One of the Kentucky police officers who opened fire in the police shooting of Breonna Taylor is speaking out to say her death had ‘nothing to do with race’ while blaming officials for allowing the public to believe her case was like George Floyd’s.
Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly is breaking his silence for the first time since Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician was fatally shot in her Louisville, Kentucky home on March 13 when three plainclothes officers forced their way in.
He was the only officer wounded in the incident, shot by Taylor’s boyfriend inside the home.
Mattingly 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 in an exclusive interview with ABC News/The Courier Journal that will air on Wednesday.
Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, one of the officers involved in the police shooting of Breonna Taylor is speaking out for the first time, saying her case isn’t ‘about race’ and isn’t an example of police brutality
‘This is not relatable to George Floyd. This is nothing like it. This is not Ahmaud Arbery. It’s nothing like it. It’s not a race thing like people want to try to make it to be,’ Mattingly said in an exclusive interview with ABC News/The Courier Journal
Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician, was fatally shot in her Louisville, Kentucky home on March 13 when three plainclothes officers broke in during a botched drug raid
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.
Mattingly, Detective Myles Cosgrove and former Detective Brett Hankison, where in plainclothes when they forced entry into Taylor’s apartment to conduct a ‘no knock’ warrant in an attempted drug raid shortly before 1am.
They started shooting after Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker fired what he called a ‘warning shot’ when police broke down the door.
He said he fired in self defense because the cops didn’t announce themselves.
Mattingly was the only officer injured in the incident as Walker’s bullet struck him in the femoral artery, which required surgery to heal.
Mattingly said Taylor’s case is a tragedy but maintains he was doing his job in an interview with ABC’s Michael Strahan. ‘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…This is not us going, hunting somebody down. This is not kneeling on a neck. It’s nothing like that,’ he said
The coroner’s report showed Taylor was shot five times in the shower of bullets and she died in her hallway.
Anger continues to simmer across the country as no officers have been charged in Taylor’s death despite national protests and demands for charges.
Former Detective Brett Hankison, the only officered fired in June, was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots into a neighboring apartment with three people inside on September 23. He pleaded not guilty five days later.
Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove are still with the police department and have been placed on administrative reassignment.
Following the shooting Mattingly told police investigators that none of the officers at the home that day had done ‘any of the investigation’ or ‘the background’.
Anger simmers across the country as no officers have been charged in Taylor’s death despite national protests and demands for charges
However, the detective who secured the search warrant, Joshua Jaynes, told police he asked Mattingly to check packages belonging to Taylor’s ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover, who was the main suspect of a narcotics investigation, that he had received at her home.
Mattingly furthered public furor in September when he claimed he and the other officers did the ‘legal, moral and ethical thing that night’ in an e-mail sent to more than 1,000 of his fellow LMPD officers.
In that e-mail he also slammed Mayor Greg Fischer, Public Safety Chief Amy Hess and former Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad for failing ‘all of us in epic proportions for their own gain and to cover their a**es’.
‘It’s sad how the good guys are demonized, and the criminals are canonized,’ he wrote.
The interview by ABC News and Louisville’s Courier Journal will air on ABC’s Good Morning America at 7am Wednesday.