Louisville Metro Police Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly is countersuing Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, claiming Walker’s actions the night Mattingly and two other officers barged into Taylor’s apartment and shot her to death caused him “emotional distress.”
The 27-year-old licensed gun owner fired one round at the door in self-defense after he says police failed to announce themselves while serving a warrant at 1 a.m. on the morning of March 13.
Walker’s bullet struck Mattingly in the leg, causing “severe trauma, mental anguish, and emotional distress,” the lawsuit claims. “Walker’s conduct in shooting Mattingly is outrageous, intolerable, and offends all accepted standards of decency and morality.”
Mattingly’s attorney, Kent Wicker, told the Courier-Journal in a statement that his client is “entitled to, and should, use the legal process to seek a remedy for the injury that Walker has caused him.”
The plainclothes officers, who’d used a battering ram to enter Taylor’s home, responded by firing more than two dozen bullets, fatally striking the 26-year-old EMT.
“I don’t know what is happening,” Walker can be heard saying in a frantic 911 call. “Somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend.” Walker later said he and Taylor feared an ex-boyfriend was at the door.
A subsequent search of Taylor’s apartment found none of the drugs or paraphernalia enumerated in the warrant.
Walker’s attorney Steve Romines dismissed the new lawsuit as baseless.
“This is the latest in a cycle of police aggression, deflection of responsibility, and obstruction of the facts in what is an obvious coverup,” Romines said in a statement to HuffPost.
“The counterclaim just brings it full circle. If Kenny can be sued for defending himself, make no mistake, all lawful gun owners’ rights are at risk. And that should scare everyone,” he continued. “We intend to defend Kenny — once again — from baseless charges intended to harm, intimidate, and cover up the events of March 13, 2020.”
Prosecutors initially tried to charge Walker with attempted murder of a police officer and assault. The charges were dropped, however, after a grand jury said there wasn’t sufficient evidence to indict him.
Walker sued the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department over its conduct, claiming that Kentucky’s stand-your-ground laws protected him from criminal charges.
“I was raised by a good family. I am a legal gun owner, and I would never knowingly shoot at a police officer,” Walker said at a news conference at the time.
While Detective Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment in Taylor’s shooting death, none of the officers were charged with murder. Curiously, a juror in the case said prosecutors never even presented homicide charges for them to consider.