Kenneth Walker, the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor who was with her the night she was shot and killed by Louisville Metro Police, has filed a lawsuit against the department, arguing that he is a victim of police misconduct and seeking immunity from future prosecution related to the case.
The 28-year-old filed the civil complaint in Jefferson County District Court on Tuesday, seeking unspecified monetary damages from the city and the LMPD on a slew of charges, including assault, battery, false arrest and imprisonment, reports the Louisville Courier Journal.
Walker was with Taylor in her bedroom on March 13 when LMPD officers arrived attempting to serve a “no-knock” warrant on Taylor’s home in connection to a drug investigation involving her ex-boyfriend. Walker and Taylor, who were asleep in her upstairs bedroom, heard a “loud boom” at her front door—likely the sound of the police using a battering ram to break in. According to the complaint, Taylor called out “Who is it?” When there was no response, she and Walker began putting their clothes on.
Walker then went downstairs with his gun and fired a warning shot when he saw the intruders, whom he did not realize were police.
In the immediate aftermath of Taylor’s killing, police claimed that Walker’s shot had struck Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly on his thigh, which resulted in an initial charge of attempted murder. The charge was later dropped by the Jefferson County Commonwealth Attorney’s office.
But now, Walker’s attorney says there is evidence to suggest that Mattingly was shot by other officers during two different waves of shootings.
From the Courier Journal:
Based on crime scene photographs and other evidence he’s obtained through discovery, [attorney Steve] Romines said LMPD likely fired 40 to 45 bullets into Taylor’s apartment during two different “flurries” or waves of shootings.
“The radio transmission and the 911 calls reflect that a minute and eight seconds transpires with no shots before they start shooting into the apartment again,” Romines said.
“During that time, Hankison yells ‘reload,’” Romines said, adding that the initial 911 call comes from a neighbor while gunfire is going off.
More than a minute elapses before anyone says ‘officer shot,’ he said.
“We know police are firing wildly from various angles,” Romines said. “The timeline and evidence at the scene is more indicative of (police) actually shooting Mattingly than it is Kenny Walker.”
Photographs of Walker’s round that was recovered didn’t show any indication that it touched blood, Romines said.
Ballistics evidence, as well as how plausible the timeline presented by Walker versus the police, could play a crucial role in the investigation into Taylor’s killing, which is still ongoing. On Sunday, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said he received a ballistics report on the police shooting, characterizing it as a “crucial piece” of his probe into the 26-year-old EMT’s death.
“It’s not the end-all-be-all,” Cameron said on the CBS news program, Face the Nation. “There are still some witness-testimony interviews that have to be conducted.”
According to the New York Times, Cameron is supposed to review the evidence with the FBI this week. The federal agency is launching its own investigation into the police shooting.
Taylor family attorney Ben Crump, who also appeared on Face the Nation on Sunday, cast doubt on Cameron’s leadership in the investigation, calling out the lack of charges thus far.
“It’s just been delay tactic, delay tactic, delay tactic,” he said. “We’ve been told when they get the ballistics report, that’s what they needed to wrap up this investigation and finally give them answers that they so desperately want,” he said, referring to Taylor’s family. “At this point, we are hoping that this conclusion will be sooner rather than later, because justice delayed is justice denied.”