A Louisville, Ky., police sergeant who was shot and injured by Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, during the botched raid that left Taylor dead is suing Walker on allegations of assault, battery and intentional emotional distress.
In the lawsuit filed Thursday in Jefferson Circuit Court in Louisville, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly alleges Walker acted recklessly when he fired his handgun on March 13, wounding Mattingly. Three Louisville Metro Police officers, including Mattingly, were serving a no-knock warrant at Taylor’s residence while she and Walker were sleeping.
The encounter turned deadly when Walker, who said he and Taylor were woken by loud knocks and didn’t hear police announce themselves, stated that he fired a warning shot at the ground. The shot injured Mattingly in the leg and triggered a hail of gunfire that fatally wounded Taylor.
Mattingly’s lawsuit, filed by his attorney Kent Wicker, says Walker’s conduct is “outrageous, intolerable and offends all accepted standards of decency and morality.”
The civil case comes as the officers remain under scrutiny for their actions during the shooting. All three of the officers fired shots that night. Both Detective Myles Cosgrove, who fired the shot that killed Taylor, and Mattingly were deemed justified because they fired in self-defense, according to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. Former Detective Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing into a nearby apartment. No one was charged directly with Taylor’s death.
One of Walker’s attorneys, Steven Romines, told Yahoo News on Friday that the suit is “the latest in a cycle of police aggression, deflection of responsibility and obstruction of facts in what is an obvious cover-up.”
“The counterclaim just brings it full circle,” Romines said. “If Kenny can be sued for defending himself, make no mistake, all lawful gun owners’ rights are at risk. And that should scare everyone. We intend to defend Kenny — once again — from baseless charges intended to harm, intimidate and cover up the events of March 13, 2020.”
Mattingly’s suit is a response to a civil lawsuit Walker filed in September against Louisville police, NBC News reported.
Wicker has not responded to a request from Yahoo News for comment. He told the Courier-Journal that Mattingly “was shot and nearly killed by Kenneth Walker. He’s entitled to, and should, use the legal process to seek a remedy for the injury that Walker has caused him.”
In his interview with Louisville police investigators after the shooting, Walker said he was armed with a 9mm handgun, a weapon he legally owns and had never fired before besides at a shooting range. Walker said multiple times that he didn’t hear anyone announce themselves at the door, while all three officers said they did, according to the interview.
“It’s late at night,” Walker said. “Nobody’s saying anything. And you keep knocking and you not saying anything. It scared me when the door got kicked, so my reaction is, ‘I’m trying to protect [Taylor].’”
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