In Kentucky, Wisconsin and New York, investigators are expected to soon make decisions on whether to bring charges in three separate incidents of police violence.
When is “soon,” though? That remains unclear.
The fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor, the suffocation death of Daniel Prude in police custody, and the non-fatal police shooting of Jacob Blake are all under investigation by state attorneys general. Here’s a look at where those cases stand.
Louisville Metro Police officers fatally shot Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, after they broke down the door to her apartment while executing a late-night, “no-knock” warrant in a narcotics investigation on March 13.
Police believed Taylor was home alone when she was in fact accompanied by her boyfriend, who was legally armed, according to a CNN review of the shooting. That miscalculation, along with the decision to press forward with a high-risk, forced-entry raid under questionable circumstances, contributed to the deadly outcome.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the first Black person to hold the post and a Republican rising star, was made a special prosecutor in the case earlier this year.
He met with Taylor’s family for the first time on August 12, more than 150 days after she was killed. The meeting included Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, sister, aunt, family attorneys and a local activist.
None of the three officers involved in the flawed raid has been charged with a crime. One officer, Brett Hankinson, was fired in late June for “wantonly and blindly” firing 10 rounds into her apartment, then-interim Louisville Police Chief Robert Schroeder wrote.
A grand jury has been empaneled to investigate the shooting, two people close to the process told CNN. The grand jury, which was empaneled this week, “will be hearing other criminal cases first to get their feet wet with the process and then hear the Taylor case,” a source close to the investigation told CNN on Wednesday.
Cameron is expected to announce a charging decision soon, though he declined to provide a specific timeline on Wednesday.
“My office is continually asked about a timeline regarding the investigation into the death of Ms. Breonna Taylor. An investigation, if done properly, cannot follow a specific timeline,” Cameron tweeted.
In Rochester, New York, the state attorney general has been tasked with investigating Daniel Prude’s death in police custody.
Back in March, Prude, a 41-year-old Black man, was handcuffed by police while naked and in the midst of a mental health emergency. Video provided by Prude’s family attorneys shows the officers placed a covering over his head to keep him from spitting and then pinned him to the ground in a prone position.
Prude stopped breathing and was declared brain-dead at a hospital, where he died on March 30. The Monroe County Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide, citing complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint. The report also cites excited delirium and acute PCP intoxication as causes of death.
Though Prude died in March, the release of police bodycam video last week led to immediate actions from local officials. Mayor Lovely Warren suspended seven Rochester Police officers involved in the arrest last week.
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Saturday that she’s forming a grand jury to investigate his death.
“The Prude family and the Rochester community have been through great pain and anguish. My office will immediately move to empanel a grand jury as part of our exhaustive investigation into this matter,” James said in a statement.
The revelation has also led to protests and accusations that officials may have been part of a cover-up. On Tuesday, the mayor said Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary and his command staff submitted paperwork to retire.
“As a man of integrity, I will not sit idly by while outside entities attempt to destroy my character,” the chief said in a statement. “The events over the past week are an attempt to destroy my character and integrity.”
The Kenosha Police shooting of Jacob Blake, who survived but is partly paralyzed, is being investigated by both state and federal officials.
Blake, 29, was shot in the back seven times on August 23 by Kenosha Police officer Rusten Sheskey, according to the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), which is leading the investigation.
Blake admitted to officers that he had a knife in his possession, the DCI said. Investigators later “recovered a knife from the driver’s side floorboard” of Blake’s vehicle, the agency said. The agency did not indicate whether Blake brandished or threatened to use the knife.
The DCI’s investigation is assisted by the FBI, Wisconsin State Patrol and Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office. The US Department of Justice is also conducting a federal civil rights investigation into the shooting.
In a statement, the DCI said it is reviewing evidence and will turn over investigative reports to a prosecutor after a “complete and thorough” investigation. The DCI said it aims to provide that report within 30 days, which would be September 22. At that point, the prosecutor will review the report and determine whether charges are appropriate, DCI said.
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, a Democrat, offered no timeline in comments to CNN on Friday.
“We’re going to continue moving quickly with this investigation,” he said. “But we’re only going to do so to the extent that that’s consistent with making sure that we have a full accounting of the facts through our investigation.”
Separately, Blake is accused of three charges, including felony third-degree sexual assault, connected to an incident in May. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
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