LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The investigation into the shooting death of Louisville EMT, Breonna Taylor, by Louisville Metro Police (LMPD) officers during a drug raid that is ongoing by several agencies. Taylor's family, the public, and Louisville leaders are demanding answers
Taylor's family has retained well-known civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump.
Crump alleges officers botched the raid and says that resulted in them shooting Taylor eight times.
The police department's version of the investigation is nearly complete, according to LMPD Police Chief Steve Conrad.
Here’s everything we know so far:
Louisville Metro Police entered Breonna Taylor’s apartment at 3003 Springfield Drive around 12:40 a.m. on March 13 as a part of a drug-trafficking investigation.
A judge signed a no-knock search warrant in March which gave police permission to enter the property without identifying themselves. Despite that, LMPD said detectives knocked several times and announced their presence.
Attorney Crump believes a no-knock search warrant violates a person’s 4th Amendment right
Taylor's attorneys, which include national civil rights attorney Ben Crump, revealed they have four witnesses who plan to prove LMPD wrong.
“A no-knock search warrant is against a person’s 4th amendment rights,” Benjamin Crump in his interview on The View on May 15.
According to an arrest report, LMPD Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, Detectives Brett Hankison, and Myles Cosgrove busted into Taylor's home during a narcotics investigation. The officers were met with gunfire after Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker reportedly shot Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly.
A woman who lives next door to Taylor’s apartment said she woke up to the sound of gunshots in the early morning of March 13 and heard Taylor's boyfriend yelling for help, according to an affidavit.
Taylor's sister who lives there was not home at the time.
Attorneys said Walker, a registered gun owner, was acting in self-defense and thought someone was breaking into the apartment during the March 13 incident.
27-year-old Kenneth Walker gave a Mirandized statement on March 13 admitting to being the only person to shoot from inside of the apartment at detectives as they attempted to serve the search warrant.
LMPD Police Chief Steve Conrad said there is no body-cam footage because the officers executing the search warrant were not wearing any. The three detectives were a part of the department’s Criminal Interdiction Division.
Taylor’s death had the Louisville community raising questions as to who the target was in the search warrant at her apartment.
Targets of search warrant
According to the search warrant, 30-year-old Jamarcus Glover and 27-year-old Adrian Walker were listed as the main suspects. The warrant also listed Breonna Taylor’s name and DOB. Her address was on the warrant, including images of her apartment and patio.
Kenneth Walker’s name was not mentioned in the warrant. It is unclear at this time if Adrian and Kenneth are related.
What the search warrant revealed
An affidavit, by Detective Joshua C. Jaynes, affirms Glover was using Taylor’s address as his own since Feb. 20.
Detective Jaynes stated in his affidavit he had observed Glover and Adrian Walker since early January running a “trap house”, where drugs are sold, at 2424 Elliott Ave. Records show Taylor’s white 2016 Chevy Impala was also spotted occasionally at the house.
An affidavit supporting that claim shows police found some of Taylor's belongings including Glover's mail inside her purse but showed nothing that appeared to be illegal.
Glover and Adrian would make frequent trips to Taylor’s apartment in a red 2017 Dodge Charger from the house on Elliott Ave, according to the warrant. In one instance, Glover was reportedly spotted at Taylor’s place on January 16 leaving with a USPS package.
After leaving Taylor's apartment with the package, detectives said Glover then drove to the 2600 block of Muhammad Ali Blvd to a known “drug house.”
Detective Jaynes verified through a US Postal Inspector that Glover had been receiving packages suspected of drugs to Taylor’s apartment. The detective believed Glover had been stashing drugs or money at her apartment to avoid detection from law enforcement. He was charged the same morning Taylor was killed.
Taylor's attorneys claim this information is false. They said they spoke to Louisville postal inspector Tony Gooden, who provided information that "directly contradicts" what police stated in the affidavit.
Here is the full statement from Benjamin Crump, Sam Aguiar and Lonita Baker:
“Today, Louisville postal inspector Tony Gooden asserted that the LMPD did not use his office to verify that a drug suspect delivered packages to Breonna Taylor’s address, which directly contradicts what the police stated in the affidavit to secure a no-knock warrant for the home.
This revelation validates what we already knew: This young woman was brutally and unjustifiably killed by Louisville police, who supplied false information on the warrant they used to enter her home unannounced. Gooden further stated that ‘no packages of interest were going there.’ We will continue to demand transparency from the Louisville police on behalf of Breonna’s family.”
