June 14, 2024

Officer involved in death of Breonna Taylor says shooting ‘not a race thing’

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly sat down with Michael Strahan on Good Morning America on Tuesday to discuss his role in the March 13 shooting death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Louisville emergency medical technician..

“This had nothing to do with race,” Mattingly said. “Nothing at all.”

He refuted the idea that Taylor should be centered at national protests against racial and police violence alongside other African Americans who were slain this year.

“Because this is not relatable to George Floyd. This is nothing like that,” Mattingly said. “It’s not Ahmaud Arbery. It’s nothing like it. These are two totally different types of incidences. It’s not a race thing like people wanna try to make it to be. It’s not.”

Read More: Juror in Breonna Taylor case granted right to speak publicly

“This is not us going, hunting somebody down,” he continued. “This is not kneeling on a neck. It’s nothing like that.”

Mattingly said that “misinformation” fueled the public anger at the officers who shot her, causing them to be labeled as murderers. He accused civil rights attorneys of “inflaming people” to “get the end result they wanted,” hinting at the civil settlement of $12 million awarded to Taylor’s family by the city of Louisville.

Read More: Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker sit-down interview with Gayle King: ‘They took her’

Mattingly, Officer Myles Cosgrove and Detective Brett Hankison served a no-knock warrant at Taylor’s apartment in connection with a narcotics investigation into her ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover.

In describing how they approached the apartment on that fateful night, Mattingly said he believed that Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, knew that it was the police knocking on their door.

He also maintained that officers thought the woman was home alone.

Read More: Cities declare racism a health crisis, but some doubt impact

“Everybody knows the police knock,” he said, “When that (the knocking) took place for that long—and they had that much time to think and react and formulate a plan—I don’t know he didn’t hear us. We were talking 20 feet away through a thin metal door. So, in my opinion, yes, he heard. But I’m not the end-all, be-all.”

Mattingly was shot in the encounter with Walker, who was legally armed. Walker maintains that he did not know that it was police at the door and says he was defending the home.

Regardless of the circumstances that brought police to Taylor’s door, the officer admitted, “she didn’t deserve to die.”

Read More: Dallas police investigating murder of U.S. Air Force senior airman

“She didn’t do anything,” he said, “to deserve a death sentence.”

Mattingly said that despite his desire to return to the Louisville Metro police force, he does not expect to return to work. He told the news outlet that he plans to help others, including police officers, who face similar incidents.

None of the officers involved were charged in Taylor’s death. Hankison was charged with wanton endangerment for shooting into a neighboring apartment.

”Breonna Taylor is now attached to me,” Mattingly said, “for the rest of my life.”

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