March 13, 2020
Breonna Taylor killed by police
'Help. Oh, my God. Help!'
Kenneth Walker calls 911
Grand Jury Decision
Say Her Name
Breonna Taylor's death part of National Movement
What has changed since the tragic shooting?
Here are the changes initiated since Taylor's death
What's next for Louisville?
Reimagining public safety
It has been two years since Louisville police officers shot and killed Breonna Taylor. Here's a look at what happened that night, Taylor's name became part of the national social justice movement and how the city is trying to move forward.
March 13, 2020: Breonna Taylor killed by police
Breonna Taylor was killed when police executed a no-knock search warrant at her Louisville apartment, on March 13, 2020. Police said they announced themselves.
However, Kenneth Walker, Breonna's boyfriend said he asked several times "who is this?" He stated that he nor Taylor heard police announce themselves as officers. Thinking it was possibly a break-in, Walker admittedly fired a shot that hit former LMPD officer Johnathan Mattingly who was part of the police raid. This set off a barrage of gunfire from LMPD and the end to Taylor's life. Former officer Myles Cosgrove has been identified as the officer who fired the shot that killed Taylor.
Four months after the shooting, Shay McAlister put together this timeline of events the night Taylor was killed.
Thursday, March 12
Judge Mary Shaw signs off on five warrants as part of a large narcotics investigation. Three warrants were for properties on Elliott Ave. in west Louisville. Detectives wrote they were looking for drugs, weapons, electronics and mail related to illegal drug activity. A fourth warrant was for a house on Muhammad Ali. The fifth warrant was for 26-year-old Breonna Taylor's south Louisville apartment.
Friday, March 13
Around 12:30 a.m. on March 13, officers parked in front of Taylor's building and walked up to her door.
"When SWAT was doing their thing at 24 Elliott, we executed ours at the same time,” Mattingly said during a police interview.
Ten miles away, officers executed a warrant at a different property on Elliott Avenue at the same time. There, police found the main suspect Jamarcus Glover and arrested him.
At around 12:40 a.m., officers began to bang on Taylor's door, setting into motion the events that led to her death.
"Laying in bed, there's a loud knock at the door," Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker described what he first heard to police hours after the shooting.
Walker told police he and Taylor were in bed, watching a movie, when it started. The detectives say they knocked on the door multiple times.
Walker said they jumped out bed, started to get dressed and he grabbed his gun. At the same time, detectives took a battering ram against the door.
"When we come out, get out of the bed, walking towards the door, the door like comes off the hinges so I just let off one shot," Walker said. "Still can't see who it is or anything."
But Mattingly said he saw them, saying "I'm facing on, about 20 feet away, right down the hallway there's a bedroom door on the right and there's a male and a female. The male is closest to the door, so to my right, and I turned the doorway he's in a stretched out position with his hands, with a gun, and as soon as I clear he fires — boom."
Walker told police shots started flying so he fell to the ground and dropped his gun. Mattingly had been shot.
"As soon as the shot hit I could feel the hit in my leg and so I just returned fire. I got four rounds off and it was like simultaneous — like boom, boom, boom, boom," Mattingly said.
Mattingly said he fired two more rounds, then told other officers he'd been shot. It was called over the radio at 12:43 a.m. according to a CAD report provided by the mayor.
Detective Myles Cosgrove fired shots from inside the apartment, while Brett Hankison "blindly fired" 10 rounds from outside, through the patio door, according to his termination letter.
"When all the shots stop, I'm like panicking she's right there on the ground, like, bleeding,” Walker said.
On the afternoon of March 13, LMPD briefed the media about the overnight, officer-involved shooting.
"The victim who died…is um…we're still working through what her involvement was in the narcotics investigation," Lt. Ted Eidem said when asked about the victim. "Her identity will be released by the coroner's office at a later date."
As police briefed the media, the LMPD Public Integrity Unit searched through Taylor's apartment. Investigators got a warrant right after the shooting and spent much of the day looking for evidence including blood, hair, fingerprints clothing, weapons and electronics.
Sunday, March 15
On Sunday, March 15, two days after she was gunned down by police, the Jefferson County Coroner identified her as 26-year-old Breonna Taylor.
