An internal report from the Louisville Metro Police Department concluded that the officers involved in the raid that killed Breonna Taylor in March 2020 should not have fired back.
The Professional Standards Unit report says officers should have tried de-escalation tactics instead of firing wildly into the apartment after Sgt. Jon Mattingly was shot in the leg by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.
Walker has long contested the police did not announce themselves before breaking down his front door.
Det. Myles Cosgrove, Mattingly, and former LMPD Det. Brett Hankison returned dozens of shots after Walker fired, including the bullets (fired by Cosgrove and Mattingly) that struck and killed Taylor.
“They took a total of thirty-two shots, when the provided circumstances made it unsafe to take a single shot. This is how the wrong person was shot and killed,” Sgt. Andrew Meyer wrote in the report, dated Dec. 4, according to ABC News. Further, the officers ignored the significant risk of hitting a bystander who did not pose a threat.
Hankison was ultimately charged with multiple counts of wanton endangerment because several of his shots entered and nearly struck people in an adjacent apartment. After pleading not guilty in September, Hankison is still awaiting trial.
Former interim LMPD Chief Yvette Gentry disagreed with the Professional Standards Unit’s report, saying the officers “reasonably believed” that use of deadly force was authorized in that situation.
Hankison and Cosgrove were ultimately fired and Mattingly has announced he plans to retire in June.
Gentry, who stepped down as interim chief in January, released a statement after Meyer’s report was made public.
“I fired people that some believe should have been suspended, I reprimanded people some people (said) should have been exonerated and I overturned what was believed was not appropriate for the situation,” Gentry said.
She added, “I still believe in my soul Breonna Taylor should be alive.”
Lonita Baker, an attorney for Taylor’s family, said the report and Gentry’s statement left a lot of be desired.
“It’s disappointing that Chief Gentry went against the recommendation of the investigators. Only she knows the reason that she did that,” Baker told WHAS.
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