Why police requested a no-knock search warrant
Documents show the no-knock order was requested because Glover and Adrian Walker have a history of attempting to destroy evidence, fleeing police, and placing surveillance cameras on the trap house to compromise detectives if seen approaching.
"Kenny Walker right now his case is so important too because he got charged with attempted murder of a police officer as a result of everything the police did in this," Aguiar said.
Though Walker was arrested and charged, court records show a judge released him on home incarceration in late March.
Louisville’s Mayor Greg Fischer speaks out about the case
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer revealed on May 13, Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine would be recusing himself in Taylor's case because he is prosecuting Kenneth Walker. In a statement, Fischer said in part: “The case will be submitted to the Commonwealth’s Attorney to determine potential prosecution. If Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine does not pursue charges, or once a potential case is over, the matter is handed over for review by the Professional Standards Unit, which could then lead to discipline from the Chief, if that is deemed appropriate.”
The Commonwealth's Attorney's Office said it has requested the Attorney General to appoint a special prosecutor to review the case.
Taylor's case has received national attention including former presidential candidate and California Senator, Kamala Harris. Harris said there should be an investigation, and "there is not justice coming out of Bill Barr's Department of Justice."
Louisville's Interdenominational Ministerial Coalition is calling for outside help in the case saying in a statement, "We call for an immediate independent investigation into Ms. Taylor's death led by law enforcement, investigators, and prosecutors outside the Louisville community."
What the Louisville Metro Police Department are saying
LMPD said it does not comment on pending litigation but confirmed the three detectives have remained on administrative reassignment since the shooting.
However, Police Chief Steve Conrad tweeted on May 14 that this investigation is nearly complete. Conrad also said he’s asked the FBI and U.S. Attorney to review this investigation.
In May, Conrad announced his retirement at the end of June, however, Fischer said he was released on June 1.
The news comes after Fischer and LMPD announced officers involved in the fatal shooting of David McAtee were not wearing or did not activate their body cameras, meaning there was no footage of the shooting.
LMPD updated its body camera policy on May 18 to require that all sworn officers, including Narcotics officers, have body cameras available for serving warrants and other situations when they will be identifying themselves as police officers.
LMPD is also updating its body camera policy to require that all sworn officers, including Narcotics officers, have body cameras available for serving warrants and other situations when they will be identifying themselves as police officers.
On June 3, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced that the city will look to hire an outside group to perform a “comprehensive, top-to-bottom review.”
The review is meant “to ensure we are utilizing best practices and sound policies and procedures in all aspects of our work,” said acting Interim LMPD Chief Robert Schroeder.
One of the LMPD detectives in the Breonna Taylor shooting is facing more criticism in two separate federal lawsuits in two different cases.
Mayor Greg Fischer has announced a broader review into the allegations of sexual assault against LMPD Officer Brett Hankison.
In a related matter, the Mayor said he has written the River City FOP demanding that Officer Hankison be removed from his position as a member of the Louisville Police Merit Board. The FOP membership elected him to the board, which reviews any disciplinary appeals and consists of five civilians appointed by the Mayor and two police officers elected by the FOP.
“Given the very serious allegations against him and investigations by the Attorney General and the FBI, it is profoundly inappropriate for him to be in this role,” the Mayor said in his letter. “In the event the FOP does not act, we will work with the Metro Council and Jefferson County Attorney’s office to find other ways to remove him from the board.”
The Mayor has directed LMPD not to submit any cases to the Police Merit Board for consideration until this matter is resolved.
Brett Hankison, one of the three officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor, was fired on June 19.
According to his termination letter, Hankison violated procedure when he fired 10 rounds into Breonna Taylor's apartment while executing a search warrant the night of her death.
"I have determined you violated Standard Operating Procedure...when your actions displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life when you wantonly and blindly fired ten rounds into the apartment of Breonna Taylor," the letter says.
Schroeder also said Hankison violated procedure by using deadly force without knowing the force was directed at a person who posed an immediate threat. He said some of the shots fired went into the apartment next to Taylor's.
"In fact the ten rounds you fired were into a patio door and window which were covered with material that completely prevented you from verifying any person as an immediate threat or more importantly any innocent persons present" the letter says.
Schroeder also said Hankison had previously been disciplined for "reckless conduct that injured a (sic) innocent person," and was disciplined January 9, 2019.
In a statement, Breonna Taylor's lawyers said they want the other officers involved in her case to also be fired and prosecuted.
"We are pleased to hear that Louisville Metro Police Department has fired Brett Hankison," the statement says. "Today’s announcement makes it clear, as we have always maintained, that the city had the power to fire the officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s murder. We look forward to them terminating the other officers involved in Bre’s murder."
