This could change everything: New audio suggests police knocked on door before entering Breonna Taylor’s home.
Newly released audio of interviews about the deadly encounter in which Breonna Taylor was tragically killed by police suggest officers knocked and may have identified themselves before firing, contrary to previous claims.
Taylor, 26, an emergency medical technician, was mistakenly killed March 13 when police were serving a “no-knock” warrant at her apartment and startled her boyfriend, who fired at what he perceived to be intruders. Police returned fire, killing Taylor, according to The Daily Beast.
According to police records, the “no-knock” search warrant granted by a judge as part of a narcotics investigation was executed just before 1 a.m. on March 13.
Despite the “no-knock” provision, Louisville Metro Police Department Lt. Ted Eidem claimed officers had “knocked on the door several times and announced their presence as police who were there with a search warrant.”
A lawsuit filed by Taylor’s family, however, alleges that not only did the plainclothes officers enter the home “without knocking and without announcing themselves,” but they approached the house in unmarked cars “in a manner which kept them from being detected by neighbors.”
Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s 27-year-old boyfriend, was startled awake from a “peaceful sleep” by the officer’s entry and believed the apartment was being burglarized. He used his legal firearm to fire one shot out of self-defense, the lawsuit states. The shot wounded an officer in the leg and prompted return fire of more than 20 rounds into the home.
However, newly released audio from the internal investigation into Taylor’s death seems to show that Taylor’s boyfriend and police both confirmed that officers knocked on the door before breaking it down, according to a July 10 report by CNN.
The audio, first reported by NBC News and obtained by CNN, includes the Louisville Metro Police Department’s interview with Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, on the night of the shooting.
Walker, who was described as audibly upset, described multiple knocks with both he and Taylor shouting, “Who is it?”
Walker said there was no response and as the couple approached the door, it came off the hinges and then he fired a shot. When a “lot of shots” were fired, the two dropped to the floor, he said, and his gun fell, according to CNN.
The shot Walker fired struck Sgt. John Mattingly in the leg, puncturing his femoral artery and causing police to return fire.
The tapes also include an interview with Mattingly, conducted on March 25, nine days after his release from the hospital, reported CNN. Mattingly was interviewed with an attorney present and said that officers identified themselves repeatedly before breaking down Taylor’s door.
Even though the narcotics warrant that police say they were serving at Taylor’s door was a no-knock warrant, Mattingly told investigators the officers were instructed to knock on the door.