Email from Breonna Taylor shooting officer shows some officers believe ‘nothing was done wrong’, academic says


A mass email from a police sergeant involved in the shooting that killed Breonna Taylor is indicative of police culture in Louisville, Kentucky, and across the United States, says researcher Ricky L. Jones.“What Sgt. Mattingly did, I think, was to show a moment of honesty, a spasm of truth that turned out to be revealed to the public, ”said the professor and director of pan-African studies at the University of Louisville. The stream Matt Galloway.

“He said exactly what a lot of us think a good percentage of police feel – that nothing was done wrong. ”

“The follow-up question to this is do the police here or elsewhere feel like they’ve done something wrong? ”

In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, who is on administrative leave, emailed a letter of support to 1,000 of his colleagues, saying the officers “did the legal, moral and ethical thing that night.”

He wrote that he was sorry for the “enormous stress” that the police officers and their families will face in the coming days, and that they do not deserve to be in a “position that allows thugs to put themselves in. face and scream, curse and degrade yourself. Throw bricks, bottles, and urine at you and wait for you to do nothing. ”

A VICE News correspondent shared screenshots of the email on Twitter. Le New York Times reported that he checked the letter with Mattingly’s attorney.

A Kentucky grand jury has since indicted Brett Hankison for shooting at nearby apartments, but has not charged any officers in connection with Taylor’s death.

Police in riot gear stand in formation during the May 29 protests in Louisville, Ky. The city is in a state of emergency ahead of protests against Wednesday’s grand jury decision. (Brett Carlsen / Getty Images)

The mayor of Louisville on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in the city in anticipation of possible “civil unrest” that could follow Wednesday’s announcement. The Louisville Metro Police Department also erected barricades downtown.

Speaking ahead of the grand jury ruling, Jones said there was no other word to describe the mood in Louisville right now than “tense.”

“There are people who think… that the attorney general has kind of taken the city and the state and even the country hostage with the release of so little information about this case,” Jones said.

During Wednesday’s press conference, State Attorney General Daniel Cameron said: “The decision of which my office was the special prosecutor in this case was not to decide whether the loss of the life of Mrs. Taylor was a tragedy.

“I understand that the death of Breonna Taylor is part of a national history, but the facts and evidence in this case are different from others” involving police shootings.

“If we just act on emotion or outrage, there is no justice. Popular justice is not justice. The justice sought by violence is not justice. It just becomes revenge. ”

He said the FBI is still investigating potential violations of federal law in this case.

A shooting took place during the search warrant

Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman and emergency medical technician, was shot and killed in March as police executed a search warrant on her apartment as part of a drug investigation. A the judge had signed a warrant for his home because the police believed that a man Taylor had previously dated had received packages in his apartment.

When police knocked down Taylor’s front door, her current boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot at the police, hitting Mattingly in the leg as he entered the apartment. Walker said he thought someone was intriguing in the apartment and fired his gun in self-defense.

Mattingly and two other officers retaliated repeatedly, hitting and killing Taylor.

No drugs were found in the apartment.

An undated photo provided by the Taylor family attorney shows Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky. The 26-year-old was fatally shot by police at her home. (Sam Aguiar / The Associated Press)

In his email Tuesday, Mattingly accused the Police Department, the FBI and the Mayor of Louisville of attacking the civil rights of police officers during “one of the most stressful times of [their] career. ”

“Your civil rights mean nothing, but the criminal has full autonomy,” he said.

Meanwhile, the city of Louisville has agreed to pay Taylor’s family US $ 12 million and reform police practices in a wrongful death trial.

The Taylor family lawyer said it was the largest such establishment given for a black woman killed by police.

Jones called the civil lawsuit “strange”.

“In these cases, you will usually have the criminal case resolved one way or another before making a civil decision. In this, we have reversed it, ”he said.

“So someone somewhere felt that something had gone terribly wrong to pay that amount of money in a civil lawsuit, where civil rights cases often take years to be tried and decided. “

Produced by Samira Mohyeddin.


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