Who is Kenneth Walker? Breonna Taylor's boyfriend asks himself every day why he lived while she had to die
'When you are shot at and when you see a loved one basically executed in front of you, you never recover from that'
Breonna Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, revealed recently that he has not slept well since that doomed night when his girlfriend was killed in front of him. 26-year-old Taylor was killed on March 13 night when Louisville police officers raided her apartment and fired numerous bullets at her.
Walker and Taylor were reportedly in a relationship and had planned a future together. They wanted to buy a home together and have a baby. They had even decided upon the baby's name, Kenbre. It was a combination of the first three letters of their names. But the botched raid destroyed the young couple's dreams. "Imagine how someone has to feel in a situation like this? Like, why me? They were both there. They were both shot at 30 times,” Frederick Moore III, one of the attorneys representing Walker in a civil lawsuit filed against the city of Louisville, its police department and others in September, told an interview last week.
Walker said that he asks himself every day why his love is not alive and he is. Steve Romines, another attorney of Walker, added: “When you are shot at and when you see a loved one basically executed in front of you, you never recover from that. It is something that haunts him every single night. And not only that. All that goes down and then he's arrested. He didn't get to go to her funeral."
Reports have stated that Walker and Taylor were at home when cops entered her apartment to search for drugs or cash from drug trafficking. The raid was reportedly linked to an investigation involving Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, a convicted drug dealer. According to authorities, Glover had used his ex’s address to receive packages. However, on the night of March 13, the police did not find any drugs or money during the raid.
In their defense, cops said that night, they fired bullets only after Walker attacked them with his gun. He also fired his gun once, hitting Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly in the thigh, police said. But Walker claimed police did not say who they were as they entered the apartment. He called 911 after the firing and told a dispatcher that "somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend,” NBC News reported.
After the incident, when Walker was interrogated, he said he had acted in self-defense. “It's the middle of the night. Somebody is beating on the door and not saying who they are, like, what are you going to do if you're home with your family and somebody is beating on your door and you don't know who it is after you've asked who it is?” he said as per audio released on May 28 by Thomas Wine, the Jefferson County prosecutor, and Mayor Greg Fischer.
For firing a bullet, Walker was charged with the attempted murder of a police officer and assault. However, the charges were later dismissed after the killing of Taylor attracted national attention. The 28-year-old and the attorneys representing him said that because of the involvement of professional athletes, celebrities, and politicians, he was freed from the charges.
“We know it could have happened because it happens every day all over the country. There are all kinds of people falsely charged by the police who don't have the resources to properly defend it. And they get put in a position where all they can do is just take some sort of plea to something they didn't do just to get out of jail,” Romines said.
At a press conference on September 1, Walker added that the charges brought against him were “meant to silence me and cover up Breonna's murder. For her and those that I love, I can no longer remain silent.” Walker's attorneys have also doubted police claims that the bullet fired by him struck Mattingly. "We absolutely do not concede that fact. It was obviously possible, but until we see the ballistics report, and it reflects that, we think it is much more likely that one of the 35 to 45 shots fired by LMPD is what struck Officer Mattingly,” Romines said.
Who is Kenneth Walker?
Walker is a Louisville native, who graduated from Valley High School before attending Western Kentucky University for two years. He met African-American emergency medical technician Breonna Taylor on Twitter and became friends before dating each other. Before the March incident, he was scheduled to start work in the US Postal Service. "My son is not a drug dealer. Ms Taylor was not a drug dealer. They both worked and were law-abiding citizens,” Walker’s father said earlier, adding, “had they known police were at the door, they would have let them in immediately and allowed them to search. A horrible mistake has been made by police."
The lawsuit that Walker has filed is for assault, battery, false arrest, malicious imprisonment, and negligence. Through it, he is seeking unstated monetary damages for the lifelong trauma he claimed he has suffered. Romines said: “To really achieve justice, you need magic. And that would be to bring Breonna Taylor back and to undo Kenny Walker getting charged. That can't happen. What we do need to happen is every available remedy in the justice system — both the criminal justice system and the civil justice system — needs to be brought to bear against the officers in this case and on behalf of both Kenny Walker and Breonna Taylor's family."
Tamika Palmer, Taylor's mother, who knew about her daughter’s relationship with Walker said she was always supportive of the two getting married. In a recent interview, the mother said: "He has always told me he was going to marry her. They reminded you of two little old people yelling at each other trying to tell each other what to do — mostly her trying to tell him what to do — but you couldn’t break them apart."
Palmer also said: “He’s had his heart ripped out of his chest and most days thinks he can't go on. I hate that for him, for all of us,” adding that Walker would have preferred to die instead of Taylor. “He is a constant reminder of her. But at least a good one,” she stated.