Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, the Louisville Metro police officer who earlier this month claimed that the cops’ biggest mistake the night they barged into Breonna Taylor’s home was not going in sooner, is suing Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker for “severe trauma, mental anguish, and emotional distress” he experienced as a result of Walker’s actions that night.
Mattingly, alongside Dets. Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove, raided Taylor’s apartment in the early hours of March 13, as part of a drug investigation targeting her ex-boyfriend, who they erroneously said was having packages delivered to her home. They did not know Walker, a licensed gun owner, was in the home with her.
Walker says he did not hear police announce themselves, despite he and Taylor calling out to ask who was banging on the door. When police forcibly entered the apartment, Walker fired what he described as a warning shot, mistaking the police for intruders. Mattingly was hit in a thigh; in a hailstorm of bullets, police shot Taylor, killing her as she stood in the hallway outside of her bedroom.
According to CBS News, the civil suit faults Walker for emotional distress, assault and battery. Citing one of the legal standards for intentional emotional distress, the lawsuit said, “Walker’s conduct in shooting Mattingly is outrageous, intolerable, and offends all accepted standards of decency and morality.”
In the wake of Taylor’s fatal shooting, Walker was arrested and charged with attempted murder for allegedly striking Mattingly in the leg, though the chargers were later dropped. Walker later sued the LMPD, and used Kentucky’s “Stand Your Ground” law to seek immunity.
Walker’s attorney scoffed at the claims in Mattingly’s suit
“Even the most basic understanding of Kentucky’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law and the ‘Castle Doctrine’ evidences this fact. One would think that breaking into the apartment, executing his girlfriend and framing him for a crime in an effort to cover up her murder would be enough for them,” attorney Steve Romines said in a statement given to CBS News. “Yet this baseless attempt to further victimize and harass Kenny indicates otherwise.”
Earlier this month, Mattingly, who faces no criminal charges related to Taylor’s killing and remains employed by the LMPD, cast the blame for the 26-year-old emergency medical technician’s death on Walker.
“We expected that Breonna was going to be there by herself. That’s why we gave her so much time. And in my opinion that was a mistake,” the 47-year-old cop told Good Morning America co-anchor Michael Strahan. He argued that if police had only barged in sooner, Walker wouldn’t have had time to grab his weapon.
“Number one, we would have either served the no-knock warrant or we would have done the normal thing we do, which is [wait] five to 10 seconds. To not give people time to formulate a plan, not give people time to get their senses so they have an idea of what they’re doing,” Mattingly told Strahan. “Because if that had happened...Breonna Taylor would be alive, 100 percent.”
He also described himself as a “victim” of the shooting.
“I’m not going to sit here and act like, playing the big victim card. But I mean, I was a victim in this as well,” he said, adding that this family had to “go into hiding” and faced death threats in the aftermath of Taylor’s death.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the special prosecutor in charge of investigating Taylor’s March 13 killing argued that because Walker had fired at LMPD officers, Taylor’s killing was justified. No offices were charged in Taylor’s death. Earlier this week, two members of the grand jury said that Cameron had not presented charging officers with homicide as an option.
“We didn’t have a choice in that at all, so I was livid,” one grand juror who spoke to CBS This Morning on Wednesday said. “By the time I heard what he was saying, everything that came out of his mouth, I was saying, ‘Liar.’ ... ‘Cause we didn’t agree to anything.
“It was a betrayal.”