John Mattingly, one of the police officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s death, in Louisville, Kentucky, insisted race was not a factor in the incident.
The Louisville Metro Police sergeant made the comment during an interview with The Courier Journal and ABC News on Tuesday, Oct 20.
“This had nothing to do with race,” he told host Michael Strahan. “Nothing at all.”
During the interview, Mattingly recounted from his perspective the night Taylor died. He insisted the police knocked at least six times and announced themselves before they entered her Louisville apartment on March 13. This account contradicts the version of events described by Kenneth Walker, Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, who said the couple asked who was at the door after hearing the knocks. When Strahan asked about the conflict, Mattingly stuck to his story.
Once the officers were inside the apartment, Mattingly said, they saw two figures standing in the hallway and the barrel of a gun. Walker fired one shot during the raid, which hit Mattingly in his leg. He later told investigators he fired a warning shot because he thought the home was being burglarized. The officers returned fire, hitting Taylor several times.
Mattingly argued Taylor would be alive if the cops immediately stormed into the apartment and had working body cameras because the incident “would have been show on camera.”
“This wouldn’t be an issue. This wouldn’t be a case,” he insisted. “You’d never hear about it.”
He also argued comparisons to the deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery are not accurate and blamed the spread of “disinformation” for the controversy.
“Because this is not relatable to George Floyd. This is nothing like that,” Mattingly said. “It’s not Ahmaud Arbery. It’s nothing like it. These are two totally different types of incidences. It’s not a race thing like people wanna try to make it to be.
Mattingly believes he and his fellow officers were just doing their jobs and they gave Walker and Taylor “too much time” before they entered the apartment.
“This is not us going, hunting somebody down,” he added. “This is not kneeling on a neck. It’s nothing like that.”
Mattingly told Strahan he is also a victim in this situation due to public perception and said he wasn’t a racist.
“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.”
Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents the families of Taylor and Floyd, fired back at Mattingly during an interview with TMZ.
“He doesn’t wish more than Tamika Palmer, Breonna Taylor’s mother, that there was body camera video so it would be exposed how they executed their daughter,” Crump said on Wednesday.
“You know he gets the hindsight of living, being able to tell the story,” he continued. “What about Breonna’s truth? What about Kenny Walker’s truth? The fact that nobody responded to them when they said, ‘Who is it?’ and the fact that you have all these neighbors, that our legal team, attorney Sam Aguiar, attorney Lonita Baker, that we talked to that heard nobody knocking, they heard nobody yelling, and they all live in close proximity to Breonna Taylor’s apartment.”