Officer shot in Breonna Taylor’s apartment speaks out about deadly incident

Louisville Police Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly gave his first interview to ABC News and the Louisville Courier Journal

The Louisville police officer injured in a drug raid resulted in Breonna Taylor's death inside her apartment spoke out against the “misinformation” and “false narratives” of the case in his first public interview on the incident. 

Speaking with ABC News and the Louisville Courier Journal, Jonathan Mattingly said that night was about police “doing our job” and returning fire when fired upon – and had nothing to do with race.

Along with Detectives Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison, Mattingly arrived at Taylor’s door late on March 13 to serve a drug warrant linked to someone else.

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When the officers came through the door, Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker opened fire. He has maintained he thought someone was breaking in.

He shot Mattingly in the leg, according to prosecutors, but initial charges against him for shooting an officer have been dropped.

Police fired 32 shots in return, six of which struck Taylor, who had worked as an emergency medical technician.

“This is not relatable to George Floyd,” Mattingly told ABC News and the Louisville Courier Journal. “It’s nothing like it. This is not Ahmaud Arbery. It’s nothing like it.”

Floyd, who was Black, died on May 25 in police custody after then-Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, who is White, was seen on video kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The death of Arbery, also Black, was captured on video that showed him chased down while jogging, shot and killed by White men in Georgia.

"It's not a race thing, like people wanna try to make it to be," Mattingly said of the events that led to Taylor’s death. “This is the point where we're doing our job, we return fire. This is not us hunting somebody down, not kneeling on a neck. This is nothing like that.”

A grand juror in the Breonna Taylor case said Tuesday that the panel was not presented with homicide charges for the three officers involved in her death. (Courtesy of Taylor Family attorney Sam Aguiar via AP, File)

A grand juror in the Breonna Taylor case said Tuesday that the panel was not presented with homicide charges for the three officers involved in her death. (Courtesy of Taylor Family attorney Sam Aguiar via AP, File)

Walker, who fired first, told investigators it was in self-defense and reiterated that in his own interview, with CBS’ Gayle King last week. He said he "didn’t have a clue” who was coming through the door.

“I never thought it was the police,” he said. “Because why would the police be coming here?”   

According to authorities, the officers announced that they were police before entering. Walker said he did not hear that. A witness in the apartment complex said they heard the officers identifying themselves before the incident during grand jury proceedings against the officers in late September.

Hankison, the only one indicted by the grand jury, is accused of blindly firing without line of sight on a target, allegedly launching bullets into a sleeping family’s home and putting them in danger. None of the officers were charged directly in connection with Taylor’s death.

Hankison faces up to five years in prison on each of the three counts of wanton endangerment. He has pleaded not guilty. Hankison was fired in June.

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Earlier Tuesday, after a judge allowed grand jurors to speak about their proceedings, one of the members said anonymously that prosecutors had not given them the option to consider homicide charges against the officers.

At a news conference announcing Hankison’s indictment, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said prosecutors “walked the grand jury through every homicide offense” and said “the grand jury agreed” that officers were justified in returning Walker’s gunfire.

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The anonymous juror challenged Cameron’s comments, saying the panel “didn’t agree that certain actions were justified,” and grand jurors “did not have homicide charges explained to them.”

Cameron has previously said that the use of force by Mattingly and Cosgrove was justified under Kentucky law.

In a statement Tuesday night, Cameron said that it was his decision “to ask for an indictment that could be proven under Kentucky law.”

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.