STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Breonna Taylor would be alive if police hadn't given her time to answer the door, officer involved in raid says

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly spoke to ABC's "Good Morning America" about his role in the raid that resulted in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor.

Posted: Oct 22, 2020 12:01 PM
Updated: Oct 22, 2020 12:01 PM

Breonna Taylor would be alive if Louisville police had executed a no-knock warrant at her apartment, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, one of the officers involved in the botched drug raid, said in an interview that aired Wednesday.

If he had to do it again, he said, he and his fellow officers wouldn't give Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker III, so much time to answer the door. The officers have previously said they forewent the no-knock provision and knocked for 45 seconds to a minute.

"We would've either served the no-knock warrant or we would've done the normal thing we do -- which is 5 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," the lawman said.

Speaking to the media for the first time in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" and the Courier Journal newspaper in Louisville, Mattingly said Taylor and her loved ones aren't the only victims of the tragedy.

"I was a victim in this as well. My family has been a victim in this. They have had to go in hiding. They have had death threats," he said. "When somebody sits back from their mansion and accuses somebody they don't know of being a racist and being a dirty cop, being a murderer when that's not the case, that does affect you."

'Maybe he didn't'

Mattingly and six other officers arrived at Taylor's apartment March 13 with a no-knock warrant allowing them to kick in the door without warning. However, they had intelligence Taylor was home alone and decided to knock and announce themselves, the officers have said.

Walker agrees the officers knocked, but he has repeatedly said he didn't hear them identify themselves as police. He would not have grabbed his gun if he had, he has said. With one exception, witnesses say they didn't hear police identify themselves, either, but some neighbors who provided accounts to police have told CNN they didn't wake up until later, when the gunfire rang out.

The officers knocked six separate times, announcing themselves numerous times, Mattingly told ABC before walking it back, saying, "It sounded like it" all seven officers announced and that's how these situations typically unfold.

Asked his thoughts on Walker's assertion that he didn't hear police, the sergeant said, "Maybe he didn't."

Walker -- still unsure who was outside -- opened fire as the plainclothes officers burst through the door, the boyfriend has said. Mattingly was shot in the leg, though Walker's attorney disputes it was his client who shot him.

Walker has cast his gunshot as a warning, aimed at the ground to scare off the intruders, but Mattingly claims that wasn't the case. As soon as they breached the door, he said, he saw two figures 20 to 25 feet away and his eyes homed in on the tip of Walker's handgun barrel.

"He wasn't shooting at the ground," Mattingly told the morning show. "He's pushed out with two hands looking straight at me. I saw his gun. Our postures were the same, looking at each other, when he fired that shot."

Protests 'frustrating'

The sergeant went on to say that if he and his colleagues had been wearing body cameras, no one would know about the narcotics raid, which turned up no drugs or cash.

Officers fired 32 shots in response to Walker's lone gunshot, killing Taylor, authorities say. From Walker's shot to the officers' last round was about 12 seconds, Mattingly told ABC.

Only one policeman, Detective Brett Hankison, was charged -- not for killing Taylor, but with wanton endangerment after investigators say he fired "blindly" into Taylor's apartment, endangering three neighbors when bullets passed through Taylor's apartment into theirs. Hankison has pleaded not guilty.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has faced criticism for not seeking stiffer charges, and one juror says he never presented the grand jury an opportunity to consider homicide charges against the officer.

Mattingly was following orders and protocol, and was not involved in the raid's planning, his lawyer has said.

Taylor's death prompted more than 100 days of demonstrations in Louisville, as well as a national outcry that dovetailed with anger over the killings of Ahmaud Arbery in southeast Georgia, George Floyd in Minneapolis and Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, among others.

Taylor also became an integral component of the #SayHerName movement, which demands justice in the police killings of Black women. She appeared on national magazine covers, such as Vanity Fair and O, The Oprah Magazine.

The protests have been "frustrating," Mattingly told the morning show. Last month, in an email to his colleagues -- which was leaked to the media -- Mattingly slammed the FBI, which is investigating the raid, and Louisville's leadership, while referring to protesters as "thugs."

In his ABC interview, he again criticized city and police leadership, accusing them of allowing misinformation to fester.

Racial profiling v. 'criminal profiling'

Mattingly and his fellow officers "were doing our job," he said, and it had nothing to do with race or racial profiling.

He prefers the term "criminal profiling," which he described as knowing an area so well that an officer can determine if someone is behaving criminally by her or his demeanor -- a refusal to make eye contact, for example.

"It's a feeling that goes along with what you've experienced with what is in the area -- what should or shouldn't be," he said.

Nor does Taylor's death relate to killings like Floyd's or Arbery's, Mattingly said, adding, "This is not us going hunting somebody down. This is not kneeling on a neck. It's nothing like that."

"This is not relatable to George Floyd. This is nothing like that," he said. "It's not Ahmaud Arbery."

Floyd's death sparked protests nationwide and abroad after a Minneapolis officer knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes. Demonstrators chanted his final words, "I can't breathe." Arbery was fatally shot in Brunswick, Georgia, while jogging.

