This could change everything: New audio suggests police knocked on door before entering Breonna Taylor’s home

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LOUISVILLE, KY — Audio recordings of interviews about the deadly encounter in which Breonna Taylor was tragically killed by police suggest officers knocked and may have identified themselves before firing, contrary to previous claims.

Taylor, 26, an emergency medical technician, was mistakenly killed March 13 when police were serving a “no-knock” warrant at her apartment and startled her boyfriend, who fired at what he perceived to be intruders. Police returned fire, killing Taylor, according to The Daily Beast.

According to police records, the “no-knock” search warrant granted by a judge as part of a narcotics investigation was executed just before 1 a.m. on March 13.

Despite the “no-knock” provision, Louisville Metro Police Department Lt. Ted Eidem claimed officers had “knocked on the door several times and announced their presence as police who were there with a search warrant.”

A lawsuit filed by Taylor’s family, however, alleges that not only did the plainclothes officers enter the home “without knocking and without announcing themselves,” but they approached the house in unmarked cars “in a manner which kept them from being detected by neighbors.”

Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s 27-year-old boyfriend, was startled awake from a “peaceful sleep” by the officer’s entry and believed the apartment was being burglarized. He used his legal firearm to fire one shot out of self-defense, the lawsuit states. The shot wounded an officer in the leg and prompted return fire of more than 20 rounds into the home.

The lawsuit alleged:

“Shots were blindly fired by the officers all throughout Breonna’s home and also into the adjacent home, where a five-year-old child and a pregnant mother had been sleeping.”

Records obtained by The Courier Journal show the search warrant, signed by a judge a day before Taylor’s death, includes Taylor’s address based on police’s belief that one of the main narcotics investigation suspects, Jamarcus Glover, used her home to receive mail, keep drugs or stash money earned from selling drugs.

Glover was arrested at the Elliott Avenue address where police believed drug dealing was occurring the same night that police raided Taylor’s apartment. Glover’s arrest citation lists a 12:40 a.m. violation time — right around when police entered Taylor’s home — with his arrest at 2:43 a.m., according to The Courier Journal.

However, newly released audio from the internal investigation into Taylor’s death seems to show that Taylor’s boyfriend and police both confirmed that officers knocked on the door before breaking it down, according to a July 10 report by CNN.

The audio, first reported by NBC News and obtained by CNN, includes the Louisville Metro Police Department’s interview with Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, on the night of the shooting.

Walker, who was described as audibly upset, described multiple knocks with both he and Taylor shouting, “Who is it?”

Walker said there was no response and as the couple approached the door, it came off the hinges and then he fired a shot. When a “lot of shots” were fired, the two dropped to the floor, he said, and his gun fell, according to CNN.

The shot Walker fired struck Sgt. John Mattingly in the leg, puncturing his femoral artery and causing police to return fire.

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The tapes also include an interview with Mattingly, conducted on March 25, nine days after his release from the hospital, reported CNN. Mattingly was interviewed with an attorney present and said that officers identified themselves repeatedly before breaking down Taylor’s door.

Even though the narcotics warrant that police say they were serving at Taylor’s door was a no-knock warrant, Mattingly told investigators the officers were instructed to knock on the door:

“I verbally heard, ‘We have it signed as a no-knock, but we’re not going to go that route.'”

Mattingly and Walker both said that police officers banged on the door prior to entering, CNN reported.

Mattingly told investigators that police repeatedly knocked on the door and announced their presence and waited an appropriate amount of time before breaking down the door.

After police broke down the door, Mattingly was the first one in and described what he saw:

“Boom. It was almost like at the shooting range when two things flip at the same time and you’ve got to shoot, no-shoot.”

He saw Walker, who was holding a gun, and Taylor side by side in a hallway:

“They were like shoulder-to-shoulder.”

Mattingly said he realized he’d been hit in his leg:

“So I just returned fire. I got four rounds off.”

Mattingly retreated to the outside to get medical care and reported he heard more gunshots.

In an interview with investigator Amanda Seely, Walker said:

“I don’t even know what happened or why.”

Walker told investigators he legally possessed a gun:

“I’m licensed to carry, everything. I’ve never even fired my gun outside of a range. I’m scared to death.”

Walker said the one shot he fired was meant to be a warning shot and that he was trying to protect Breonna.

According to CNN, Walker claimed that on the way to the police station that night, an officer had characterized the raid to him as a “misunderstanding.”

In the meantime, you’ve got the whole debacle in Detroit.

That’s where the city has brought yet another example of how protests manage to erupt when relating to police-involved shootings of suspects – even when these fatal encounters prove to be justified shootings by police.

Mere hours after police fatally shot 20-year-old Hakeem Littleton on July 10th, officials released video footage that showed the suspect firing a weapon at police. But by that time, protesters had already surrounded the scene where the encounter occurred.  

Police Chief James Craig noted that when officers encountered Littleton on the afternoon of July 10th, they were said to be enacting an arrest of a different subject related to a homicide that took place on July 5th.

Littleton was not even on police’s radar, as he was not the individual being honed in on for arrest, but was said to have inserted himself into the scenario when police were arresting the homicide suspect. According to the video footage available, Littleton produced a gun from his pocket and began opening fire on police.

Luckily, no officers were injured, but police returned fire at Littleton and fatally shot him. Investigators noted that Littleton discharged his firearm four times at police before being fatally wounded.

Yet, seeing how the rumor mill works, many protesters were falsely led to believe that Littleton was an unarmed and ruthlessly gunned down by police.

Brendan Scorpio, a protest organizer with the group Detroit Will Breathe, was among those who either disregarded the facts of the case or was led to believe that Littleton was unjustly gunned down:

“They killed a man today. I don’t give a fuck what happened, they shouldn’t have killed a man today.”

