LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The investigation into Breonna Taylor’s fatal shooting has revealed that officers did knock before entering her apartment, despite claims to the contrary and the officers’ “no-knock” warrant.
“Evidence shows that officers both knocked and announced their presence at the apartment. The officer’s statements about their announcement are corroborated by an independent witness, who was near in proximity to apartment 4. In other words, the warrant was not served as a ‘no-knock’ warrant,” State Attorney General Daniel Cameron, Kentucky’s first Black AG, said.
Cameron called the shooting death a tragedy, but he said that a thorough and independent investigation revealed that officers could not be held criminally liable for killing Taylor.
A Kentucky grand jury did vote on Wednesday to indict Detective Brett Hankison, one of the three officers who served the warrant, for recklessly endangering Taylor’s next-door neighbors.
Breonna Taylor, an emergency medical worker, was shot and killed during a warrant search during a drug investigation in Louisville on March 13. Police obtained a “no-knock” warrant that allowed them to enter Taylor’s home without announcing themselves, which have been used before in similar scenarios. However, the investigation and witness statement shows that officers chose to issue a warning anyway.
Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend who was at the apartment, said he did not hear police identify themselves. However, according to previous reports, he acknowledged that there was knocking before police entered.
Initial statements on social media, including one by the Democratic Party, accused the officers of entering without a warrant, without warning and for no reason. Cameron’s investigation now refutes those claims. USA Today reportedly contacted the party in regards to the post, and a spokesperson responded by promoting the party’s efforts in getting rid of “no-knock” warrants.
Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly was the only officer to enter the apartment, according to the investigation. He opened the door with a battering ram after hearing no response, and he was reportedly immediately hit by a single shot from Walker’s gun.
Det. Hankison shot back from outside into the apartment. His bullets traveled into the neighbor’s apartment, which led to his indictment.
Other officers also shot back, striking and killed Taylor, who was standing near Walker.
Along with the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, Taylor’s case became a major touchstone for claims of entrenched racism and demanded police reform. Protestors demonstrated across the nation after the results of the investigation were announced, outraged that none of the officers were charged with killing Taylor.