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Kenneth “Kenny” Walker, Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, is suing Louisville, the city’s police department and others, for immunity for his actions the night Taylor was killed by police under Kentucky’s “stand your ground law,” he announced on September 1. The couple were asleep when police broke into Taylor’s apartment on a no-knock warrant.
Walker fired a single shot when police barged in, believing they were intruders. Police responded with a barrage of gunfire, shooting Taylor eight times and killing the 26-year-old EMT. The three officers involved were Myles Cosgrove, Brett Hankison and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly.
The 28-year-old licensed gun owner was charged with attempted murder and assault after the March 13 shooting. Kentucky Attorney Thomas Wine dropped the initial charges against Walker “without prejudice” on May 22. The move means charges could be filed against Walker again.
Walker said on Tuesday that the lawsuit would stop officials from attempting to re-arrest him and charge him for any crimes relating to the shooting, ABC News reported.
Attorney Steve Romines, who is representing Walker, told The Louisville Courier Journal that a review of the evidence shows his client did not fire the bullet that nearly severed Mattingly’s femoral artery.
“We know police are firing wildly from various angles,” Romines told the newspaper. “The timeline and evidence at the scene is more indicative of (police) actually shooting Mattingly than it is Kenny Walker.”
Walker was arrested about three hours after the fatal incident, but the officers responsible for Taylor’s horrific death remain free, Romines noted at a press conference.
The attorney requested an immediate judgment for Walker’s immunity under the state’s “stand your ground” law, which would prevent law enforcement or state officials from prosecuting individuals who act in self-defense. The Courier-Journal reported that the law has an exception when police are knowingly involved.
According to the civil complaint filed in Jefferson County District Court, Walker is seeking unspecified monetary damages for assault, battery, false arrest and imprisonment, malicious prosecution, abuse of process and negligence. The lawsuit names Wine, Mayor Greg Fischer, Attorney General Daniel Cameron, Louisville Metro Police Department interim Chief Rob Schroeder, former Chief Steve Conrad, the Louisville Area Governmental Self-Insurance Trust, 13 LMPD officers and unnamed officers.
Walker’s criminal defense attorney, Rob Eggert, reportedly sought a similar motion for him in Jefferson County District Court. Eggert told The Courier-Journal that no matter who fired the bullet that struck Mattingly, Walker was within his rights to defend himself and his girlfriend.
No Justice for Breonna Taylor
Nearly six months after Taylor’s death, only Hankison was fired, while Cosgrove and Mattingly were placed on administrative duties. Taylor’s death sparked nationwide Black Lives Matter protests demanding justice for her killing. Protesters have called on Louisville officials to arrest and charge the three officers involved in her death.
The three undercover officers executed the raid on her home to find evidence that linked her to her ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover. Police found no evidence in the fatal raid.
Glover, who was arrested the same night Taylor was killed and was charged with running a drug syndicate, was reportedly offered a plea deal in July if he named Taylor as a member of his alleged criminal gang. Scott Barton, Glover’s attorney, told NPR that his client “immediately rejected anything with her name in it.”
About the Author
Nicole Rojas is a senior writer for The North Star. She has published in various publications, including Newsweek, GlobalPost, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, and the Long Island Post. Nicole graduated from Boston University in 2012 with a degree in print journalism. She is an avid world traveler who recently explored Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas.