Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician (EMT), was shot and killed by Louisville Metro Police on March 13 shortly after they served a no-knock warrant at her apartment where she and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were sleeping.
Walker, who shot at what his lawyer said he believed to be intruders, has been charged with the attempted murder of a police officer.
Sgt. John Mattingly, who took a bullet to his femoral artery, is expected to make a full recovery, according to a press conference from LMPD Police Chief Steve Conrad. Walker is currently under home incarceration, while the officers involved — Mattingly, Det. Myles Cosgrove and Det. Brett Hankison — have all been placed on administrative leave.
Lawyers for Taylor’s family have said Taylor’s death was the result of a botched raid and the situation is now being investigated by the LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit. Months after the shooting, new details have emerged about how and why the raid on Taylor’s home was done.
Taylor Was Not the Target of LMPD’s Investigation
According to USA Today, Taylor was not listed as the main target of the drug investigation, although she was listed on the warrant. The search warrant used to enter Taylor’s home listed Jamarcus Glover and Adrian Walker as the suspects in their investigation; police believed Glover was using Taylor’s home to receive mail and hide drugs and money.
In an affidavit from Det. Joshua C. Jaynes, Jaynes said Glover and a 27-year-old Adrian Walker had both been spotted at a confirmed drug house on the 2400 block of Elliot Ave., WHAS-11 reported and observed making trips to and from Taylor’s apartment.
Kenneth Walker is not listed in the report as a relative or otherwise associate of the two targets, according to WHAS-11.
On the same night that police executed the search warrant on Taylor’s home, another search warrant was used to enter a different home which, USA Today reported, led to the seizure of suspected crack cocaine and marijuana as well as drugs; Glover was arrested at a different address on the same night police entered Taylor’s home.
Neither Taylor nor her boyfriend had a criminal history or drug convictions and no illegal drugs were ever found in the apartment, which is consistent with what Taylor’s aunt, Bionca Austin, has said all along.
“This is not a woman who would sacrifice her life and her family morals and values to sell drugs on the street,” Austin said in an earlier interview with WHAS-11.
New Evidence Shows A No-Knock Warrant Used to Enter Taylor’s Home
Police requested a no-knock warrant for the raid on Taylor’s home, which means police are not legally required to identify immediately themselves when they enter the property.
According to USA Today, police requested the no-knock order because Glover and Adrian Walker had a history of destroying evidence and fleeing police. However, Lt. Ted Eidem of LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit said in a press conference that when police arrived at Taylor’s home, “Officers knocked on their door several times and announced themselves as police who were there with a search warrant.”
One of the attorneys representing Taylor’s family, national civil rights attorney Ben Crump, said the type of warrant along with testimony from four witnesses undercuts the officers’ claims that they announced themselves. Crump also said if the police did not announce themselves, that would explain explain why Walker, a licensed gun owner, according to local TV station WHAS-11, shot at them.
“(Four witnesses) were neighbors and the police never announced themselves. They did not identify themselves and they were in plain clothes and so what is Breonna Taylor and Kenny Walker to think at 1 o’clock in the morning when somebody breaches their castle?” Crump said.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear expressed concern about the incident in a Tweet:
Gov. Beshear issues statement on Breonna Taylor: pic.twitter.com/ttiO856BdA
— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) May 13, 2020
Former presidential candidate and current California Sen. Kamala Harris has said the Department of Justice should investigate the police department’s actions and the circumstances surrounding Taylor’s death.