Before the tragic murder of George Floyd by police, cops in Louisville, KY broke into an innocent couple's home and murdered accomplished EMT, Breonna Taylor as she slept in her bed. Instead of charging the officers who killed Breonna, cops arrested her boyfriend for trying to prevent her murder. Now, newly released audio recordings from the investigation into Taylor's fatal shooting paint a disturbing picture of how police allegedly conspired to cover up the details of her death.
After they broke into her home and killed Breonna Taylor, officer Brett Hankison and two other Louisville officers, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Officer Myles Cosgrove, were given paid vacations, not criminal charges.
As TFTP reported, this wholesale government sponsored execution of Taylor and subsequent unlawful arrest of Walker took place without cause. According to their lawsuit, Taylor was shot 8 times during a drug raid on the wrong home.
Instead of attempting to get to the bottom of the botched raid and hold those accountable who are responsible Taylor's death, the department has circled the wagons and engaged in a cover up.
“LMPD has tried to sweep this under the rug,” Sam Aguiar, another attorney on Taylor’s case said. “The family right now has a very understandable desire to know the full circumstances of what went on that night.”
Thanks to the newly released audio, we now know that cops actually admitted they were in the wrong.
The recordings reveal that a plainclothes officer went up to Taylor’s boyfriend after the fatal March 13 shooting and told him there had been a “misunderstanding,” NBC News reported Thursday.
“Why’d he say to me that there was a misunderstanding?” Kenneth Walker asked when he was interviewed by police just hours after the botched raid.
“I don’t know,” Sgt. Amanda Seelye, a member of the Louisville department’s Public Integrity Unit, answered. “That’s some new information for us as well.”
“I’m not an idiot,” Walker replied. “They figured out something. They did something wrong.”
Walker was grilled for 98 minutes immediately after the shooting. By contrast, Sgt. Jon Mattingly, who led the raid, wasn't even brought in for questioning until 12 days later and had a lawyer present to guide him through answering the questions. An expert told NBC News that the lawyer was "leading" the interview -- essentially coaching Mattingly's responses to protect him.
Mattingly, who was shot in the leg, said he backed out of the apartment as the shooting continued.
“That’s kind of like what I was getting to because of your positioning, you know, initially when you’re shot,” interviewer Sgt. Jason Vance told Mattingly. “And then rightfully so, you’re returning fire.”
“Mm-hmmm,” Mattingly replied.
Recommended for You
“But you know you just said you made a conscious decision, you know, ‘I’m injured, I need to move, so they can protect themselves and me as well,'” Vance said. “And then — I don’t want to put words in your mouth.”
“No, that’s it,” Mattingly said.
Vance was doing all the talking and Mattingly was simply agreeing. This was hardly an interview.
“The point of an interview is getting unbiased information, and that's not what he's doing,” said Geoffery Alpert, an expert and criminologist at the University of South Carolina. “The questions are so leading, they’re basically giving him as much information as they're getting.”
Though police claim to have announced themselves, Walker says he and Breonna heard nothing prior to the knocking and the cops -- who were not in uniform -- barging into his house.
As NBC reports:
In his interview, Walker tells investigators he and Taylor were dozing in front of a movie in the bedroom when they heard loud banging. They shouted “Who is it?” he says, but got “No answer. No response. No anything.”
They scrambled to dress and Walker grabbed his licensed gun, he says. They were standing in the hallway when the door opened in an “explosion.”
Walker maintains he could not see who was breaking in, saying he fired one low “warning” shot because he thought it was an intruder.
Mattingly says he got all the way into the house and saw Walker pointing the gun. He heard Walker’s shot and returned fire immediately. Mattingly had been hit in the leg, and would later learn the bullet had punctured his femoral artery. Walker did not fire his weapon again.
When she testified to a grand jury to have Walker indicted, Seeyle conveniently left out the fact that Walker thought the people at his door that night were intruders. Only after Walker was indicted was Mattingly interviewed. Clearly this was set up from the start to clear the officers and blame Taylor's death on her boyfriend.
Family attorney Ben Crump took to Twitter and claimed the interview is evidence of a "conspiracy."
“Audio of #KennyWalker and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly clearly reveal that there has been a CONSPIRACY to cover up #BreonnaTaylor’s killing since day one!!,” he wrote,
“ALL the officers involved need to be FIRED and CHARGED with murder,” Crump added.
Indeed, something needs to happen. From the shady nature of obtaining the warrants, to the coached interviews, the entire scenario was set up to punish Walker while clearing the officers. And, for the most part, it worked.
So far, only Sgt. Brett Hankinson, who fired 10 of the shots inside Taylor’s apartment — has been fired for “wantonly and blindly” shooting into the apartment. None of the officers have been charged with a crime.