according to the attorney general, were justified in that use of force. Now I don’t know how 16 shots fired by one is justified use of force when officers are taught to fire two shots in rapid succession and then reassess the threat.”
Dorsey also called Cameron out for his statement regarding celebrities, influencers and activists demanding justice for Taylor’s death. The Attorney General claimed the aforementioned did not understand the facts of the case despite suggesting they did.
“I found it offensive that he would call out celebrities and alleged influencers because he too says he is a Black man and somehow celebrities can’t speak for Kentuckians, but as a Black man he can speak for us,” she said. “I understand that he is skinfolk, not kinfolk. He doesn’t speak for me.”
Asked about how relations between communities and the police can be repaired amid so much anger and distrust following the recent happenings, Dorsey cited the $12 million settlement with Taylor’s family and the promised reforms that came with it, suggesting they could probably not go beyond the talking.
“Even with this $12 million settlement in the case of Breonna Taylor, you know there are all these faux reforms, things that were only promises, not anything that really … they have to do. The City Council must approve much of this. And then let’s not forget that there is no admission of wrongdoing. And so listen if he didn’t do anything wrong, I don’t even know why Hankison was fired in the first place,” she said.
“They came up with this no-knock warrant, you need a supervisor to sign off on it. That should have already been in existence. And so everything that they pretend to put forward really doesn’t affect patrol officers, me, when I’m in uniform day-to-day in my patrol car. It won’t stop and we know that because we saw Derek Chauvin sit and have us watch him for 8 minutes and 46 seconds on the neck of George Floyd and dared us to do anything about it.”
Dorsey also said Mattingly and Cosgrove should have also been charged, adding that the former – who is a sergeant – should have been held accountable for what happened on the night of the raid. She was also against Cameron’s justifications of the officers’ actions.
“We’ve got the attorney general saying that it was justified. Now they’re giving their truth. I don’t know that it’s the truth. They’re saying that Breonna, her boyfriend fired the first shot. I don’t know that that’s true. We know that they’ll lie. They have. They said that they rendered aid. They said that there were no cameras. They said that they announced and there has been evidence contrary to all of that,” Dorsey shared.
“And so now we’re stuck with their version of events. And that’s what happens when the police kill us. There is only one version to tell and that’s the one they put forth. I’m not buying it.”
Dorsey is also not buying Cameron’s announcement of a task force to review the process of securing and executing search warrants in Kentucky and the firing of Hankison as a move to make amends.
“Hankison is being indicted because he fired rounds with wanton disregard into a neighbor’s apartment. [It] has nothing to do, no mention of Breonna Taylor,” she stated. “So he [Cameron] gets no brownie points for starting a task force where they’re going to look at and review things that should have already been in place. And then when they violate their own policies and procedures, they’ll tell us ‘that’s not what you saw, that’s not what we did, carry on.”
Dorsey also said the governor’s request for all the evidence in the case to be made public won’t do much to help quell tension.
“Release the evidence if you want to or not,” she said. “What families want, what everyone seems to be most upset about, is a failure to hold police officers accountable when they do things that are contradictory to training and/or the law. So make it available or not, but hold the officers accountable.
“And we know that that won’t be happening in this case because we’ve already heard from the AG that in his mind, 16 shots through a closed door or an open door if they just entered, is somehow justified. It’s offensive.”