26 year-old Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by police March 13, 2020. She and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were sleeping in Taylor’s home when the police broke in to execute a search warrant for drugs and narcotics.
As shots were fired, Taylor was shot six times and died in the hallway of her apartment.
Walker fired first, right after the officers broke down the door of the apartment. Officer Mattingly was hit in the leg, and he fired six shots back in return. Officer Cosgrove fired 16 times from the doorway.
“Mr. Walker, fearing an intruder, reached for his gun and let off one shot, wounding an officer. He and another officer returned fire, while a third began blindly shooting through Ms.Taylor’s window and patio door,” said The New York Times article “Breonna Taylor’s Life Was Changing. Then the Police Came to her Door.”
Many accounts of that night have been circulating as more information about the case is released. For example, one report states the police announced their present before entering the apartment.
“While the department had received court approval for a ‘no-knock’ entry, the orders were changed before the raid to ‘knock and announce,’ meaning that the police had to identify themselves,” said The New York Times.
Walker claims he did not hear any announcement despite he and Taylor repeatedly asking, but the officers are saying otherwise.
Walker also describes verbal harassment from the officers, saying they told him he would spend his life in jail, and that they would set dogs on him. He was eventually arrested and charged with assault and attempted murder on a police officer. However, May 26 the charges were dropped and he was released from jail. Walker’s lawyer confirmed there were no drugs in Walker’s apartment. Hankison, Mattingly and Cosgrove were placed on administrative reassignment.
Of the three officers involved in the shooting, Brett Hankison, Jon Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, only Hankison was arrested in June. The other two have not been charged. As a result of this shooting and the controversy surrounding racial injustice, dozens of protests have sparked up around the country in support of Breonna Taylor and many others.