Attempted murder and assault charges have been dropped against Breonna Taylor‘s boyfriend Kenneth Walker who returned fire when Louisville police stormed their apartment to serve a ‘no-knock’ warrant.
The Courier-Journal reports that Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine announced on Friday during a teleconference that Walker will no longer be charged with attempting to kill Officer Jon Mattingly. Mattingly was struck in the leg during the gunfire that occurred when police barged into Taylor’s apartment on March 13.
Wine played audio recordings of Walker describing what happened that day. Walker explained there were several knocks at the door. He and Taylor, an EMT, got out of bed to see what was happening and the LMPD officers barged inside. Walker fired his registered gun in self-defense and the police returned fire, hitting Taylor multiple times, who ultimately died. She was 26.
“All of a sudden there’s a whole lot of shots,” Walker said. “We both dropped to the ground and (my) gun fell. There’s the police and there’s a lot of yelling and stuff. They’re just shooting and we’re both on the ground, and when all the shots stop … she’s bleeding.”
Rob Eggert, Walker’s attorney, filed a motion on Thursday to have the charges dismissed in a case that has drawn national outrage and a special prosecutor. He claimed police officers never mentioned Taylor’s name before the grand jury or that she had been shot 8 times.
“There was no misleading testimony by the detective in this case, nor was there any ethical breaches,” Wine said in his opening remarks Friday. “However, I do agree with him that more should have been presented to the grand jury, including the statement of Kenneth Walker.”
Wine added that more investigation was necessary and there was a possibility that Walker could still be charged if new evidence presented itself.
“It’s very possible there was no criminal activity on either side of that door because people couldn’t hear what the other party was saying,” Wine said.
The misconduct of Kentucky police has come into under criticism recently, especially in light of a federal lawsuit filed by Kendrick Wilson last October, alleging that one of the officers involved in the shooting death was a “crooked” cop. Wilson claims Brett Hankison maliciously targeted him and planted drugs on him.
According to the suit, in October 2019, LMPD officers executed a warrant at Wilson’s home and barbershop, kicking in the door of his home and pointing guns at his girlfriend before handcuffing her during the search.
Hankison was one of the three officers who executed a ‘no-knock’ warrant on the home of Taylor and Walker. Hankison, Mattingly, and Officer Myles Cosgrove fired more than 20 rounds into the apartment.
In a lawsuit filed by Attorney Benjamin Crump on behalf of Taylor’s family, they believe police forced their way into Taylor’s home in a botched raid, surprising Taylor and Walker, who thought the officers were burglars. He criticized the decision to charge Walker in the first place.
“Don’t African Americans have the right to the Second Amendment?” Crump asked last week. “He was trying to protect Breonna. He was trying to protect himself.”