Scorpio continued, alleging that police should have never been in the area where Littleton was to begin with:

“We are fighting for a system where the police shouldn’t have been there to begin with, the police shouldn’t be putting people in positions where they feel like they have to protect their lives because they see a badge.”

Except, the notion that “police shouldn’t have been there to begin with,” is a demonstrably misguided sentiment.

Police, as mentioned earlier, were there to arrest a suspect alleged to be involved in a homicide case from earlier in the month. The homicide case in question was one that left three people dead and five other people wounded at a block party on July 5th.

However, even with the presence of compelling evidence that Littleton was justly fired upon by police, it still led to police having to deploy the likes of teargas on protesters and bad actors engulfing the police crime scene.

From there, protesters had then made their way over to the local police precinct and engaged in somewhat of a brief standoff against officers, where officers were said to have been adorned in riot gear and hosted inside of armored vehicles.

Demonstrators were said to have then made their way back to the original crime scene thereafter, but eventually dispersed at around 9:30 p.m. that evening.

In these instances, it seems like even when police are blatantly protecting their lives against armed assailants intent on killing them – appropriate responses of lethal force will still get admonished by bad actors. Because, as many have seen lately, there are those who simply want to protest police for the sake of protesting police.

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Law Enforcement Today had reported previously on this situation as it was developing, here’s our original report: 

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that tensions are high in Detroit Friday afternoon after police officers shot a man while investigating a deadly Fourth of July block party. The incident quickly escalated with the usual assortment of anti-police protesters showing up amid increasing tension between police and the community.

According to Detroit police chief James Craig, the man who was shot was an alleged gang member who pulled a semiautomatic weapon out of his waistband and started shooting at police, who then returned fire.

Of course, none of that matters in the post-George Floyd era. Demonstrators, who were clearly unaware of the circumstances surrounding the shooting, converged in the area, specifically the 12th Precinct and stood in the rain chanting “No Justice, No Peace,” as well as “Black Lives Matter” while officers stood by adorned in riot gear.

“We don’t back down to bullies with shields!” the crowd yelled.

This is where we are at in 2020, and actually where we have been for a long time. Police officers are no longer allowed to defend themselves. On top of that, you have people getting on social media and spreading information without having facts, and this is what it leads to.

Chief Craig was scheduled to hold a press conference at 7:30 p.m. at police headquarters, where he has promised to release a video of the incident, as well as a photograph of the suspect just moments before he was killed. Police sources confirmed that the photo shows a man holding a gun. The video is shown below.

**CAUTION GRAPHIC CONTENT**

None of that will matter to the anti-police mob, however. If the suspect is black, it makes no difference the circumstances surrounding the incident. The mob wants their pound of flesh.

In an earlier press conference Friday, Craig said that police went to a west side neighborhood to arrest a suspect wanted in connection with the killings on the Fourth of July.

He said that while officers were approaching the suspect, a second person arrived at the scene and pulled a semi-automatic pistol from his waist and started firing over his shoulder at police.

“The officer pushed him away, that’s when the additional officers, fearing for their lives…fired several rounds, striking the suspect,” Chief Craig told reporters. “We’re still very early in this investigation…Based on what I know right now, this suspect was unprovoked and just fired on the officers.”

Police have recovered the weapon the suspect used on police, along with spent shell casings from that weapon. None of that will matter, however.

A man who said he was the victim’s uncle, Asar Amenra did not believe the police account of the incident.

“We hear one thing from the police, and another thing from the community. The community told us that the police pulled up, told (him) to get on the ground. He put his hands up, and these mother f**kers shot him in the back of the head. He has got two shots in the back of his head, plus other bullet wounds.”

Amenra said the time for peaceful protesting is over. He has obviously not been watching the news for the past five weeks.

“We aren’t doing any Martin Luther King peaceful sh*t no more. These young people are ready for war,” he said.

The victim was identified by Amenra as 20-year-old Hakim Littleton, whom he said—get ready for it—was a “typical young kid” who worked all the time and was “doing his thing.”

Craig said that in keeping with department protocol, the officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave pending a further investigation.

The shooting under investigation came about from a party on July 4 where an argument broke out shortly after midnight which erupted in gunfire. Eight people were shot, with three of them succumbing to their wounds.

Police subsequently received a tip while conducting surveillance in the area and zeroed in on a suspect, which led them back to the scene Friday to effect an arrest.

The suspect was, according to Craig, wanted on an outstanding felony warrant and had ties to a local gang. As police moved in to arrest him, the officers observed the second suspect walking in their direction. That individual was an associate of the wanted suspect, who also had gang ties.

A police officer approached the second suspect to question him, at which point a struggle ensued and the suspect pulled the gun from his waistband and fired at police.

The man who officers initially approached about the shooting was taken into custody without incident. None of the officers sustained any injuries in the incident. Police have not released the identities of the suspects.

Craig acknowledged that there has been “a lot of violence in our city. That’s certainly a concern.”

Of course, it would not be a police shooting without a politician getting involved.

State Representative LaTanya Garrett, who represents the district where the shooting occurred, is asking for an “independent and transparent” investigation into the shooting.

“It saddens me to hear of anyone losing their life. My heart and prayers go out to the family of the deceased and to the police officers who were injured during this violent exchange,” Garrett said in a statement.

“I call upon the Mayor and the Chief of Police to ensure this matter is properly investigated in a fair and impartial manner. If outside law enforcement agencies are needed to oversee this matter…I call upon our city leaders to ensure this is done expeditiously.

The family of the deceased deserves answers and our community deserves answers.”

Law Enforcement Today will update this story as more information becomes available. Meanwhile, we pray for our brothers and sisters in Detroit. 


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