Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron on Tuesday defended himself as a “Black Republican” committed to justice in Breonna Taylor’s case, saying he would not give in to “mob mentality” or the “intolerance” and “hypocrisy” shown by celebrities and the left.
In an appearance on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday, Cameron responded to criticism during Saturday Night Live’s season premiere this weekend, specifically to a performance by Megan Thee Stallion.
Megan Thee Stallion performs Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, on “Saturday Night Live.” (Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
In part, the 25-year-old rapper said: “We need to protect our Black women and love our Black women.”
During her performance, the music stopped and an audio recording played of Women’s March co-founder Tamika Mallory, who recently said: “Daniel Cameron is no different than the sellout negroes that sold our people into slavery.”
“Let me just say that I agree that we need to love and protect our Black women,” Cameron said, reacting to a video clip of the performance. “There’s no question about that. But the fact that someone would get on national television and make disparaging comments about me because I’m simply trying to do my job is disgusting.”
Cameron said the performance showed “something that I’ve had to experience because I’m a Black Republican, because I stand up for truth and justice as opposed to giving in to a mob mentality, and those are the sorts of things that will be hurled at me in this job.”
This undated photo provided by Taylor family attorney Sam Aguiar shows Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky. (Courtesy of Taylor Family attorney Sam Aguiar via AP, File)
“The fact that a celebrity that I never met before wants to make those sorts of statements, they don’t hurt me but what it does is it exposed the type of intolerance, and the hypocrisy because obviously, people preach about being intolerant,” he continued. “You hear a lot of that from the left about being tolerant. But what you saw there is inconsistent with tolerance. In fact, it’s her disposing intolerance because I’ve decided to stand up for truth and justice.”
The attorney general concluded: “There are a lot of folks that look like me who aren’t scared anymore. They are tired of the comments and derogatory remarks that are made because of our political philosophy, and so enough is enough. We are going to continue to stand up – stand up for truth and justice in this job, and everything else that we do in this country.”
Separately, Cameron reacted to an open letter written by the attorneys representing Taylor’s family last week, which asked Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear to appoint a new special prosecutor to the case, arguing Cameron “did not serve as an unbiased prosecutor” and “intentionally did not present charges to the grand jury.”
“This is the Ben Crump model. He goes into a city, created a narrative, cherry-picks facts to prove that narrative, creates chaos in a community, misrepresents the facts and then he leaves with his money and asks the community to pick up the pieces,” Cameron said. “It is terribly irresponsible on his part to push such narratives, such falsehoods. As the attorney general, I don’t have the luxury of falsehoods – I have the responsibility to the truth, the law and justice.”
Crump is an attorney representing Taylor’s family who first gained notoriety after George Floyd’s death.
Cameron reiterated that two Louisville Metro police officers, Detective Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Johnathan Mattingly, were justified in returning fire given Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a shot at them first while they were executing a police warrant.
“The tragedy, and I’ve said this from the beginning, was that Breonna Taylor was in that hallway next to Kenneth Walker when they returned fire and they hit her. No one disputes that this is a tragedy, but sometimes our criminal law is inadequate to respond to a tragedy,” Cameron said. “Again, my heart goes out to Breonna Taylor’s family.”
The attorney general said his office recommended to the grand jury to indict the third officer involved in the police raid, Brett Hankison, for firing shots into the neighboring apartment while three residents were home. Hankison, who was fired from the police department in June, was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree and has pleaded not guilty.
Cameron has said in the past that the officers were executing a no-knock search warrant but due to the nature of the operation were advised to knock and did indeed announce themselves before entering. He said a neighbor in the building confirmed that information.
Last month, the city of Louisville agreed to pay Taylor’s family $12 million in a settlement for a wrongful death lawsuit.
Cameron said the FBI continues its investigation into civil rights matters in the case.