Cameron’s performance drew high praise of McConnell and Trump, who said after the Taylor News that the Kentucky attorney general was doing a “fantastic job”. While his handling of the high profile case is unlikely to hurt him – it might well help – in future potential Republican applications for public office, Cameron has kept a motivated, well-funded opposition.
“You know what they’re saying? All Skinfolk are not relatives,” said Phelix Crittenden, organizer at Black Lives Matter Louisville. “This was absolutely a career defining moment … [designed] to prepare him for future things. He had the chance to please his people. And he made up his mind to get it right himself. “
Some civil rights groups have started holding strategy meetings to discuss how Cameron can be held accountable for his actions in the case and to take action against him if he later runs for office again.
“Unfortunately, he was recently elected,” said Arisha Hatch, vice president of Color of Change. She alluded to activists Efforts to crowd out St. Louis County Attorney Robert McCulloch after Michael Brown’s death in 2014. “There will be an impact on his refusal to act and we believe he should step down or be replaced.”
Cameron was elected a year ago and is the first African American attorney general in Kentucky and one of six black attorneys general in the country, two of whom are Republicans. Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, the only other black Republican currently in the post, told POLITICO that Cameron had insisted that his role in the case “had nothing to do with personal feelings or emotional reactions that were about his could draw their own strands of the heart. “
“I realize that our country has had problems with the race from day one and we are still looking at it, so it is regularly very close to our thinking process and expensive,” said Hill.
Cameron alluded to his personal feelings at his press conference announcing the grand jury’s decision. At one point he choked when he called his own family.
“I understand that as a black man, how painful this is … which is why it was so incredibly important to make sure we did everything we can to uncover each fact,” said Cameron.
“My heart breaks for the loss of Miss Taylor,” added Cameron. “And I’ve said that repeatedly. My mother, if something happened to me,” he said, pausing as his voice faltered and he held back the tears, “would find it very difficult … I have this pain with Miss seen [Tamika] Palmer’s face, “he said, referring to Taylor’s mother.” I’ve seen this pain in the church. “
Critics dismissed his remarks as performative, saying the mention of his race did nothing to mitigate the harm done in the case. Palmer said Friday that she “never believed in Daniel Cameron”.
“I knew he had already chosen to be on the wrong side of the law by the time he wanted the grand jury to make the decision,” Palmer said in a statement from Taylor’s aunt Bianca Austin. “He knew that he had the power to do the right thing, that he had the power to begin the healing of this city, that he had the power to heal over 400 years of oppression. What he helped me to see is that it will always be “us against them”. “
Cameron’s lack of transparency about what led to the grand jury’s decision – he has not released transcripts of their deliberations – added to the frustrations. His Wednesday remarks The circumstances leading to Taylor’s death were broadly outlined: only one of the six bullets fired at her killed her and none could be traced back to Brett Hankison, the only police officer charged. He is exposed to three wanton threats because his bullets pierced the family’s apartment next door.
Cameron also cited testimony from a neighbor who passed the police on before entering Taylor’s house. One analysis However, the New York Times found that 11 of 12 neighbors did not hear the police announce.
Critics point to this coverage, saying the Attorney General’s suggestion that Taylor’s death is an inevitable tragedy is misleading. It has stepped up demands on the Attorney General to provide more information on the details of the case, which Cameron has said he cannot do to ensure the integrity of the investigation.
“The facts as we generally know them [don’t] Really support the charges that have been made, “said Cedric Powell, professor in the law school at the University of Louisville. “Daniel Cameron was very picky about the evidence he presented at his press conference and the public has no confidence in these charges. The indictment is really like a compromise. A really bad compromise. “
Ben Crump, an attorney representing the Taylor family, asked Cameron to release the grand jury’s transcripts. He believes that not all of the evidence was presented to the jurors before making their decision.
“Has [Cameron] Let the one neighbor they keep proclaiming knock and announce to the police [themselves] testify in front of the grand jury? Even though I understood it twice, he said he didn’t hear the police, ”Crump said at a press conference. “Is this the only person in your apartment complex who does that? [Cameron] to testify in front of the grand jury? That doesn’t seem fair. It doesn’t seem like you’re fighting for Breonna. It doesn’t seem like you’re presenting evidence of justice to Breonna. “
Cameron’s allies describe him as a hard worker whose team pursued the facts of the Taylor case without prejudice or indulging in public pressure.
“To be very clear, Attorney General Cameron is nobody’s enemy. He works hard for all Kentuckians of all backgrounds to keep the law up,” said Mike Lonergan, a spokesman for the Kentucky Republican Party. “Kentucky has many strong Republican leaders, and certainly Daniel Cameron is one of them. “
These supportive words reinforce how polarizing a character Cameron is – the loud one a survey had the support of around a third of Afro-American voters during his attorney general’s office – it became the past week. Racial Justice Movement leaders in Louisville say Cameron has not been particularly unpopular until now, but has been viewed as part of a flawed criminal justice system.
But now it’s personal.
Shauntrice Martin, a Black Lives Matter Louisville organizer who attended the University of Louisville with Cameron, said it was “disappointing” to see her former classmate on the other side of this case.
“I was hoping that because we finally had someone who was black in a position … that things might be different, at least a little,” she said. “Instead of being better [for] Blacks, he was actually worse. “