News May 11, 2021 at 08:11 am

Cops shouldn’t have shot into Breonna Taylor’s home, internal memo finds

Mildred Europa Taylor | Head of Content

Mildred Europa Taylor May 11, 2021 at 08:11 am

May 11, 2021 at 08:11 am | News

Taylor was killed in March by three Louisville police officers. Photo: Breonna Taylor family

An internal probe into the death of Breonna Taylor determined that the three Louisville Metro Police Department officers involved should not have fired shots into her apartment.

Documents obtained by ABC News show that Sgt. Andrew Meyer from the department’s Professional Standards Unit determined that the three officers should not have fired back after Sgt. Jon Mattingly was shot in the leg by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.

Taylor was killed in March 2020 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.

Taylor’s boyfriend Walker said recently that 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. 

The three officers who fired the shots – 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.

“They took a total of thirty-two shots, when the provided circumstances made it unsafe to take a single shot. This is how the wrong person was shot and killed,” Meyer wrote in the report dated December 4. He was backed by Lt. Jeff Artman, ABC reported.

Meyer added in the report that the officers involved in the raid that killed Taylor violated the department’s use-of-force policy when they ignored the risk of hitting someone who did not pose a threat, ABC reported. Meyer wrote that deadly force should only have been used against Walker as he fired a shot. However, Mattingly “should not have taken the shot” since Walker, “who had a permit to carry a handgun, wasn’t a clear, isolated target after he ducked into a back bedroom at the end of a dimly lit hallway,” Meyer wrote, according to ABC News.

Former interim LMPD Chief Yvette Gentry did not agree with the report, saying Mattingly’s actions “need to be examined through the lens of what he reasonably believed at the time he discharged his weapon at an identified threat, at the end of a dimly lit hallway, after being shot himself.”

Gentry, who did not discipline Mattingly after the incident, retired in January when former Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields was appointed to fill her position.

In a statement released on Friday, Gentry stated: “I fired people that some believe should have been suspended, I reprimanded people some people (said) should have been exonerated and I overturned what was believed was not appropriate for the situation.”

“I still believe in my soul Breonna Taylor should be alive.”

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