Oct 21, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Louisville officer: "Breonna Taylor would be alive" if we had served no-knock warrant

Breonna Taylor memorial

Breonna Taylor memorial in Louisville. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, the Louisville officer who led the botched police raid that caused the death of Breonna Taylor, said the No. 1 thing he wishes he had done differently is either served a "no-knock" warrant or given five to 10 seconds before entering the apartment: "Breonna Taylor would be alive, 100 percent."

Driving the news: Mattingly, who spoke to ABC News and Louisville's Courier Journal for his public interview, was shot in the leg in the initial moments of the March 13 raid. Mattingly did not face any charges after Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said he and another officer were "justified" in returning fire to protect themselves against Taylor's boyfriend.

The big picture: The tragedy and subsequent indictment of officer Brett Hankison for wanton endangerment — charges unrelated to Taylor's killing — have catalyzed nationwide Black Lives Matter protests. Mattingly, who is white, told "Good Morning America" that he believed the shooting had nothing to do with race.

  • "It's not a race thing like people want to try to make it out to be. It's not. This is a point where we were doing our job, we gave too much time when we go in, I get shot, we returned fire," Mattingly said.
  • "This is not us going, hunting somebody down. This is not kneeling on a neck. It's nothing like that."

Mattingly said that officers had no idea that Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, would be at the apartment during the post-morning raid, and that's the reason "we gave her so much time" after what he claimed were multiple knocks on her door.

  • "They wanted to do the right thing and they said, 'Give her time to come to the door,'" said Mattingly, who also claimed that officers yelled, "Police, search warrant!" multiple times before entering.
  • Mattingly said that he was the first officer inside the apartment after they rammed down the door, and that he could see Walker pointing a gun at him after turning a hallway corner.
  • Walker said he did not hear police announce themselves and he fired one shot when they barged through the door, mistaking the officers for intruders
  • "Let's get one thing straight, he wasn't shooting at the ground, he wasn't firing a warning shot. He was in a stretched out, two hands," Mattingly insisted.

What they're saying: "I feel for her. I hurt for her mother and for her sisters. It's not just a passing 'Oh, this is part of the job, we did it and move on.' It's not like that," Mattingly said.

  • "I mean Breonna Taylor is now attached to me for the rest of my life. And that's not again, 'Woe is me.' That's me feeling for them. That's me having a heart and a soul, going as a parent, 'How do you move on?' I don't know. I don't want to experience it."
  • "I spent 20 years giving my time, blood, my energy trying to help the city that I grew up in, that I love," Mattingly said, noting that his family has received death threats. "And now when something tragic like this happens, now your family is the one that everybody wants to come after."

Go deeper: Grand juror says prosecutors did not present charges linked to Breonna Taylor's death

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