26-Year-Old Black EMT Worker Killed During Police Raid At Her Boyfriend's Home
Breonna Taylor was a certified EMT working at two local hospitals.
March 30, 2020 at 1:56 pm
A 26-year-old woman in Kentucky was allegedly shot and killed by police while she was in her apartment. Breonna Taylor was sleeping with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, when police raided the home for a narcotics investigation around 1 a.m, WHAS 11 reported.
“She was already an accomplished and certified EMT for the city of Louisville and currently worked for UofL as a medical tech. This is not a woman who would sacrifice her life and her family morals and values to sell drugs on the street,” said Bonica Austin, Taylor’s aunt, according to WHAS 11.
Taylor's 27-year-old boyfriend spent two weeks in jail after he was accused of shooting Sgt. John Mattingly in the leg during the raid on March 13, WDRB reported. Defense attorney Rob Eggert said it was an improper raid in which officers broke into Taylor's home unannounced and shot about 22 times.
“It was incredible that Mrs. Taylor was the only one killed,” Eggert said. “Had Breonna Taylor been killed by anyone except police, the person or persons responsible for her death would have been charged with a homicide.”
Eggert said Walker didn't know he was shooting at police when officers raided the house while the couple was sleeping.
"[Walker] wishes to exonerate himself," the attorney wrote. "His girlfriend was killed in a hail of police bullets while naked and he himself simply acted to try to protect himself.”
Police said body camera footage isn't available because the department’s criminal interdiction division, which conducted the search, doesn't wear body cameras. One neighbor said she heard gunshots and also heard Walker yelling for help, but she didn't hear police announce themselves. Police gave a different account, saying they had to bust the door open after repeatedly knocking and announcing their presence.
Sam Aguiar, an attorney representing the family, said: "This was clearly a botched execution of a warrant.”
Chief Steve Conrad, however, said he is "very frustrated by Mr. Walker’s release to home incarceration."
“I certainly understand the need to make sure we are releasing those people who don’t pose a risk to our community from the jail, especially as we face the outbreak of COVID-19," the chief told WDRB. "However, it’s hard for me to see how a man accused of shooting a police officer falls into that low-risk category."
The Louisville Corrections FOP Lodge criticized Judge Olu Stevens for releasing Walker.
"Judge Olu Steven's actions in this case are especially bewildering and problematic because the Louisville jail is currently experiencing the lowest inmate numbers since the 1990's, so an overcrowded jail did not figure into Judge Steven's decision to release an alleged, attempted cop killer back into the community without even so much as requiring bail," the organization wrote on Facebook.
The officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative reassignment, WDRB reported. According to the families, Walker had just accepted a job at UPS before the incident.