The two other officers who were there the night of Taylor's death, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly, remain on administrative reassignment. The detective who approved the no-knock warrant used the night of her death was also placed on administrative reassignment.
On June 24, In an appeal to the Louisville Police Merit Board, Brett Hankison's lawyer calls his termination "a cowardly political act" that "is not justified."
The appeal says Hankison did not "blindly" fire, but "acted in quick response to the gunfire directed at himself and other officers."
Leightty said a full account of what happened the night of Taylor's death "has not yet been assembled," saying officials should have waited for the results of investigations from the attorney general, FBI, and Kentucky State Police.
"Those agencies should have been allowed to complete their jobs before any decisions regarding punishment were made," the appeal says.
The appeal also says the death of George Floyd and other recent events "pressured the Mayor to take immediate action" before "the facts have been fully assembled."
"The history of racial oppression is indeed angering, and what happened to Mr. Floyd is indeed horrifying," the appeal says. "But to assume that the events at Ms. Taylor's apartment must be like those in the death of Mr. Floyd or any other particular incident is not justified."
The three other officers involved in Taylor's shooting, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly and Joshua Jaynes are on administrative reassignment.
Read the full appeal below:
Who is Breonna Taylor?
26-year-old Breonna Taylor is a decorated EMT who was preparing to confront the coronavirus, working for both Jewish and Norton Hospitals. Taylor loved her family and had an ambitious drive to succeed.
"All [Taylor] cared about was being great and helping people," Taylor’s mom said.
Taylor’s family members say that she was kind, hardworking, and honest.
“She (Breonna) was already an accomplished and certified EMT for the City of Louisville and currently worked for UofL as a medical tech. This is not a woman who would sacrifice her life and her family morals and values to sell drugs on the street,” Bonica Austin, Taylor’s aunt, said.
Taylor was shot eight times and was killed in the botched police raid on March 13.
Taylor does not have a criminal background.
Protesters have been in the streets of Louisville demanding justice for Breonna.
A four-page incident report from the night Breonna was killed was released.
Most of the four-page document is blank, and the pieces of information on the document have previously been reported, such as Taylor's name and the names of the officers involved - Jon Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove, and Brett Hankison.
We know Taylor died from eight gunshots fired by LMPD officers when they executed a no-knock search warrant, but the incident report appears to contain inaccuracies.
Inside the large box labeled "charges" there is a small box that says "forced entry" in which the "no" box is checked. In the box labeled "victims," which lists Taylor's name, there is a small box labeled "injuries." In that box it says "none."
WHAS11 reached out to LMPD twice to address the information in those boxes. We have not received a response.
"It's a tremendous slap in the face to release something like this after three months that is so blatantly inaccurate. It's insulting," said Attorney Sam Aguiar, one of the attorneys representing Taylor's family.
On Twitter, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the report was "unacceptable."
The mayor also apologized to Taylor's family and the community for the "additional pain."
Breonna would've turned 27-years-old on June 5. In honor of her birthday, UofL Health created a nursing scholarship in her honor. The Breonna Taylor Memorial Scholarship Fund in Nursing will be a four-year renewable award. The recipient, preference would be granted to a Black female who is a Kentucky resident. It will cover full tuition and fees.
Wanda Cooper-Jones, the mother of Ahmaud Arbery, sent a message to Breonna Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, on what would have been her daughter's 27th birthday.
"I know days are difficult, but this day, in particular, is very difficult, because Ahmaud's birthday was back on May 8," Cooper-Jones said.
Cooper-Jones said Palmer has always been in her prayers, offering her any help with anything she might need.
The city of Louisville as well as Taylor's family planned a balloon release and vigil to honor her birthday.
“We miss her so much," Taylor's aunt, Bianca Austin said. "I just want y’all to understand like I’ve never experienced a pain and let me tell you something this ain’t even my own child.” Austin said she is grateful to see a village behind them.
Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker hiked the steps of Metro Hall to stand beside the family of the woman he was supposed to marry.
Walker also posted a message on his Facebook channel saying, "Happy Birthday to the realest I love you forever."
Taylor's next-door neighbors have filed a lawsuit against the Louisville Metro Police officers saying their negligence and shots almost struck someone in their apartment.
Chelsey Napper says officers approached the apartment on March 13, immediately next door to her apartment, in a manner that kept them from being detected by neighbors.
