Breonna Taylor’s Death: Where Does The Case Stand Now?
The Louisville woman shot dead by police in March would have turned 27 on June 5.
June fifth marks what would have been the twenty-seventh birthday of Breonna Taylor, the unarmed Black woman who was killed when three officers forced their way into her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky, and shot her multiple times.
According to a police affidavit obtained by WAVE 3, investigators requested a no-knock warrant that included Taylor’s address because they suspected one of two men allegedly involved with a drug ring may have used the property to receive packages in order to avoid detection.
During the raid, which took place just before 1 a.m. on Mar. 13, the officers used a battering ram to knock down Taylor’s exterior door. She and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker — who was not listed on the warrant — were in bed at the time. Walker, 27, said he never heard officers announce themselves.
The licensed gun owner grabbed his weapon and fired a single bullet that hit Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly in the leg. The policemen responded with over 20 shots, striking Taylor at least eight times, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.
Taylor died at the scene. Mattingly is expected to make a full recovery.
A Taylor family attorney, Sam Aguiar, issued a statement calling the raid “incredibly reckless” and “botched.”
“It confirms that the suspected drugs and the two involved individuals were more than 10 miles away from Breonna. And oh by the way, officers FOUND the drugs and apprehended these individuals at this address,” he said, adding, “Where in the world was there any probable cause after this point to break into Breonna’s home unannounced.”
The FBI’s Louisville office has launched an investigation into the ER technician’s death, and the Louisville Metro Police Department's Public Integrity Unit has turned over findings from an internal investigation to the office of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron.
According to the Courier Journal, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has announced an external independent firm would conduct a “top-to-bottom” review of the city's police department and its policies, including accountability and bias-free policing. The LMPD also now will require all sworn officers to wear body cameras.
Prosecutors recently dismissed attempted murder and assault charges filed against Walker pending the additional investigations.
The three officers involved in the shooting — Mattingly and detectives Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove — are currently on administrative leave and have not been charged with any crimes despite widespread demands for their arrests.
Taylor’s family filed a lawsuit against the men on Apr. 27, claiming charges of battery, wrongful death, excessive force, negligence and gross negligence, CNN reported.
Tamika Palmer, Taylor's mother, told the Courier Journal her late daughter had planned to become a nurse and buy a house before starting a family.
Breonna had her head on straight, and she was a very decent person. She didn’t deserve this. She wasn’t that type of person.
- Tamika Palmer, Taylor's Mother
“Breonna had her head on straight, and she was a very decent person,” Palmer said. “She didn’t deserve this. She wasn’t that type of person.”
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said in a statement that Taylor’s family and the public at large “deserve the full facts regarding her death.”
“The commonwealth's attorney, the U.S. attorney and the Kentucky attorney general should carefully review the results of the initial investigation to ensure justice is done at a time when many are concerned that justice is not blind,” he said.