Grand jury audio details raid that killed Breonna Taylor
Police serving a search warrant on Breonna Taylor’s home have told investigators they banged on her door and announced themselves for between 30 and 90 seconds before breaking in during a raid that ended with the officers fatally shooting her, newly released audio recordings show.
- Amid angry protests, a court ruled that the content of the proceedings should be made public
- The material released does not include juror deliberations
- The three police officers shot 32 rounds, six of which hit Ms Taylor
But Ms Taylor’s boyfriend, who fired on the officers, said in a police interview played for the jury that he did not hear them announce themselves.
Details of the duelling accounts were made public on Friday when Kentucky’s Attorney-General released audio recordings of the grand jury proceedings that cleared three police officers of homicide charges in Ms Taylor’s death.
They offer a rare peek at the inner workings of a grand jury, which is normally kept secret.
The grand jury last week cleared the two white officers who shot Ms Taylor and charged a third with wanton endangerment for stray bullets that hit a neighbouring apartment in the March 13 raid.
Ms Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who was with her, has said he believed the officers who burst in were criminal intruders and Mr Walker fired once, wounding one officer.
He said if he had heard them announce themselves “it changes the whole situation because there’s nothing for us to be scared of”.
Three officers then fired 32 rounds, six of which hit Ms Taylor.
A court ruled that the content of the proceedings should be made public after the grand jury’s decision angered many in Louisville and around the country and set off renewed protests.
The material released does not include juror deliberations or prosecutor recommendations and statements, none of which were recorded, according to the state Attorney-General’s office.
‘Banging and announcing’
In a police interview on March 25 that was played to the grand jury last week, the officer who was wounded, Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly, said police banged on Ms Taylor’s door repeatedly six or seven different times, repeatedly announcing they were police there to serve a search warrant.
He went on to describe how a colleague broke in the door and he was first to enter the apartment, soon to encounter Mr Walker with a gun about 20 feet away. Mr Walker fired first.
“As soon as the shot was fired I could feel the heat in my leg. So I just returned fire. Got four rounds off,” said Mr Mattingly, who later fired two more shots before retreating because of his wound.
Mr Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, who fired 16 rounds, hit Ms Taylor a combined six times.
Kentucky Attorney-General Daniel Cameron said they acted in self-defence, and the grand jury agreed.
Detective Brett Hankison, the officer charged with wanton endangerment, fired 10 times from outside.
Mr Cosgrove, in his interview with police investigators, said the officers knocked on the door for about 90 seconds.
Mr Hankison estimated the knocking was more brief.
“This went on for probably 30 to 45 seconds of banging and announcing, knocking and announcing,” Mr Hankison said.