A judge in Kentucky has dismissed criminal charges against the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor for firing a gun at police officers during a botched 2020 police raid that killed Taylor in her home.
Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Olu Stevens on Monday ordered the criminal case against Kenneth Walker III permanently closed.
Walker’s attorney had requested the permanent dismissal, saying Walker “acted in self-defense and that he did not know that police were on the other side of the door.”
Prosecutors dropped the charges of attempted murder of a police officer and assault against Walker last May due to a grand jury concluding that there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him. Prosecutors said they could revive the charges against Walker if new evidence emerged, however.
Walker’s attorney, Steve Romines, said the judge dropped the charges in part because of pending civil litigation that he filed on behalf of Walker. That litigation cited alleged missteps by law enforcement during their investigation.
“You are protected from even being arrested by law, if you act in self defense in your own home,” Romines told local station Fox 19 Now. “Yet, that didn’t occur here. Kenny was arrested that night and jailed, prosecuted, indicted.”
Romines, in a Twitter post last week, accused local authorities of framing and charging Walker to cover up Taylor’s killing.
Walker was inside Taylor’s Louisville apartment in the early morning hours of March 13, 2020, when police used a battering ram to break down the door while performing a “no-knock” search warrant as part of a drug investigation.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) claimed Walker, who was armed with a legally owned handgun, shot an officer in the leg, though a ballistics report could not rule out friendly fire, as another officer at the scene had a gun of the same caliber.
Police responded to Walker’s single gunshot by firing at least 20 times into the apartment. Ten of the shots were fired blindly. Taylor, a 26-year-old Black EMT, was shot at least five times and died, an investigation found.
None of the officers were charged with murder in the botched raid, though two officers who fired shots have been dismissed from the police department.