A Kentucky police officer shot during the March raid on Breonna Taylor’s apartment filed suit against Taylor’s boyfriend on Thursday over the injury.
Louisville Metro Police Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly filed a countersuit against Kenneth Walker, alleging that Walker’s actions on the night of the raid were “outrageous, intolerable and offends all accepted standards of decency or morality,” according to the Louisville Courier Journal. Police say that Walker fired a single shot after police busted down Taylor’s apartment door, hitting an officer in the leg. Officers returned fire, missing Walker but hitting and killing Taylor.
Mattingly’s filing says that the shot struck his femoral artery, requiring five hours of surgery and nearly costing the officer his life. “Sgt. 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,” Mattingly’s attorney, Kent Wicker, told The Courier Journal in a statement.
Walker’s attorney, Steve Romines, said the countersuit against his client was another example of “police aggression.”
“This is the latest in a cycle of police aggression, deflection of responsibility and obstruction of the facts in what is an obvious cover-up,” Romines told The New York Times. “If Kenny can be sued for defending himself, make no mistake, all lawful gun owners’ rights are at risk. And that should scare everyone.”
Walker has admitted to shooting a police officer during the raid. He said he fired at police that busted down Taylor’s door not knowing that they were police officers. Walker said that he believed the officers may have been Taylor’s former boyfriend.
“I am a legal gun owner, and I would never knowingly shoot a police officer,” Walker said at a press conference in September. “Breonna and I did not know who was banging at the door, but police know what they did.”
In September, Walker “sued the Louisville Metro Police Department and the city of Louisville and sought immunity based on a state law that permits the use of reasonable force, including deadly force, to protect against intruders in one’s home,” according to The New York Times.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who led the investigation into the raid, described the events surrounding Taylor’s death in a Sept. 23 press conference:
When officers were unable to get anyone to answer or open the door to apartment four, the decision was made to breach the door. After breaching the door, Sergeant Mattingly was the first and only officer to enter the residence. Sergeant Mattingly identified two individuals standing beside one another at the end of the hall, a male and a female. In his statement, he says that the male was holding a gun, arms extended in a shooting stance. Sergeant Mattingly saw the man’s gun fire, heard a boom, and immediately knew he was shot as a result of feeling heat in his upper thigh.
Kenneth Walker fired the shot that hit Sergeant Mattingly. And there’s no evidence to support that Sergeant Mattingly was hit by friendly fire from other officers. Mr. Walker admitted that he fired one shot and was the first to shoot. In addition to all the testimony, the ballistics report shows that the round that struck Sergeant Mattingly was fired from a nine millimeter handgun. The LMPD officers fired 40 caliber hand guns.
Sergeant Mattingly returned fire down the hallway. Mattingly fired six shots. Almost simultaneously, Detective Cosgrove, also in the doorway, shot 16 times. This all took place in a matter of seconds. In total, six bullets struck Ms. Taylor. Medical evidence obtained by our team indicates that only one shot was fatal. Further medical evidence shows that Ms. Taylor would have died from the fatal shot within a few seconds to two minutes after being struck.
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