Floyd 'not a model citizen'

Floyd's killing was wrong and "disgusting," Floyd didn't deserve to die and it was the "right call" to lock up the four officers involved, Mattingly said, but in his opinion, "George Floyd was not a model citizen," and it's unclear if Floyd died of a drug overdose.

An independent autopsy says Floyd died of "asphyxiation from sustained pressure," while the Hennepin County Medical Examiner ruled the 46-year-old died from "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression."

Mattingly closed with words of consolation for Tamika Palmer, who has accepted Louisville's $12 million settlement with her daughter's estate.

"Ms. Palmer, nobody should ever have to go through what you're feeling. Nobody can sympathize or feel what you're feeling unless they lost a child. There's no way I could ever tell you enough how much I wish that hadn't taken place," he said.

No amount of money or police reform will bring Taylor back, he said, but "I just hope you can find it in your heart at some point to find some peace, find some love in the future, and I pray that everybody learns something from this and that this tragedy never happens again to any other family."

Terre Haute
Overcast
48° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 44°
Robinson
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 47°
Indianapolis
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 41°
Rockville
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 39°
Casey
Overcast
47° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 41°
Brazil
Overcast
49° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 45°
Marshall
Overcast
49° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 45°
Rainy & Breezy
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Loogootee Crawford County

Image

WRV West Vigo

Image

TH North Parke Heritage

Image

Linton Tecumseh

Image

COVID-19 update from the Illinois governor

Image

Thanksgiving will look different for many this year

Image

Storm Team 10's David Siple takes an atmospheric look at the winter weather forecast

Image

New equipment will help Union Hospital staff monitor patients at home

Image

Lawrence County Health Department ramps up efforts to fight COVID-19

Image

Tuesday Evening Forecast

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 674089

Reported Deaths: 12261
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook2871246389
DuPage42201754
Will36082532
Lake34915612
Kane29870449
Winnebago17843248
McHenry13332150
Madison13291229
St. Clair12340255
Champaign1031652
Sangamon938390
Peoria8388124
Rock Island8152121
Kankakee799996
McLean786950
Tazewell616992
Macon6121117
Kendall583342
LaSalle5687127
DeKalb471445
Adams449046
Boone364230
Vermilion355344
Whiteside3510100
Williamson332777
Coles316058
Clinton303556
Ogle266026
Knox259956
Grundy253916
Effingham252518
Jackson250334
Henry245313
Stephenson231834
Marion228344
Livingston209521
Randolph205924
Morgan204734
Macoupin198817
Bureau198337
Monroe193144
Franklin187422
Christian177640
Lee172224
Jefferson170859
Woodford158926
Iroquois153325
Logan152412
McDonough151339
Fayette146328
Fulton131910
Douglas126916
Shelby125824
Jersey114923
Union112026
Montgomery105819
Saline105122
Crawford10509
Jo Daviess101816
Warren100620
Carroll100124
Perry96820
Pike96623
Bond93610
Lawrence92410
Hancock90412
Cass90021
Moultrie82810
Wayne82432
Greene77426
Clay75817
Clark74519
Edgar73315
Piatt7215
Ford69821
Mercer67710
Richland67419
Johnson6653
Mason64916
Washington6112
Jasper60511
De Witt58814
Cumberland58013
White5648
Massac5112
Wabash4918
Menard4211
Pulaski3862
Hamilton3663
Marshall3625
Unassigned3620
Brown2983
Henderson2610
Alexander2482
Schuyler2431
Putnam2360
Calhoun2250
Scott2230
Stark2183
Edwards2123
Gallatin1803
Hardin1310
Pope791
Out of IL140

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 306538

Reported Deaths: 5435
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion41953849
Lake26872453
Allen17621295
Elkhart16905219
St. Joseph16524223
Hamilton12696167
Vanderburgh9552115
Tippecanoe844927
Porter813785
Johnson6231165
Vigo597979
Hendricks5944156
Monroe530349
Clark504077
Madison4858121
Delaware4820103
LaPorte457194
Kosciusko455739
Howard334975
Warrick319572
Floyd311477
Bartholomew308462
Wayne301367
Cass295831
Marshall293744
Grant262949
Noble249846
Hancock246551
Boone240254
Henry240237
Dubois234631
Dearborn215730
Jackson212633
Morgan204443
Gibson181725
Knox181419
Shelby178254
Clinton177821
Lawrence174047
DeKalb172829
Adams166422
Wabash158020
Miami157814
Daviess154643
Fayette147733
Steuben143513
Jasper142111
Harrison141824
LaGrange140129
Montgomery139027
Whitley133412
Ripley128114
Decatur124643
Huntington123510
Putnam123027
Randolph120719
Wells120428
White120321
Clay119822
Posey119616
Jefferson116216
Scott103219
Greene101353
Jay96413
Starke90621
Sullivan88916
Fulton83518
Jennings83214
Spencer8198
Perry81521
Fountain7738
Washington7417
Franklin68626
Carroll67913
Orange66628
Vermillion5993
Owen5987
Parke5606
Newton55312
Tipton55226
Rush5317
Blackford51912
Pike50318
Pulaski37710
Martin3515
Benton3362
Brown3353
Crawford2881
Union2671
Switzerland2555
Warren2382
Ohio2307
Unassigned0266