Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend sues Louisville police for damages

The lawsuit claims Kenneth Walker is immune from prosecution for shooting a police officer during the fatal raid.

The Connecticut Sun honor Breonna Taylor prior to a game against the Minnesota Lynx on August 1, 2020 at Feld Entertainment Center in Palmetto, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and a
The Connecticut Sun honour Breonna Taylor prior to a game against the Minnesota Lynx in August 2020 at Feld Entertainment Center in Palmetto, Florida [Stephen Gosling/NBAE/Getty Images via AFP]

Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth “Kenny” Walker, has filed a lawsuit which claims he is a victim of police misconduct and asking for immunity for firing a bullet which wounded a police officer during the March 13 raid which killed Taylor. 

“Kenny continues to reel from the death of the love of his life”, the suit (PDF) says, “but he is also the victim and survivor of police misconduct – misconduct that threatens his freedom to this day

During the “no-knock” search on Taylor’s home on suspicion of drug possession, the warrant for which the suit claims was based on “inaccurate” information. No-knock searches are typically used in narcotics investigations, where the element of surprise is employed by law enforcement to keep evidence from being destroyed. 

After police used a battering ram to enter Taylor’s home, a firefight ensued between Walker, who was legally armed, and police.

Walker reportedly fired a “warning shot” which hit Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly in the leg. 

Reports say the police fired 40 to 45 rounds into Taylor’s home on March 13. Taylor, a 26-year-old healthcare worker, was shot five times and bled out. 

Taylor’s death has become a focal point in the Black Lives Matter movement that gained steam following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. 

No drugs were found inside her home, though local law enforcement claimed the search was called off. 

There are currently three active investigations into the raid, including a federal civil rights inquiry. 

Walker “did not in fact know, nor should he have known” that the “startling” crash that accompanied the Lousiville Metro Police Department’s (LMPD) entry to their home was, in fact, local law enforcement. 

The lawsuit claims Walker is protected against prosecution under Kentucky’s “Stand Your Ground” laws, which make defending oneself, loved ones and property with armed force legal. It asks for immediate judgement on Walker’s immunity.

The complaint goes on to allege that Walker was detained and interrogated by the LMPD under false pretences.

It seeks unspecified damages for assault, battery, false arrest and imprisonment, malicious prosecution, abuse of process and negligence from the City of Louisville and LMPD.

Previous connections 

A report by the New York Times provides details surrounding the roots fo the search warrant. Taylor had a previous relationship with a local man and alleged drug dealer, Jamarcus Glover. 

The report claims that Taylor and Glover were still involved as recently as January, according to recordings of conversations between the two after his arrest. 

Breonna Taylor
A billboard showing Breonna Taylor sponsored by O Magazine, in Louisville, Kentucky [Dylan T Lovan/AP Photo]

The Times also said Taylor was seen during surveillance of abandoned homes Glover used to allegedly package drugs for sale. 

Their relationship began in 2016, Glover reportedly told police in a statement. At one point that year, Taylor rented a car which Glover then used. 

The car was found with a dead body was found inside the car, shot eight times, along with Taylor’s rental contract, the report said. Taylor was embroiled in a murder investigation at that point. 

Taylor was never charged and had no criminal record. Police suspected she was involved in Glover’s drug trade, but he has denied this.

A lawyer for Taylor’s family, Sam Aguiar, said a plea deal was offered to Glover in July that would have forced him to implicate her.  He posted a document on social media monday that appeared to show Taylor listed as a “co-defendant” in illegal activities. 

Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine said that document was a “draft that was part of pre-indictment plea negotiations”.

One of the officers involved in the raid, former Detective Brett Hankison, was fired from the LMPD in June for “blindly firing 10 rounds” according to police documents. Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove have been placed on administrative leave as investigations continue. 

Louisville Authorities have faced calls from sports and entertainment stars, activists and others to prosecute the officers involved in the shooting. They have yet to do so. 

Source: Al Jazeera