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Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth “Kenny” Walker, spoke to CBS News against the grand jury not charging the three Louisville officers who killed his girlfriend and claimed the police are trying to frame him for the fatal shooting.
Walker was initially charged with attempted murder of a police officer after he fired a warning shot when police barged into Taylor’s apartment on a no-knock warrant on March 13. Authorities claimed that Walker’s single shot allegedly struck Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, nearly killing him. Those charges were dropped in May.
The three officers –– Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove, and Brett Hankison –– who indiscriminately shot at the couple, however, will not face charges.
“How do you get away with that? There was kids in those other apartments too,” Walker said in an exclusive interview with “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King. “I didn’t shoot through any walls with kids in there. But I went to jail immediately.”
Walker sued Kentucky and the city of Louisville claiming police misconduct. In the interview, Walker and his lawyers, Steven Romines and Frederick Moore, accused Louisville Metro Police of framing him for his girlfriend’s murder.
“They break into his house, they kill his girlfriend, they frame him for it to cover it up, and then when that cover-up falls apart because it is so pathetic and so inconsistent with the evidence, the case is dismissed and the charges go away, he’s supposed to say thank you? No. There has to be a consequence,” Romines said. He added that if Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron won’t charge the three officers responsible, then they will seek justice in civil court.
Walker and his attorneys noted that a dozen witnesses said they did not hear police announce themselves at Taylor’s apartment door and the only witness to say police had announced themselves initially claimed they hadn’t. Romines added that none of the three 911 calls made that night indicate that neighbors knew police were conducting the raid.
Romines told King that authorities lied on the warrant used to execute the raid on Taylor’s apartment. Police claimed that Taylor was receiving suspicious packages on behalf of her ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover. The postal inspector confirmed that was not true.
Moore, meanwhile, noted that the ballistics report from that night is inconclusive. Walker acknowledges that he fired a warning shot but said he did not shoot Mattingly in the leg. He said Cameron has not “definitively proven” that the bullet shot by Walker actually hit Mattingly.
King asked Walker what he hopes to achieve with his lawsuit and he responded that he will never get what he truly wants: Taylor to be alive.
“No amount of money can, you know, change the fact that’s she’s gone. Like, that’s all I really care about. I want her name to live on,” Walker told King. “People ask me all the time what they can do for me and I tell them, ‘Say her name.’ That’s what you can do for me.”
He added: “To the world she’s just a hashtag, a picture and all of that. But to me it was much more. More than a girlfriend too. I think that’s what I want the world to know the most. That was my best friend…The most important person pretty much to me on Earth. And they took her.”
No Charges Against Officers
On Sept. 29, Cameron revealed to WDRB that he did not recommend charges against Mattingly or Cosgrove. The Kentucky attorney general admitted he only recommended charges against Hankison, and even those charges did not relate to Taylor's death.
Hankison, who was fired from Louisville Metro Police Department, was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment, a class D felony. The former detective was charged because he “wantonly shot a gun” into an adjacent apartment. The charges stem from a lawsuit filed by Taylor’s neighbor, Chesey Napper, who claimed officers “blindly” fired shots into her apartment.
The grand jury’s failure to charge the three officers prompted a new wave of protests in Louisville and around the country. Taylor’s family said that the lack of homicide charges against the officers was “outrageous and offensive to Breonna’s memory,” ABC News reported.
“Her killing was criminal on so many levels: An illegal warrant obtained by perjury. Breaking into a home without announcing, despite instructions to execute a warrant that required it. More than 30 gunshots fired, many of which were aimed at Breonna while she was on the ground,” family attorney Ben Crump said in a statement at the time. “Many others fired blindly into every room of her home. A documented and clear cover-up, and the death of an unarmed Black woman who posed no threat and who was living her best life. Yet here we are, without justice for Breonna, her family and the Black community.”
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 the Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe.