LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Audio recordings in the Breonna Taylor investigation, obtained by NBC News, are coming under fire by the attorney representing Taylor’s family.
Benjamin Crump says the recording of one officer being interviewed by the department’s Public Integrity Unit shows evidence of a cover-up.
“And when you listen to the interview it’s almost as if they are giving him the answers,” Crump said. “And so it seems like they had already decided what they wanted to conclude in this investigation.”
The 40-minute audio recording of Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly being questioned by investigators from the LMPD Public Integrity Unit is just one first-person account of what happened the night Breonna Taylor was shot and killed.
Mattingly was the first to enter the apartment and we hear in his own words what it was like when Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot him.
“As soon as the shot hit,” Mattingly said, “I could feel the heat in my leg. And so I just returned fire. I got four rounds off and it was like simultaneous, boom boom boom boom.”
But the audio recording also contains the voices of investigators who sound non-confrontational and at times, even sympathetic to the officer’s situation.
This is one exchange that occurred after Mattingly explained how he retreated, wounded, from Taylor’s apartment:
- INVESTIGATOR: “Because of your positioning, initially when you’re shot, and rightfully so you are returning fire, you said you made a conscious decision, I’m now injured. I need to move so they can protect themselves and me as well. And, I don’t want to put words in your mouth.”
- MATTINGLY: “No that’s it.”
- INVESTIGATOR: “OK.”
- MATTINGLY: “That was it.”
Sam Marcosson, professor at the UofL Brandeis School of Law, listened to the recording and described a missed opportunity for LMPD.
“I would have leaned toward a more aggressive posture,” Marcosson said. “Not necessarily saying that the idea of just laying out a narrative is bad or improper, that under these circumstances trying to come closer to a model of genuine cross-examination, real probing, trying to see if there are inconsistencies right at the start would have made more sense.”
LMPD would not comment because of the ongoing investigation.