The lawsuit filed on May 20 by Chelsey Napper, Cody Etherton, and Zayden Flournoy allege the shots fired from Brett Hankinson, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly, had a total disregard for the value of human life shooting blindly “nearly shooting Cody Etherton in the head.”
On June 10, Interim LMPD Chief Schroeder announced the detective who applied for the warrant has been placed on administrative reassignment while the investigation continues.
“I recognize the process takes longer than we would all want, but its what must be done to ensure a thorough and fair investigation for everyone involved,” Schroeder said.
On June 12, in a unanimous vote, Louisville Metro Council passed Breonna's Law.
Breonna’s Law will completely ban the use of no-knock search warrants. Body cameras worn by police officers will be required to be turned on five minutes before and after every search, and anyone who violates it will be subject to disciplinary action.
ACLU-KY Executive Director Michael Aldridge released a statement on the passage:
“Metro Council’s passage of Breonna’s Law is a small bit of justice for Breonna’s mourning family and our angry, heartbroken city. It’s an important, but small step in the fight to eradicate racist police violence that has taken too many lives. Government officials on all levels must do more to rein in police power, address problems within their police departments, increase transparency, and end disparate treatment of Black people in all institutions of power. We will continue to fight for these desperately needed changes in Breonna’s memory. We are joined with all those that have taken to the streets tonight to say her name: Breonna Taylor.”
On June 13, Metro Councilmembers presented Breonna Taylor’s mother with a copy of the new law and a proclamation to honor her daughter’s life and legacy.
A memorial for Taylor has grown every day at the center of Jefferson Square Park. To make it permanent so her name won't be forgotten, city and community leaders are hoping to rename it ‘Breonna Taylor Fountain Circle.’
Lonita Baker who is representing Taylor's family says the ban of no-knock warrants was just a first step.
“The memorials are nice, but we still have a lot of work to do," Baker said. “The people who killed her daughter are still employed by Louisville Metro Police Department, they have still not been charged by the attorney general and there’s still additional police reform that needs to be done.”
Three digital billboards of Breonna Taylor have been unveiled in Downtown Louisville in her honor after Breonna's Law was signed.
Although Breonna's Law will completely ban the use of no-knock search warrants, the Louisville community still feels there has been no justice for Taylor or her family.
Grammy award-winning singer Beyonce penned a letter to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron saying:
Dear Attorney General Cameron,
It has now been over three months since members of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) killed Breonna Taylor. Plainclothes officers with no-knock warrant forced their way into her apartment, where she was asleep and unarmed. Moments later, the officers fired over twenty shots into Breonna Taylor’s home, striking her at least eight times. While “Breonna’s Law” passed in Louisville and federal legislation has been introduced that will also ban no-knock warrants, these small steps in the right direction are painful reminders there has still been no justice for Breonna Taylor or her family.
Three months have passed—and the LMPD’s investigations have created more questions than answers. Their incident report states that Ms. Taylor suffered no injuries- yet we know she was shot at least eight times. The LMPD officers claim they announced themselves before forcing their way into Ms. Taylor’s apartment but her boyfriend who was with her, as well as several neighbors, all say that this is untrue.
Three months have passed—and zero arrests have been made, and no officers have been fired. The LMPD’s investigation was turned over to your office, and yet all of the officers involved in the shooting remain employed by LMPD. Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and officers Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankinson must be held accountable for their actions.
Three months have passed—and Breonna Taylor’s family still waits for justice. Ms. Taylor’s family has not been able to take time to process and grieve. Instead, they have been working tirelessly to rally the support of friends, their community, and the county to obtain justice for Breonna.
Your office has both the power and the responsibility to bring justice Breonna Taylor and demonstrate the value of a Black woman’s life. I urge you to use that power and:
- Bring criminal charges against Jonathan Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove, and Brett Hankinson.
- Commit to transparency in the investigation and prosecution of these officers’ criminal conduct.
- Investigate the LMPD’s response to Breonna Taylor’s murder, as well as the persuasive practices that result in the repeated deaths of unarmed Black citizens.
Don’t let this case fall into the pattern of no action after a terrible tragedy. With every death of a Black person at the hands of the police, there are two real tragedies: the death itself, and the inaction in charging the officers. The next months cannot look like the last three.
The three other officers involved in Taylor's shooting, Myles Cosgrove and Jonathan Mattingly and Joshua Jaynes are on administrative reassignment.
On June 25, Hundreds of Kentuckians and celebrities took their demands to the State Capitol calling for the Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to charge four Louisville police officers in the Breonna Taylor shooting.
A large crowd, including Taylor's mother, her boyfriend Kenneth Walker, and celebrities aimed their messages at Attorney General Daniel Cameron.
