Facts: What we know about the shooting death of Breonna Taylor

WAVE is committed to fair, truthful and thorough reporting, and sometimes there are stories that take on their own identities by the reactions of some readers.
Published: May. 16, 2020 at 2:38 PM EDT
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Breonna Taylor
Breonna Taylor

Editor’s Note: This story was first published on May 13, 2020, but will continue to be updated as this high-profile case keeps evolving.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - WAVE 3 News is committed to fair, truthful and thorough reporting.

The recent case of a deadly shooting by LMPD officers has gained national attention, and locally, many on social media are making varied claims about the case, and about the way local media have covered it. So we want to share a list of facts that we have confirmed, and answer some questions rooted in inaccurate social media posts by some members of the local community.


+ Warrant says suspect used her apartment to hide drugs

+ Breonna Taylor was killed in ‘botched police raid,’ attorney says

+ Family of EMT shot, killed by LMPD police retains high-profile civil rights attorney

+ Judge releases man who shot officer during deadly confrontation

First, a note on our own coverage. Our resources and attention have been focused on the current global health emergency. As we’ve learned more about this case, we are dedicating additional resources to it and will continue to do so.

Now, the facts:

+ LMPD officers went to the home of Breonna Taylor on Springfield Drive on March 13 to serve a warrant related to a drug trafficking investigation.

+ LMPD officials described that warrant as a “no-knock warrant,” meaning the officers were not required to announce themselves upon arriving at Taylor’s home, but those LMPD officials said they did anyway. Taylor’s family and attorneys dispute that the officers announced themselves.

+ A shootout ensued between a suspect inside the home -- Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker -- and the LMPD officers. One LMPD officer was struck, and three of them fired back. The officer who was struck has recovered. Taylor’s family has filed a civil lawsuit that states Walker thought someone was breaking into the apartment, and that’s why he fired his gun.

+ Walker, whose name was not on the warrant, is now charged with attempted murder of a police officer.

+ Taylor was shot multiple times and died during the shootout.

+ Three LMPD officers -- Jon Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove -- all were placed on administrative assignment, per department protocol.

+ There is no officer body-camera video of the incident. The aforementioned trio work in LMPD’s Criminal Interdiction Division, comprised of officers who generally work narcotics cases and therefore are not issued body-cameras due to the nature of their work.

+ Police fired shots from the outside into the apartment through closed blinds.

+ Another suspect named on the warrant, Jamarcus Glover, was arrested at another location a short time before the police shootout at Taylor’s home, according to the arrest citation.

+ Taylor was not armed.

+ Attorneys for Taylor said neither Taylor nor Walker had a history of drugs or violence.

+ Jefferson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine, already investigating Kenneth Walker, recused himself of the investigation into Taylor’s death, citing a conflict of interest. He has asked Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to appoint a special prosecutor for that investigation.

+ Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and LMPD Chief Steve Conrad have called for a federal review of the findings of the LMPD Public Integrity Unit’s investigation into the Taylor case, once it is complete.

And here are some responses to several inaccuracies the WAVE 3 News team has seen on some national news sites being passed around social media and:

+ Statement: Police had the wrong address

Fact: Taylor’s correct address was on the warrant, including her apartment number and pictures of the outside of her apartment and patio.

+ Statement: Breonna Taylor’s name wasn’t on the warrant

Fact: Breonna Taylor’s name was one of three people named on the warrant, which included her date of birth.

+ Statement: Police should have knocked and announced themselves before entering the home

Fact: The warrant was a “no-knock” warrant, meaning officers were not required to announce themselves before making entry. Again, LMPD says the officers did announce themselves, but Taylor’s attorneys dispute that claim.

+ Statement: Breonna Taylor was shot while sleeping in her bedroom

Fact: Taylor’s attorneys said she was not asleep and was shot in the hallway outside of her bedroom.

+ Statement: Police already had a suspect in custody

Fact: One person related to the drug trafficking investigation, Jamarcus Glover, was arrested at a different location on the same date. It is unclear whether police believed a third person named on the warrant, Adrian Walker, was inside the home at the time of the shootout, or at the location where Glover was arrested a short time earlier. It is not clear if Kenneth Walker and Adrian Walker are related.

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