‘We did the legal, moral and ethical thing that night’ – Officer in Breonna Taylor shooting says in email to colleagues

Francis Akhalbey Sep 23, 2020 at 08:04am

September 23, 2020 at 08:04 am | News

Francis Akhalbey

Francis Akhalbey | Content Manager

September 23, 2020 at 08:04 am | News

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly (left) said he and his colleagues did "the legal, moral and ethical thing" the night of Taylor's fatal shooting -- Left Photo via LMPD

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, one of the six Louisville Metro Police officers under investigation for their involvement in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor on March 13, reportedly sent a broadcast email to around 1,000 of his colleagues justifying their actions that fateful night and also condemning authorities for allegedly hanging them out to dry.

In the email that was obtained and shared by Vice News correspondent Roberto Aram Ferdman on Twitter on Tuesday, Mattingly called out the mayor, Public Safety Chief Amy Hess and former Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad for failing the department in “epic proportions for their own gain and to cover their asses.”

“I’m not here to give you a Rah Rah you got this speech. I’m not here to tell you that you signed up to help this community and to keep your head up,” he said. “I’m here to tell you I’m sorry you have to go through this. I’m sorry your families have to go through this.”

Earlier this year, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron was made a special prosecutor in the case and his office began investigations in May. A grand jury has also been empaneled to investigate the fatal shooting as the FBI also conducts its own investigations.

Taylor’s death sparked protests against racial discrimination and police brutality in the city with people calling for all the officers involved to be held responsible for their actions.

“You DO NOT DESERVE to be in this position,” Mattingly continued in the mail. “The position that allows thugs to get in your face and yell, curse and degrade you. Throw bricks bottles and urine on you and expect you to do nothing.

He shared his sentiments on the FBI – who he claims “aren’t cops and would piss their pants if they had to go the line” – coming after officers when any one of them makes “a mistake” during a stressful time while in the line of duty.

“Your civil rights mean nothing,” he told his colleagues. “But the criminal has total autonomy.”

Taylor, 26, was killed in her home while sleeping with her boyfriend in a botched narcotics raid by the LMPD. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot at the officers who were executing a “no-knock” warrant, hitting Mattingly in the thigh. Mattingly, together with officers Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove, returned fire, hitting Taylor several times. Walker claimed he acted in self-defense as he believed intruders were breaking into the home.

“We all signed up to be police officers. We knew the risks and were willing to take them, but we always assumed the city had our back,” Mattingly told his colleagues, adding: “We as police DO NOT CARE if you are black, white, Hispanic, Asian, what you indentify as…this week. This is not us against society, but it is good versus evil.”

Mattingly’s email comes in the wake of a state of an emergency that has been declared by the city of Louisville and its police department ahead of an impending announcement on whether the officers involved in Taylor’s death would be charged, CNN reports.

“Regardless of the outcome today or Wednesday, I know we did the legal, moral and ethical thing that night. It’s sad how the good guys are demonized, and criminals are canonized,” Mattingly said, warning his colleagues they are “just a pawn in the Mayor’s political game.”

“I’m proof they do not care about you or your family, and you are replaceable.”

Email confirmed by attorney

Meanwhile, attorney for Mattingly, Kent Wicker, confirmed to the CNN the email was sent by his client.

“Sgt. Mattingly sent an email to his colleagues last evening, expressing his support for them and their work in these difficult times. As you will recall, he was shot and severely injured while serving this warrant,” said Wicker. “Like our entire community, he is hopeful that this process moves forward quickly, and that his fellow officers and the people of Louisville remain safe.”

Family attorney responds

Responding to the email, one of the attorneys for Taylor’s family, Sam Aguiar, told the Louisville Courier Journal it highlights the some of the problems in LMPD.

“An unarmed Black woman whose home never should’ve been raided was shot (five) times and died at the hands of Mattingly and his colleagues,” Aguiar said. “Mattingly gets to go home to his family every day. Then they covered it up. So, respectfully, Mattingly’s definition of ‘moral’ and ‘ethical’ actions are insulting to anyone with common decency. His characterization of protesters as ‘thugs’ is reprehensible. This department has instilled a culture which needs to be changed.”

Mattingly, Cosgrove, Detectives Joshua Jaynes, Tony James, Michael Campbell and Michael Nobles are being investigated by the LMPD’s professional standards unit for their involvement in the shooting, according to CNN. Hankison was terminated in June for “wantonly and blindly” firing ten rounds” into the deceased’s home. Louisville Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder said Hankison’s action was in contravention of the department’s rules and he “displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life.”

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