Crime scene photos from Breonna Taylor's apartment
'Help. Oh, my God. Help!': Kenneth Walker calls 911
Records show three neighbors called 911 at 12:42 a.m. reporting shots near their apartment. Five minutes later, after calling his mom, Walker dialed 911.
Operator: "911 - Operator Harris, where is your emergency?"
Walker: "I don’t know what’s happening. Somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend."
Operator: "OK. Where are you located?"
Walker: "I'm at 3003 Springfield Drive Apartment 4."
Operator: "3003 Springfield Drive Apartment number 4?"
Walker: "Yes...oh my god."
Operator: "Okay - how old is your girlfriend?"
Walker: "She's 26...Breonna...oh my god."
Meanwhile, officers rush to the scene on word of an injured officer. Detectives on scene put a tourniquet on Mattingly's leg as they wait for EMS.
"At some point EMS shows up," Mattingly said. "It seemed like forever...I don't know how long they took."
Mattingly was rushed to UofL Hospital where he went into surgery.
According to the Taylor family attorneys, 120 LMPD officers went to the complex in the hours after the shooting. But no one went into the apartment to provide aid to Taylor until Walker was called out.
"I'm still yelling help because she's over here like coughing and I'm just freaking out, but I'm on the phone with her mom now at this point. They keep yelling, 'Come out,'" Walker said.
He said police told him to drop his phone, so he did, and then walked backwards to the officers.
"I'm doing everything they're asking me to, slowly and surely, and I’m telling them I'm scared to death," Walker said.
As Walker surrendered to police, SWAT moved into the apartment eventually finding an unresponsive Breonna Taylor on the hallway floor.
Walker was taken into custody at the scene and driven to LMPD headquarters, where he was interrogated for several hours, the interview wrapping up after 5:30 a.m. in the morning.
Walker was later charged with the attempted murder of an officer. Those charges were dismissed in May 2020.
September 2020: Grand Jury Decision
In anticipation of the announcement, Mayor Fischer implemented a curfew in Jefferson County and LMPD had the National Guard, law enforcement partners on standby.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron has a news conference to announce the Grand Jury decision in the Breonna Taylor case.
Cameron announces that Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and officer Myles Cosgrove were "justified" in their use of force the night Breonna Taylor was killed.
Former LMPD officer Brett Hankison was the only officer indicted and it wasn't related to Taylor's death. Hankison was indicted on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for firing shots that went into a nearby apartment.
Cameron said Mattingly was the only officer to enter Taylor's apartment. He was struck by one bullet from Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Walker's attorneys said he did not know who was entering the apartment, firing one warning shot.
Mattingly responded with six shots and Cosgrove fired 16 times. In total, Taylor was struck six times. Cameron said a report from the FBI lab found one bullet fatally hit Taylor. That shot was fired by Cosgrove.
The attorney general said Kentucky law finds that Mattingly and Cosgrove were justified in their use of force in response to Walker's shot. Cameron also said murder charges "are not applicable to the facts before us."
'This is really heartbreaking.' Protesters express pain, anger after Breonna Taylor decision. The highly anticipated decision in the Breonna Taylor case was watched around the world and comes after more than 100 days of protests centered around Jefferson Square Park.
One grand juror sued for the release of recordings, transcripts related to the Breonna Taylor case. The motion was filed anonymously in Louisville’s Jefferson Circuit Court Monday. The juror said there is no desire for notoriety or money – "only the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."
The suit calls out Cameron for pinning the decision not to file charges against the three officers who fired weapons the night Breonna Taylor was shot and killed on the grand jury, but not giving any explanation.
"Using the grand jurors as a shield to deflect accountability and responsibility for these decisions only sows more seeds of doubt in the process while leaving a cold chill down the spines of future grand jurors,” the court document said.
September 30, 2020, Judge Ann Bailey Smith orders the release of the grand jury recordings.
October 2, 2020, nearly 15 hours of grand jury recordings released by the Attorney General's Office.
October 20, 2020, Judge grants anonymous grand juror's request to speak publicly about the proceedings of the Breonna Taylor Case. The grand juror will remain anonymous unless they choose to identify themselves. Judge O'Connell's order says it gives grand jurors the option to come forward if they choose but "it is not intended to coerce, compel or even encourage" them to do so.
The court urged grand jurors to use "extreme caution" if they chose to disclose their identities due to potential public attention and scrutiny.
Her decision comes after Daniel Cameron filed two motions against it.
