New audio sheds light on conflicting accounts of Breonna Taylor’s murder

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The audio, first reported by NBC News and obtained by CNN, includes the Louisville Underground Police Department’s interview with Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker the night of the shoot. It is not known if Walker had a lawyer present during the interview.

Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was shot eight times after police broke into her apartment door while executing a night warrant on a drug investigation on March 13.

Walker, who was audibly upset, described several strokes and he and Taylor shouted “who is it” without response. He said that when the couple approached the door, it came out “of the hinges” and fired a shot. When “a lot of shots” were fired, the two fell to the ground, said Walked, and his gun fell. He “was afraid of death,” he said.

This shot by Walker struck Sgt. John Mattingly in the leg, puncturing his femoral artery and triggering a wave of return fire, according to the police.

The tapes also include an interview with Mattingly, conducted on March 25, nine days after his discharge from the hospital. Mattingly was questioned by a lawyer present.In the interview, Mattingly maintains that the police identified themselves several times before breaking through Taylor’s door.

Although the narcotics warrant that the police say they serve at Taylor’s door was a so-called knockout warrant, Mattingly told investigators that the police were ordered to knock on the door.

Recounting the pre-operational briefing for the warrant on the recommendation of his lawyer, Mattingly said, “I heard verbally, ‘We had it signed as a hit, but we will not go that route.’ ”

Neither Mattingly nor Walker denies that the police knocked on the door. Mattingly, however, told investigators that the police knocked on the door repeatedly and announced his presence.

“I probably knocked on the door six or seven different periods,” Mattingly told investigators. “It seems like an eternity when you’re at a door. It probably lasted between 45 seconds and a minute, “he said.

“We hit it, no response,” said Mattingly. “I hit him again, with no response. At that point, we started announcing to ourselves: “Police! Please come to the door! Police! We have a search warrant! “”

Later in the interview, Mattingly said that the police had waited long enough to break down Taylor’s door – “more than enough time for the average person, or even a disabled person, to access the door.” this little apartment, “he said. .

Mattingly offered a different account from Walker, claiming that the door had not fallen from its hinges.

Louisville Metro police department investigator Jason Vance confirmed to Mattingly that Taylor’s house was considered a “soft target” – the police did not expect much resistance. “This is what drove you to find the original” hey, let’s just knock on it, try to get it in “, you know, the most passive way to serve the warrant,” said Vance.

“Okay,” replied Mattingly.

When the police decided to open the door after knocking, Mattingly was the first to enter the apartment.

The apartment lights were out, but Mattingly described seeing Walker and Taylor side by side in a hallway, Walker “laying” and holding a gun.

“I didn’t turn on the light on my gun, which I am grateful for,” said Mattingly, explaining that the light would have made him more of a target.

“As soon as I walked in (the door), he fired. Boom. It was almost like on the shooting range when two things turn around at the same time and you have to shoot / not to shoot, ”he said of Walker and Taylor. “They were like shoulder to shoulder. ”

Mattingly said he realized that he had been hit and that he had burning pain in the leg. “So I just fought back. I got four cartridges, ”he said. It is not known if Mattingly’s shots hit Taylor.

Mattingly then went out onto the street, he told investigators, where he fell and was taken away by other police while awaiting medical treatment. From the outside, he said he could hear more gunfire.

Throughout the interview with investigator Amanda Seely, Walker expressed his fear.

“I don’t even know what happened,” sobbed Walker, “or why. ”

He told investigators that he legally possessed a firearm. “I am allowed to transport everything. I never even fired my weapon outside of a range. I am very scared, ”he said.

Walker said the shot he fired was supposed to be a warning shot. “I am trying to protect her,” he said.

It was only later that he realized that they were police officers.

When he went to the police, Walker said, an officer asked him if he had been hit. When he said no, Walker told investigators that the officer replied, “It’s unfortunate.”

Walker also said that on the way to the police station that night, an officer called the raid “a misunderstanding”.

When asked to comment on the tapes, a lawyer for Taylor’s family told CNN on Thursday that they had not yet heard the audio.

The Louisville Fraternal Police Order could not be reached immediately for comment.

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