Breonna Taylor shooting: Kentucky governor calls for probe 2 months after police killed EMT in botched raid
Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has called for an investigation into the death of a 26-year-old black EMT Breonna Taylor who was shot at least eight times while she was sleeping in her bed by police officials. The tragedy occurred during a botched police drug raid as the officers barged into her house unannounced after midnight. The incident has left thousands of people outraged and there are growing calls by lawmakers including Louisville's mayor and Sen. Kamala Harris for a probe in the case, two months after she was killed.
On March 13, Taylor died in her own home in the early hours after police raided the home she shared with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker in Louisville. Authorities have claimed that the midnight search was part of a drug investigation, however, a lawsuit filed by the family states there was no drugs found at the home. The family lawyers have said that the main suspect, Jamarcus Glover, was already in police custody at the time of the raid. Neither Taylor nor Walker had any criminal records.
Taylor and Walker were sleeping in their bed when police raided their home. The couple thought they were being broken into and Walker, who has a license to carry, fired his gun in self-defense thinking they were being robbed, the suit said. Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and officers Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove entered their apartment shortly before 1 am without announcing themselves, and the shot fired by Walker struck Mattingley's leg. The officers, in retaliation, fired a hail of over 25 bullets, eight of which struck Taylor who died at the scene. Walker is now facing charges of first-degree assault and attempted murder of a police officer.
It was later revealed that the officers had entered the wrong house searching for drug suspect Glover who had already been arrested earlier that day in his home, according to Courier-Journal. With no accountability in the tragic police shooting, the case has sparked national fury as its highlights emerged days after the arrest of the suspected killers of Ahmaud Arbery who was shot dead while he was jogging in Georgia. Arbery's shooting resulted in widespread national demonstrations with many asking why the suspects had not been apprehended for two months.
The Governor on the evening of May 13 said that he has asked the state's attorney general, the federal prosecutor assigned to the region and local prosecutor to review the case, "to ensure justice is done at a time when many are concerned that justice is not blind."
Beshear, during his daily coronavirus briefing, called Taylor's death "troubling" and said: "The truth is always the very best answer. I just want to make sure that we get that."
An online petition has also been launched, called #StandWithBre, seeking the arrest of the officers involved in the medical technician's shooting. The petition, which has received over 120,000 signatures, is also asking for the termination of the officers.
Meanwhile, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer also demanded an investigation into the police shooting, stating that it was his priority that the "truth comes out." Fisher, in a statement on Tuesday, May 12, said: "Police work can involve incredibly difficult situations. Additionally, residents have rights. These two concepts will and must be weighed by our justice system as the case proceeds."
Senator Harris also denounced the lack of probe into the officers' probe in Taylor's death and called it an injustice to her. "When you look at Breonna Taylor. A woman who was 26, an EMT, and this one woman had a dream of becoming a nurse. And she’s sitting in her apartment when she’s killed by police who were at the wrong place serving a warrant. There should be an investigation. That’s not justice," the senator told NBC News on May 13.
Commonwealth Attorney Tom Wine recused himself from the case and asked the state attorney general's office to appoint a special prosecutor. He stated that his office was prosecuting Walker for shooting one of the officers.