December 4, 2020, Kentucky Prosecutors Advisory Council rejects request for new special prosecutor in Breonna Taylor case.
Say Her Name: Breonna Taylor's death part of National Movement
During the Summer of 2020, many across the community participated in social justice protests calling for change, the arrest and prosecution of the officers involved in the tragedy.
Breonna's death became part of the national movement before and after the death of George Floyd. Floyd was killed by former Minnesota officer, David Chauvin who kneeled on his neck for nearly 10 minutes. The entire incident was recorded in a disturbing cell phone video that has been seen around the world.
Breonna's death was not recorded by cell phone or police body cams, but some of the aftermaths of what happened have been released in documents, photos, and video shared by Louisville Metro Police Department's Public Integrity Unit (PIU).
Former Metro Police Detective Brett Hankison was fired in 2020 after he was indicted for wanton endangerment charges. A grand jury convened by the Kentucky General Daniel Cameron's office found the Hankison was "blindly firing." Hankison was acquitted of the charges on March
Officers Myles Cosgrove and Joshua Jaynes were fired in 2021. Jaynes is the officer who applied for the warrant. The way he was granted the warrant has been called into question.
Hankison faced three counts of wanton endangerment for shooting into a neighboring apartment the night of the raid. He was tried in February 2022 but was found not guilty after a six-day trial.
The officers filed appeals over their terminations and received hearings before the police merit board and each of their firings was upheld.
What has changed since the tragic shooting?: Here are the changes initiated since Taylor's death
Metro Council unanimously voted to pass Breonna’s Law in June 2020 that bans no-knock warrants and requires officers to turn on body cameras five minutes before and after every search. A similar law has since been passed in Lexington,Ky and statewide in Virginia.
The city also contracted a public safety firm to conduct a thorough review of Metro Police. A civilian review board was also established, creating an Office of Inspector General, hiring Ed Harness in the position.
Metro Police also saw a big change within the department, when Erika Shields was named as chief following a national search and hiring Jackie Gwinn-Villaroel as deputy chief. Fischer said the women would lead the way in building police and community trust.
A special program was created to send select 911 calls to a non-police response focusing on problem-solving, de-escalation and referral to appropriate community services. Seven Counties was selected by the city to run the program which scheduled to begin mid-March.
Metro Police also implemented an early intervention system that alerts supervisors of sudden behavioral changes in officers like use of force, sick leave usage and vehicle accidents. The mayor’s office said the alerts will help supervisors address potential problematic behaviors and depending on the circumstances, find ways to redirect it.
Metro Police will also focus on training in its Accountability and Improvement Bureau. There will be a few things that will fall under this umbrella including an Internal Audit Unit where officials will review use of force investigation and domestic violence response. The Performance Review Board will evaluate those incidents and will provide “swift” feedback to improve officers’ performance.
A huge highlight will also focus on the mental health of officers. A Wellness Unit will include a full-time psychologist, counselors, and a full-time chaplain.
Mayor Fischer said the city has also changed the collective bargaining agreement with the FOP and it addresses accountability and documentation. Here’s what that includes:
- Limitations on promotions for officers with sustained findings of bias, untruthfulness, open criminal charges or pending criminal investigations
- Limitations on militarized equipment
- Elimination of requirements that some complaints against officers be destroyed after 90 days
- Making permanent past disciplinary findings involving excessive use of force, sexual misconduct, bias, criminal activity, and truthfulness
- Requiring more drug and alcohol testing for officers, especially after critical incidents; and
- Subordinating the agreement to state law changes.
What's next for Louisville?: Reimagining public safety
In all, Mayor Fischer said the work and changes are critical to help Metro Police and wants to remind the community that public safety requires broader reform.
The city is also investing in public safety which the mayor’s office said is based on a “whole of government” and “whole of city approach, that includes community mobilization, prevention, intervention, enforcement to name a few.
“Just like public health, public safety is too big for any one entity to be responsible for – and it’s something we all have a role in creating,” he said.
The city continues to make investments in affordable housing, rental assistance and eviction prevention.
Mayor Fischer is urging Louisvillians to get involved in public safety and use the pain from 2020 to help fuel the work to create a “stronger, more unified, more equitable and just city.”
“That is how we ensure this type of tragedy never happens again,” he said.
For more stories and videos visit our Breonna Taylor section
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