On Tuesday, The Root reported that Kenneth Walker, the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor, was permanently cleared of charges of attempted murder and assault of a police officer which he was initially charged with after the deadly raid that took Taylor’s life on March 13, last year.
But just because Walker is no longer in trouble with the law, doesn’t mean he’s ready to take his foot off the necks of those responsible for killing Taylor during the botched execution of a search warrant that should never have been issued. On Friday, Walker filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky against the city of Louisville and the police officers involved in the raid.
From the Washington Post:
The 38-page lawsuit by Kenneth Walker casts Taylor’s death as preventable and alleges broad, problematic practices of the Louisville Metro Police Department: nighttime raids and a failure by officers to clearly identify themselves.
According to his lawsuit, Walker was inside the apartment at the time and fired a shot at the officers, whom he believed to be “intruders.” The officers, according to the suit, “responded with a fusillade” that struck Taylor.
“Mr. Walker survived the onslaught, but was forced to lay helplessly beside Ms. Taylor as she bled to death on the floor from her gunshot wounds,” the suit alleges. “This senseless tragedy occurred because of the willful disregard for the constitutional rights of Mr. Walker and Ms. Taylor shown by the LMPD officers who planned and carried out the raid on Ms. Taylor’s residence.”
According to the Post, the lawsuit also alleges that law enforcement officials made false claims in order to obtain the warrant that led to the raid. In fact, similar claims are made in complaints against six officers of the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Professional Standards Unit that were filed recently by Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer.
The federal lawsuit is actually the second suit Walker has filed against the city and the officers who raided Taylor’s apartment. According to the Post, the first suit was filed in Jefferson Circuit Court.
More from the Post:
Walker’s suit alleges that the warrant used to justify searching Taylor’s apartment was deeply flawed, as it was mostly based on evidence focused on a different address where police believed two other men, including Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, sold drugs. A detective, according to Walker’s suit, sought to link Taylor’s apartment to the activity by falsely claiming a U.S. Postal inspector had confirmed her ex-boyfriend received packages at her address.
The suit also alleges that Louisville police supervisors had a general practice of lax supervision of warrants and that officers were not adequately trained on using force.
“This is a very important lawsuit to vindicate Kenneth Walker’s constitutional rights under the U.S. Constitution,” Georgetown University Law Center professor Cliff Sloan, who is representing Walker in the suit, told ABC News. “We are seeking to ensure that there is justice and accountability for the tragic and unjustified police assault on Kenneth Walker and killing of Breonna Taylor.”
Saturday was the one-year anniversary of Taylor’s death. Despite the grand jury decision not to press significant charges against any of the officers involved in the shooting—a thing multiple grand jurors have said came as a result of jurors being misled by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron—Taylor’s family has not given up on holding the cops involved in the 26-year-old’s death accountable. Walker’s family hasn’t given up either.
In a recent interview with WAVE 3 News, Walker’s parents, Velicia and Kenneth Walker Jr., spoke about Taylor’s death and the impact it has had on them and their son.
From WAVE 3:
“(We’re still) numb,” Velicia Walker said.
There are days where the Walkers still keep watch over their phones, wishing for a call from Taylor and for her car to drive up to their home with their son by her side.
“If you ever would have seen the apartment and all the holes in that apartment,” Kenneth Walker Jr. said. “He’s not supposed to be here.”
For Kenneth Jr. and Velicia Walker, the pain from last March feels like a twisted knife in the gut. For their son, Kenneth III, it’s a daily slice.
“If a police officer rides through this neighborhood I could see [Kenneth’s] skin cringe,” Velicia said.
The Walkers said they have completely lost trust in the LMPD and that they now worry every time Kenneth leaves his home.
Neither Taylor, her family or the Walker family deserves to live with this kind of grief and the sense that they aren’t safe with those tasked with protecting and serving their community. Black people across America feel the same way about policing in America, and that is why we continue to fight.