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Breonna Taylor’s attorneys learn of new body camera videos the city refuses to produce

(WAVE3 News)
Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 2:14 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville Metro Government is refusing to turn over at least 18 body camera videos, not previously disclosed of the events surrounding the Breonna Taylor case the night of the shooting, WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters have learned.

The videos are from a list of LMPD officers who worked the scene on Elliott Avenue while Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, was being served with search warrants as part of a drug investigation. The list of videos in question are not believed to include any from the scene at Taylor’s apartment on Springfield Drive.

According to Sam Aguiar, Taylor’s family attorney, the city admitted the additional body camera videos existed this Thursday, months after they did not disclose their existence in their response to Aguiar’s subpoena.

That subpoena was filed in June 2020. It included a list of body camera videos from several officers. Aguiar believes they hold critical evidence about the case, including what officers were told about Taylor and Detective Jon Mattingly being shot.

LMPD made the entire Public Integrity Unit file open to the public in October, which included 56 videos. The 18 were not among them.

Aguiar submitted the request for the videos after listening to the interview with Detective Kelly Hanna Goodlett who was at the Elliott Avenue location. Goodlett tells investigators they’d find her reaction to the shooting on her body camera video.

“It raised serious red flags as to whether we were given all of the footage,” Aguiar said about listening to her interview.

The city is refusing to make the videos public, or hand them to Aguiar, claiming it’s part of the investigation into Glover.

“I was furious when I learned this yesterday,” Aguiar said. “Given this administration’s history, it comes as no surprise that they once again hide the existence of critical evidence from the public.”

Aguiar questions whether Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron had the videos and whether they were reviewed as part of the grand jury presentation.

“One question we have is whether Daniel Cameron’s office was also complicit in withholding this information,” he said.

The confirmation of the video comes months after a record-breaking $12 million settlement between the city and Taylor’s family.

In their response to Aguiar, the city’s attorneys wrote that the body camera videos were compiled during the course of a criminal investigation and should not yet be made public.

“Any premature release of these records could jeopardize the pending prosecution by identifying witnesses not otherwise known and tipping them off to the direction of the ongoing criminal case, impact witness recollection of the incident, and taint a jury pool by permitting the ‘case’ be tried in the court of public opinion rather than in court with the benefit of procedural and evidentiary rules,” city attorneys wrote.

Aguiar is urging for the videos to be released and added the new LMPD chief Erika Shields should order their production as a true commitment to transparency.

Deputy Director of Communications for the Office of Mayor Greg Fischer Jessica Wethington released a statement to WAVE 3 News regarding the videos requested by Aguiar. It reads:

“The body camera videos requested by Sam Aguiar are evidence in the criminal investigation which resulted in criminal charges against four individuals. These criminal charges have not been resolved yet. We made public the contents of the PIU investigative file after the investigation was complete because we recognized the importance in letting our city heal. The videos from officers at the Elliott Avenue location were not part of that PIU file, with the exception of one video of Det. Goodlett, which was pointed out to Mr. Aguiar in response to his request.”

A spokesperson for Cameron’s office, Elizabeth Kuhn, said their team is unable to comment “on any specifics on the investigation.”

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