One of the three Louisville police officers who opened fire at Breonna Taylor’s apartment has blamed her boyfriend for her death saying he put her in an ‘impossible situation’ when he fired at cops.
Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly spoke out on the fatal police raid for the first time this week in interviews with ABC News and the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Mattingly, a 20-year veteran of the force, was one of two officers who directly shot at Taylor while serving a warrant at her home during a drug investigation on March 13.
He was the only officer wounded in the incident after he was shot by Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker who mistook the cops for intruders.
Officers then returned fire, shooting into the apartment 32 times and killing 26-year-old Breonna in a hail of bullets.
Mattingly and Walker on Wednesday presented their sides of the story to the publications, with both men pointing the finger at each other.
During his interview with the Courier-Journal, Mattingly admitted the drug raid had gone awry but said he did not believe Breonna was killed ‘due to lack of judgment’ or ‘incompetence’ by police.
Louisville Metro Police Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly said he believes Breonna’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker is partially responsible for her death on March 13
Mattingly argued that Kenneth Walker (left) had put Breonna in an ‘impossible situation’ after he opened fire. He also said her convicted drug dealer ex, Jamarcus Glover (right) who was a target in the drug investigation, was to blame for ‘using’ her in his dealings
Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was killed in a hail of bullets after officers returned fire when her boyfriend shot at police
Instead he blamed Walker and Breonna’s convicted drug dealer ex Jamarcus Glover, who was the intended target of the drug investigation.
‘I think there’s a few people responsible,’ he told the Courier Journal. ‘I think [Walker] is. I think Jamarcus Glover is for using this girl in this way.
‘I think he played on her emotions to get her to do what he wanted her to do.’
Glover, who had been convicted of drug crimes in the past, had been one of the main targets in the narcotics investigation and was known by police to have a history with Breonna.
Officers included her address in search warrant applications targeting several properties that they believed Glover could have been using to store drugs or cash.
Glover however, was no longer romantically involved with Breonna at the time and ultimately, no money nor drugs were found at her appointment.
But Mattingly doubled down, casting doubt on Walker’s version of events saying his actions were not consistent with that of someone who believed a burglar was breaking into their home.
He accused him of putting Breonna in an ‘impossible situation’ by firing at officers as the couple stood in the corridor of their apartment.
‘With this narrow hallway, shooting from it, him diving out. … He put her in an impossible situation,’ Mattingly said.
He argued that if Walker truly thought an intruder was coming into their home he would’ve told Breonna to ‘hide in a closet’.
Walker on the other hand has maintained Mattingly and the cops who fired at his girlfriend are the ones to blame
He also questioned Walker’s actions after the shooting, saying he took more ‘than 10 minutes’ to exit the apartment and took long calling 911.
‘Why would you kick the gun in the other room if you thought it was intruders There’s just a lot of things that, common sense, you look at and go, “That doesn’t make sense”,’ Mattingly said.
‘Your actions are sometimes still to blame whether you did it intentionally or not,’ he said of Walker.
Walker on the other hand has maintained Mattingly and the cops who fired at his girlfriend are the ones to blame.
‘Whoever shot her is responsible for her death, Whoever came with that person, you know, that shot her, they’re responsible. Whoever allowed them to come there and do that, they’re responsible,’ he told the paper.
‘Anything [Mattingly] says is irrelevant. He’s a murderer. Not me. I’ve never killed anybody. He has, though.’
When told most gun owners said they would have reacted in the same way as Walker, Mattingly appeared to suggest Walker was not entirely innocent despite not being involved in the narcotics operation.
‘I’m a Second Amendment (supporter), pro-gun carrying – if you’re legal,’ he said.
‘Just because you haven’t been caught yet doesn’t mean you’re a legal gun owner. Has he been convicted of a crime? No.’
Walker is a licensed gun owner however the cop argued it’s not legal to carry a gun while doing unlawful activities.
He appeared to allude to Walker’s alleged background of selling drugs, which was revealed in the report of the police investigation after Breonna’s death.
Walker, however, has not been accused or charged with any crimes related to the drug investigation that led cops to Breonna’s home.
‘Nobody’s perfect, but I didn’t do anything wrong March 13,’ Walker said.
Taylor pictured with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker above
In his interview with GMA’s Michael Strahan, which also aired on Wednesday, Mattingly and the host went head to head in a tense back and forth over racial profiling and systemic racism.
Mattingly challenged the idea that if a black person feels a cop is racist, they are. and Strahan criticized him for saying George Floyd was not a ‘model citizen’.
He asked Mattingly: ‘Are you racist?’, to which he replied: ‘No not at all.’
‘I think there are people who stir things up and make it more that. When you’re dealing with a criminal element, you talk about racial profiling, good police anyway, police I’ve worked with, don’t racial profile. You criminal profile,’ Mattingly said.
Strahan then asked him to explain the difference between criminal profiling and racial profiling.
Mattingly, not backing down, said: ‘Criminal profiling is when you get to know an area, when you work an area long enough, you can tell by people’s demeanor, if you pull up beside somebody and they don’t make eye contact,they swerve off, there’s just different elements of people’s psychological game that they put out, that you can tell when you’ve done something long enough.
Mattingly also said he felt ‘frustration’ because the police department and Mayor’s office were silent as protests unfolded across the nation for Taylor decrying racism and police brutality.
‘There was so much disinformation out. This is not relatable to George Floyd. This is nothing like it. This is not Ahmaud Arbery. It’s nothing like it,’ he said. ‘It’s not a race thing like people want to try to make it to be,’ he added.
Mattingly said Taylor’s case is a tragedy but maintains he was doing his job.
‘This is a point where we were doing our job, we gave too much time when we go in, I get shot, we returned fire,’ Mattingly said.
‘This is not us going, hunting somebody down. This is not kneeling on a neck. It’s nothing like that,’ referring to George Floyd’s death.
He said that police officials and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s office could have mitigated the outrage if they spoke out.
‘It’s been excruciating. When you have the truth right there in your hands and everything else is getting crammed around you, it’s frustrating,’ he said.