Officer Shot in Breonna Taylor’s Raid Denies Her Death Was ‘a Race Thing’
ABC News/Louisville Courier-Journal

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, the officer who was shot in the March 13 raid during which Breonna Taylor was killed, is speaking out about that fateful night.

In an interview with ABC News and the Louisville Courier-Journal that aired Wednesday, the 20-year veteran of the Louisville Metro Police Department denied that Taylor’s race had anything to do with their drug investigation, which was focused on Taylor's ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover.

"It's not a race thing like people want to try to make it out to be. It's not. This is a point where we were doing our job, we gave too much time when we go in, I get shot, we returned fire," Mattingly, who is white, said. "This is not us going, hunting somebody down. This is not kneeling on a neck. It's nothing like that."

Mattingly also does not believe Taylor’s killing should be compared to the deaths of other Black Americans, who many have blamed due to systemic racism.

"This is not relatable to George Floyd. This is nothing like that," he continued. "It's not Ahmaud Arbery. It's nothing like it. These are two totally different types of incidences."

In regard to what he would have done differently, Mattingly — who insists he and his fellow cops announced themselves multiple times before entering Taylor’s apartment — said he wishes the cops would’ve entered the residence sooner.

"We expected that Breonna was going to be there by herself. That's why we gave her so much time. And in my opinion, that was a mistake," the 47-year-old said.

"What would I have done differently? The answer to that is simple now that I've been thinking about it," he continued. "Number one, we would have either served the no-knock warrant or we would have done the normal thing we do, which is five to 10 seconds. To not give people time to formulate a plan, not give people time to get their senses so they have an idea of what they're doing. Because if that had happened... Breonna Taylor would be alive, 100 percent."

Despite what transpired, Mattingly has sympathy for Taylor and her loved ones.

"I feel for her. I hurt for her mother and for her sisters," the father of four said. "It's not just a passing, 'Oh, this is part of the job, we did it, and move on.' It's not like that. I mean Breonna Taylor is now attached to me for the rest of my life. And that's not again, 'Woe is me.' That's me feeling for them. That's me having a heart and a soul, going as a parent, 'How do you move on?' I don't know. I don't want to experience it."

At a press conference last month, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Mattingly “was the first and only officer to enter” Taylor’s residence and that Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker “fired the shot that hit Sergeant Mattingly.”

“And there’s no evidence to support that Sergeant Mattingly was hit by friendly fire from other officers. Mr. Walker admitted that he fired one shot and was the first to shoot. In addition to all the testimony, the ballistics report shows that the round that struck Sergeant Mattingly was fired from a nine millimeter handgun,” Cameron added.

Though Walker was initially charged with attempted murder of a police officer, those charges have since been dropped.

Earlier this month, Walker gave an interview to “CBS This Morning” in which he said he is “a million percent sure” police did not identify themselves at the door.

Though a grand jury declined to file murder charges in Taylor’s killing, they did charge former police officer Brett Hankison with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing into a nearby apartment. He has since pleaded not guilty.

Comments

More In Real Talk