'The March on Frankfort' was organized by Breonna Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, Attorney Benjamin Crump, activist Tamika Mallory and New York’s Until Freedom non-profit.
Rappers MC Lyte, Common, and actress Jada Pinkett Smith along with her children Willow and Jaden traveled to Frankfort to stand in solidarity with Breonna Taylor’s mother. Grammy-winning artist Alicia Keys hosted a virtual rally in conjunction with the in-person rally.
For the first time Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, spoke publicly by thanking his supporters who stood by him.
"I know y'all ain't heard a lot from me if anything, but I just want to let y'all know I appreciate the love and support for me and most definitely for Breonna she definitely would've appreciated it too," Walker said.
Muhammad Ali's nephew, Sean Ali Waddell, gave a passionate speech he ended with a strong message for the Kentucky Attorney General.
"Daniel Cameron let me tell you something brother don't you be on the wrong side of history," he said. "Don't you stay on the wrong side of history."
"What we need is justice for our sister Breonna and that's why we are here today and that's why my family is here with me today," Pinkett Smith said.
Who is Kenneth Walker?
27-year-old Kenneth Walker is Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend. Walker is currently being charged with the attempted murder of a police officer during the police raid on March 13.
Walker gave a Mirandized statement on March 13 admitting to being the only person to shoot from inside of the apartment at detectives as they attempted to serve the search warrant.
Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, spoke with a news organization TMX in an interview shared with WHAS11 News about the shooting.
"I could hear Kenny screaming and crying and I could hear all of this noise. I'm like, 'what's going on Kenny?' He said, 'I think Breonna is -- somebody was trying to break in here and I think they shot Breonna'," she explained.
Walker was released on home incarceration in late March. His name was not mentioned in the search warrant issued to Taylor’s house and did not live with her. It is unclear at this time if Kenneth and Adrian Walker are related.
"Kenny Walker right now his case is so important too because he got charged with attempted murder of a police officer as a result of everything the police did in this,” Attorney Aguiar said.
Walker's father says his son had just accepted a job to work at the U.S. Postal Office.
Walker does not have a criminal background.
On May 26, the attempted murder of a police officer charge against Kenneth Walker was dismissed. According to a court document [Commonwealth of Kentucky vs Kenneth Walker III], a judge dismissed the indictment without prejudice.
On May 28, the 911 call Walker made was released to the public.
Mayor Greg Fischer said he released all MetroSafe calls, including those from neighbors, from the incident after hearing from the community and Metro Council members.
"I believe the release of these calls now is a necessary step to preserve public safety and to build trust in our city and our police department,” Fischer said. “We all want the truth. We all want justice. My promise to you is that I will continue to share whatever information I can when I’m able.”
On Breonna Taylor's birthday, June 5, Walker broke his silence and wished her a happy birthday saying "Happy Birthday to the realest I love you forever."
Who is Jamarcus Glover?
30-year-old Jamarcus Glover is one of the main suspects in the no-knock search warrant that Detective Joshua C. Jaynes requested.
Detective Jaynes had been surveilling Glover since the beginning of January 2020.
In an affidavit summarizing the investigation, Jaynes confirmed Glover had been using Taylor’s address since late Feb.
An attorney for Taylor's family, Sam Aguiar, said Wednesday that Taylor and Glover had dated two years ago and maintained a "passive friendship."
Jamarcus Glover was the target of a search warrant executed at 2424 Elliott Ave. on March 13, the same night as Taylor's death, where he was arrested and charged with Trafficking synthetic drugs, Enhanced Trafficking in a Controlled Substance greater than 4 grams, Trafficking Marijuana, Drug paraphernalia, (3) convicted felon in possession of a handgun.
Who is Adrian Walker?
27-year-old Adrian Walker is the other main suspect suspects in the no-knock search warrant that Detective Joshua C. Jaynes requested.
According to an arrest report on December 30, 2019. Officer Evans and Officer Heller were investigating narcotics activity on in the alleged trap house on 2424 Elliott Ave and 2605 Muhammad Ali Blvd.
Adrian Walker Glover and would make frequent trips to Taylor’s apartment in a red 2017 Dodge Charger from the house on Elliott Ave, according to the warrant.
A confidential Informative told police intelligence about how and where Walker and subjects hid their drugs in an abandoned house adjacent to their (Elliott Ave.) property.
Upon searching the three properties, officers recovered crack cocaine, marijuana, scale, 5 handguns (1 of which was stolen), and 3 long guns.
This is still an ongoing investigation.