Louisville police officials this week made public for the first time thousands of files from the investigation into the death of Breonna Taylor, an emergency medical technician who died inside her home from gunshots fired by police officers in March.
The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) released over 4,000 pages including interview transcripts, evidence logs, and emails, along with videos and photographs.
Three officers—Brett Hankison, Myles Cosgrove, and Jonathan Mattingly—executed a search warrant on March 18 at approximately 1 a.m. at Taylor’s two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment on Springfield Drive.
The officers said they banged on the door before breaching it.
“I knocked on the door. Banged on it. We didn’t announce the first couple because our intent was not to, to hit the door,” Mattingly told investigators. “Our intent was to give her plenty of time to come to the door because they said she was probably there alone.”
When the knocking and banging garnered no response, officers said they identified themselves as police. Forty-five seconds to one minute elapsed from the first knock, Mattingly said.
“It seems like an eternity where you’re up at a door waiting,” he said.
After Mattingly entered, he spotted two people, including one with a gun in his hands.
Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker fired at least one shot, striking Mattingly. That shot prompted all three officers to fire back.
Hankison said he sprinted around the corner to fire through the sliding glass doors. He said he was under the impression that the person inside the apartment was firing a number of rounds at officers.
“My only option was to return fire,” he said in the newly published interview, which took place on March 25.
After seeing a person inside the apartment fire a shot, Cosgrove said he began shooting. Because of the lighting, he only saw “a shadowy figure.”
“I’m having this tunnel vision,” he said. “I did not have any hand sensation or any recollection that I’m firing a gun. If you told me I didn’t fire a gun, I’d be like, ‘Okay, I believe you,'” he added.
Cosgrove later moved backward, made it to the parking lot, and helped render aid to Mattingly.
Hankison fired 10 rounds, Cosgrove fired 16 rounds, and Mattingly fired six rounds.
Officers fired bullets from the front door, through a sliding glass door, and through a glass window. The bullets penetrated interior drywall walls, struck kitchen cabinets, and entered the hallway utility closet and laundry room. Photographs showed broken glass, a damaged clock, and damage to the drywall.
When more officers arrived, Walker told them as he was being taken into custody that his girlfriend had fired the weapon and that he had heard them knocking at the door, according to one police officer account.
Walker told officers he was in bed with Taylor when they were jolted out of bed by loud knocks at the door. Walker thought it could be one of Taylor’s ex-boyfriends.
Then they heard a “loud boom” at the door. Taylor said “who is it” and received no response. After another loud knock, Taylor called out again, but still received no response. That’s when Walker said he grabbed his gun and the couple walked out of the bedroom to see the front door being broken down.
Walker admitted to firing one shot before the officers fired dozens of bullets. He said he kicked the gun under the bed after he saw police officers entering because he wanted someone to render aid to Taylor.
Walker said officers repeatedly asked him if there was a white male in the apartment and wondered why police raided the residence. He said he had no criminal record besides a DUI charge and a shoplifting charge.
A search of his phone found numerous conversations about drug trafficking, investigators said, including discussions with Hooters waitresses about pills. He offered cannabis in some messages for certain prices.
Walker also claimed one officer told him he would be going to jail for the rest of the life. Another allegedly asked if was hit by a bullet and, when he said no, the officer said, “that’s unfortunate.”
Walker said he and Taylor were watching a movie earlier in the night. He said they “had a good day.”
He said he was aware of Jamarcus Glover, Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, but did not know him and had only seen him once, briefly.
The warrant was approved because police officers said they conclusively linked Glover, a known criminal, to Taylor’s residence.
In 2016, officers learned that the vehicle of a homicide victim had been rented by Taylor. Upon contact with her, detectives observed Glover. Taylor said she had been dating him for approximately three months and had let him drive her rental car. She provided the same contact number that Glover used to call police to complain about his vehicle being towed. The homicide victim was the brother of a known Glover associate.
Taylor posted bond for Glover twice, including a $5,000 bond in early 2017. Glover was driving a vehicle registered to Taylor in January 2020 when he stopped at a home suspected of being the site of drug trafficking. Also in January, Glover spoke to Taylor multiple times, at one point telling her to find someone who’s “got my [expletive] money.”
She later said she had and the person said he “was already back at the trap.” Taylor said in another conversation that she was more anxious when with Glover because she was worried about the police.
Detectives identified Glover in early January of being the supplier of the house where they believed drugs were being dealt. They attached a GPS tracking device to the vehicle he was using and it went to Taylor’s apartment six times by the end of the month. During one of the trips, detectives saw him exiting the apartment with a U.S. Postal Service package.
