July 10 (UPI) — A Louisville, Ky., police officer involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor said officers knew she was likely alone in her apartment and that the suspect they were searching for was already located, according to interviews released Thursday.
Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, one of three officers present at the scene of Taylor’s death on March 13, told investigators he and the other officers who carried out the no-knock warrant were told that there were minimal threats in her apartment.
“They said they did not believe she had children or animals, but they weren’t sure,” Mattingly said. “Said she should be there alone because they knew where the target was.”
He added that surveillance conducted earlier in the night showed little activity in the apartment.’
Mattingly said he did not recall the name of the target on the search warrant, but Jamarcus Glover, one of the main suspects in a narcotics investigation and Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, was arrested after police searched his house at Elliot Avenue on a separate warrant.
In the interview, Mattingly also stated that police repeatedly knocked and announced their presence, giving sufficient time for a resident to answer the door, but said he was unsure why he was told to do so during a no-knock warrant.
“Our intent was to give her plenty of time to come to the door because they said she was probably there alone,” he said.
Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend who was in the apartment with her at the time of her death, told investigators they didn’t know it was police knocking at the door. Walker, a licensed firearm carrier, fired a “warning shot” that struck Mattingly in the leg after officers broke down the door of the residence and officers returned fire, striking Taylor five times.
“The only reason I even had the gun out [was] because we didn’t know who it was,” Walker said. “If we knew who it was, that would have never happened.”
Attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Taylor’s family, said the interviews indicate a conspiracy to cover up Taylor’s killing and called for all of the officers involved to be charged with murder.
“They substantiate what we’ve maintained all along: that police did not announce themselves when they broke into the residence with a battering ram and relased a shower of ginfire into the apartment, killing Breona, that the warrant and its execution were based on erroneous information and that Lousiville police actively worked to cover up Breonna’s brutal murder,” Crump said.
Taylor’s family on Thursday also amended their lawsuit against the three officers to state that the raid of her home was connected to a gentrification project, alleging police were used to target people and homes on Elliot Avenue so the street could be vacated for a real estate project.
“Breonna’s home should never have had police there in the first place,” the suit states. “Breonna’s death was the culmination of radical political and police conduct.”