Police Sergeant Jon Mattingly spoke out about shooting and killing Breonna Taylor on March 13, telling ABC News' Michael Strahan that his team's only mistake was giving her and her boyfriend "time to formulate a plan."
The interview is Mattingly's first time speaking publicly about the case.
The 47-year-old Louisville Metro Police Department veteran made a number of alarming comments about the raid on Taylor's home and other police killings including George Floyd, who he said "was not a model citizen."
Much of the interview involved Mattingly echoing claims made by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron that the officers were justified in killing Taylor because her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, allegedly fired one shot at them from a legally-owned firearm. A report from the Kentucky State Police has disputed this and said it's still unclear whether it was Walker or the other officers who shot Mattingly.
Cameron caused nationwide outrage last month when he announced that no charges would be filed against Mattingly and detective Myles Cosgrove, both of whom fired dozens of bullets that killed Taylor. Mattingly is still facing an internal investigation and scrutiny from the FBI, Blavity previously
During the interview, Mattingly explained that if given the chance to do the raid over again, he would have given Taylor and Walker less time to understand what was going on.
Despite his remarks to give the couple less time to respond, Walker and Taylor's neighbors have said they never heard the police identify themselves before kicking in the door. A 911 call that has since been released revealed that even after Taylor had been shot to death, Walker still didn't know it was the police who were banging on her door that night.
"We expected that Breonna was going to be there by herself. That's why we gave her so much time. And in my opinion that was a mistake," Mattingly said.
"Number one, we would have either served the no-knock warrant or we would have done the normal thing we do, which is five to 10 seconds. To not give people time to formulate a plan, not give people time to get their senses so they have an idea of what they're doing. Because if that had happened…Breonna Taylor would be alive, 100%," Mattingly told Strahan.
During the two-hour interview, part of which aired on Good Morning America, Mattingly said that in the briefing before the raid, they were told to give Taylor "time to come to the door."
He went on to criticize city leaders, protesters and others for how they reacted to the case, calling the news reporting on Taylor's death misinformation.
"This is not relatable to George Floyd. This is nothing like that. It's not Ahmaud Arbery. It's nothing like it. These are two totally different types of incidences. It's not a race thing like people want to try to make it out to be. It's not. This is a point where we were doing our job, we gave too much time when we go in, I get shot, we returned fire. This is not us going, hunting somebody down. This is not kneeling on a neck. It's nothing like that," Mattingly said.
He later bashed Floyd, saying he died of an overdose, and implied that Black people were wrong to feel targeted by the police. Mattingly disputed the idea that police racially profile Black people but added that officers "just have a feeling" about whether someone has committed a crime based on the neighborhood they're in.
Mattingly's statements come just one day after a judge announced that grand jury members will be allowed to speak out about the grand jury proceedings, as Blavity previously reported. Cameron has since admitted that murder charges for Mattingly and Cosgrove were never even provided to the jury for consideration.
The anonymous juror's attorney just sent out a press release with a statement by the juror. It confirms what many have suspected:
"The grand jury was not presented any charges other than the three Wanton Endangerment charges against Detective Hankison." pic.twitter.com/LB5hMjrzfU
— Roberto Aram Ferdman (@robferdman) October 20, 2020
During the interview, Mattingly also recalled the moments before they forced themselves into Taylor's home. He said that when the officers were outside of Taylor's door, a neighbor happened to be coming out and started arguing with them.
The neighbor began shouting expletives at Brett Hankinson, the now-fired detective who also fired shots into Taylor's apartment that night.
"I remember him saying at one point, 'She's a good girl, leave her alone' or something to that effect. Finally, I looked at Brett and said, 'Leave that alone and pay attention to what we're doing,'" Mattingly admitted.