On Feb. 13, officers saw Glover pull the car up to the alleged drug trafficking home and go inside. Taylor got into the passenger side.
After the car was towed the next day, Glover gave the phone number that was registered to Taylor and detectives learned he used her address as his residence.
Detectives executed a search warrant on the suspicious home and found a large amount of crack cocaine and suspected Fentanyl pills, along with four firearms. Glover and three other people were inside when the warrant was executed.
Glover told the mother of his child in one jail conversation after Taylor was killed that Walker was at fault.
“He shoots at the police, they shoot back, Bre in the hallway, and she gets killed,” he said.
He also said police officers did not have phone records for the number that he and Taylor were talking on.
Detectives found a piece of mail addressed to Taylor from Glover in Taylor’s purse. They also found mail addressed to Glover at Taylor’s apartment from Chase and AT&T. Sam Aguiar, the Taylor family’s attorney, told ABC earlier this year that Taylor accepted packages for Glover at her house.
“We were told that the target, their main target, the male, had packages sent to this location in her name,” Mattingly told investigators. “She held—she possibly held dope for him. Received the packages and held his money,” he said.
Few drugs were found at Taylor’s apartment.
The search warrant was approved after work by several officers, including Detective Joshua Jaynes.
The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD)’s SWAT team said members were briefed on upcoming raids, but not on Taylor’s apartment.
SWAT commanders told investigators that the only time Taylor’s apartment was specifically mentioned was in an email.
“SWAT was never informed [police] would be serving the warrant on Springfield Drive,” Sgt. Jason Vance with the LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit wrote. Commanders said they would have advised not to execute the warrant at the time it was served if they’d known about it.
Jaynes wrote in the search warrant application that he “verified” through the service that Glover had been receiving packages at Taylor’s apartment.
Jaynes told investigators in May that he delegated the verification task to Mattingly, who he said had contacts inside the U.S. Postal Inspector’s office.
But a Louisville-based postal inspector told WDRB earlier this year that police officers didn’t contact his office. “There’s no packages of interest going there,” Tony Gooden said. He said another office could have been involved, but if that was the case, he would have been alerted.
“It stinks because I feel like some of our investigation, I would have done it a little bit differently,” Jaynes said.
Internal investigators said they believe “the wording on the affidavit is misleading” and recommended Jaynes’s affidavit be reviewed for possible criminal action.
Taylor’s family has said the warrant shouldn’t have been authorized and filed a lawsuit against the three officers involved in its execution in Jefferson Circuit Court.
The suit alleged that the officers didn’t complete the proper plans, such as a Search Warrant Operations Plan, and notifications. It also alleged that the officers never announced themselves or knocked on the door.
“As the Defendant officers approached Breonna’s home, they did so in a manner which kept them from being detected by neighbors. The officers then entered Breonna’s home without knocking and without announcing themselves as police officers. The Defendants then proceeded to spray gunfire into the residence with a total disregard for the value of human life,” the suit stated.
Mattingly was the only officer hit by gunfire. He required emergency surgery for the thigh wound.
Mattingly wrote an email to LMPD personnel on March 17 thanking them.
“WOW, what a whirlwind of a last few days it’s been. Now that things have slowed down and I am at home I wanted to take a moment to reflect and say thank you to everyone involved early Friday morning when I was shot during the critical incident,” he wrote, thanking people on the scene “who saved my life.”
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, a Democrat, said he saw the quick release of the information as necessary, following the announcement by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican, that only Hankison faced charges.
Cameron said the shots fired by the other two officers were justified because Walker fired first.
“I urge all to be sensitive that these files contain information and images that are traumatic and painful,” Fischer said in a statement.
The release took place several days after grand jury audio details were made public.
Aguiar told the Associated Press that the release of the files was “long overdue.”
“We think the public is going to understand even more so why we’re so frustrated with how this investigation went down and why there was no criminal accountability,” he said.
Pursuant to police department procedures, the files have been forwarded for investigation of administrative violations to the Professional Standards Unit. The FBI is also continuing a probe to see whether there were any civil rights violations.
Hankison was fired in June by acting Police Chief Robert Schroeder, who said he violated rules governing use of deadly force.
Hankison “wantonly and blindly fired ten (10) rounds into the apartment of Breonna Taylor,” he wrote, creating substantial danger to Taylor and the three occupants in the adjacent department.
Hankison “was unaware of pertinent information pertaining to the target location,” internal investigators wrote in a report that was among the files released to the public this week.