Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker said he is “a million percent sure” that Louisville cops didn’t identify themselves before bursting into the apartment of the 26-year-old emergency medical worker and shooting her dead. In an exclusive broadcast interview with “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King, Walker shared the details of the night Taylor was fatally shot by police in her own home.
Taylor was killed in March by three Louisville police officers in the name of executing a no knock-search warrant in her apartment. The police believed that Taylor’s ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover was keeping drugs and money in her apartment, but there were no drugs or money in her apartment, the police found.
Walker said he and Taylor had been watching a movie in bed when the police entered the apartment.
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“It was a normal day… you know, we went on a date, we went out to eat,” Walker recalled. The two had gone back home to play Uno and watch a movie when they later heard “a loud bang at the door,” Walker told King during their interview.
He said: “Nobody was responding, and we were saying ‘Who is it?’ You know.” The pair asked this question several times but never got a response, according to Walker.
“I’m a million percent sure that nobody identified themselves,” he said. “if they had knocked on the door and say who it was, we could hear them. It was dead silent.”
“So the next thing I know the door is flying open,” he told King. Walker, who had then grabbed his gun, fired a single shot, thinking the officers were intruders. The officers then returned fire. Walker told King that three officers combined fired 32 shots into the apartment, with “bullets coming in every direction.”
He then heard Taylor scream while holding her hand during the gunfire. He said he pulled her to the ground. “But, you know, she was scared so she just didn’t get down,” he said. Taylor was alive and bleeding when the gunfire stopped, so Walker called his mom, who asked him to call 911. That 911 call has now been made public; Walker’s voice can be heard saying someone “kicked in the door” and shot his girlfriend.
Walker told King that he wouldn’t have called the police for help if he knew it was the police who broke in. Coming out of the apartment to get help, Walker said he found the police with guns drawn and dogs. Walker said one officer even asked him if he was hit with any bullets. When he said no, the officer replied “That’s unfortunate.”
He then told the officers what had happened, stressing that he and Taylor were scared and did not know who was at the door. The police ordered him to “walk” to the squad car, and instead of going straight to the police, Walker said he was taken to “a random parking lot” where a plainclothes officer told him there had been a “miscommunication.”
At the police station, Walker was charged with attempted murder of a police officer, but the police never told him directly that Taylor was killed, he said. He later found out from the news while in the cell that Taylor had died. Walker, who has since had the charges against him dropped, said it’s “disrespectful” that the police “did nothing” while his girlfriend died.
The three officers who fired the shots – Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove – were not charged in Taylor’s death by a grand jury on September 23. Only Hankison, who was fired in the aftermath of the incident, was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment in the first degree for firing into the apartments of Taylor’s neighbors.
Police have claimed that they identified themselves before entering the apartment on the day of the shooting. Louisville police Lieutenant Shawn Hoover said in an interview that the officers “knocked on the door, said ‘police,’ waited, I don’t know, 10 or 15 seconds, knocked again, said ‘police,’ waited even longer.”
“So it was the third time that we were approaching, it had been like 45 seconds if not a minute,” Hoover said. “And then I said, `Let’s go, let’s breach it.'”
But Walker, who is so sure that the officers didn’t identify themselves, told King: “It was dead silent in the house.”
“And it was 12:00, 1:00 at night, or whatever time. So it was — it’s always quiet. We live in a quiet place. So if somebody was on the other side of the door saying anything, we would hear them.”
“That’s why I grabbed the gun. Didn’t have a clue,” Walker, a licensed gun-owner, said. “I mean, if it was the police at the door, and they just said, ‘We’re the police,’ me or Breonna didn’t have a reason at all not to open the door to see what they wanted.”