Internal Investigation Determines Officers Should Not Have Fired ‘A Single Shot’ Into Breonna Taylor’s Apartment
New information on the Breonna Taylor case has come to light.
On March 13th, 2020, three Louisville Metropolitan Police officers fatally shot Breonna Taylor while serving a warrant for her ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover. Shots were fired in response to Breonna Taylor‘s partner, Kenneth Walker, shooting at who he assumed were intruders, as he alleged that the officers did not announce themselves. Resultingly, the officers fired 32 shots into the apartment, killing Breonna.
Breonna Taylor‘s death sparked national outrage and resulted in calls for police defunding/abolishment. Adding fuel to the fire, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron chose to not charge the officers for their roles in the fatal shooting, suggesting that the officers were justified in their decisions regarding the incident.
However, findings from an internal probe were recently released, and it turns out that the investigators came to a very different conclusion. Sergeant Andrew Meyers of the department’s Professional Standards Unit actually determined that the three officers did not act accordingly and should have held their fire. Andrew Meyers wrote:
“They took a total of 32 shots, when the provided circumstances made it unsafe to take a single shot. This is how the wrong person was shot and killed.”
“Ms. Taylor’s safety should have been considered before [the officers] returned fire.”
Andrew Meyers‘ conclusions were largely based on the fact that the officers–Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove–were literally shooting into the dark and were unable to properly assess the threat. Resultingly, their use of force was unauthorized, and Meyers recommended that all three officers face disciplinary action for violating the department’s policy. All of Meyers’ findings were corroborated by Lieutenant Jeff Artman.
However, former Louisville police Chief Yvette Gentry chose to overrule Meyers‘ recommendation. Only two of the officers–Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove–were fired for violating departmental policy. Jonathan Mattingly, on the other hand, is still employed with the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department and actually wrote a book on the incident before he retires on June 1st. None of the officers have been charged with Breonna Taylor‘s death.
While there has been heavy disagreement over how the case has been handled, the internal investigation’s findings indicate that Kentucky law enforcement officials have based their actions on information that contradicts the probe’s conclusions. Speaking on the findings, Lonita Baker (an attorney for Breonna‘s family) stated:
“Had the officers did as they were trained, they would have retreated. According to this investigator, it didn’t justify any shots because they couldn’t assess the threat. It’s disappointing that Chief Gentry went against the recommendation of the investigators. Only she knows the reason that she did that.”
It is currently unclear what effect these revelations will have.
What do you think about the internal investigators’ findings regarding the Breonna Taylor case? Comment below to let us know.