One day prior to the anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s death, Kenneth Walker, the boyfriend of the slain 26-year-old, filed a federal lawsuit against the Louisville Metro Police Department regarding the fatal no-knock raid on March 13, 2020.
The suit, collaboratively filed on Friday by multiple law firms in Kentucky, contends that the LMPD violated Walker’s constitutional rights. Louisville and Jefferson County Metro government and officers Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly are listed as complicit parties in the act, according to ABC News.
Additionally, the complaint accuses the LMPD of "tacitly approving excessive use of force” and failing to adhere to "adequately train its officers in using reasonable (and not excessive) force."
"Although Mr. Walker had committed no crime, officers on the scene took him into custody. Defendant Hankison told Mr. Walker that he was 'going to jail for the rest of [his] life,'" the suit continues, according to ABC News.
In conducting the no-knock raid, the lawsuit argues that the LMPD's actions violated Walker's Fourth Amendment rights.
"This is a very important lawsuit to vindicate Kenneth Walker's constitutional rights under the U.S. Constitution," Cliff Sloan, a Georgetown University Law Center professor representing Walker, said. "We are seeking to ensure that there is justice and accountability for the tragic and unjustified police assault on Kenneth Walker and killing of Breonna Taylor."
Walker's legal team said he has suffered from "mental anguish, emotional distress, trauma, humiliation, embarrassment, and reputational harm" as a result of the raid last year. The suit also states that Walker is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
Last year, Walker filed an ongoing state court lawsuit against the city of Louisville and the police department, arguing that he should be prohibited from criminal charges due to Kentucky's "Stand Your Ground" law which "protects all Kentuckians who seek to protect themselves or loved ones in self-defense," as Blavity previously reported.
"I was raised by a good family. I am a legal gun owner and I would never knowingly shoot at a police officer," he said at a news conference last year.
Walker was inside the apartment with Taylor last March when police forced their way through the doors, executing a no-knock search warrant of the space they thought was being used for drug trafficking.
Alarmed by the police’s forced entry, Walker fired a single gunshot in their direction before officers fired at least 20 rounds. Taylor was shot at least five times during the raid. Although ballistics reports conflicted with his findings, Attorney General Daniel Cameron argued that Walker shot a police officer in the leg.
Earlier this month, a Jefferson County Circuit Court judge granted Walker’s legal team its request for a permanent dismissal of the criminal case against Walker. Steve Romines, Walker’s attorney, argued that the man “acted in self-defense and that he did not know that police were on the other side of the door.”
According to HuffPost, none of the Louisville Police Department officers involved in the deadly raid were charged for the murder of Taylor, but two officers have since been let go as members of the department.