KY: More Information on the Breonna Taylor No-Knock Case in Louisville

Why I Am Suing The Governor of Virginia, iStock-1055138108
KY: More Information on the Breonna Taylor No-Knock Case in Louisville iStock-1055138108

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- More information has surfaced in the Breonna Taylor/Kenneth Walker no-knock warrant service in Louisville, Kentucky, which occurred on 13 March of this year.

On the night of the shooting, the officer who was shot and wounded, Sgt. Mattingly,  who was doing the banging on the door, was recorded in a friendly interview by police.

He said he repeatedly banged on the door and yelled “Police, Come to the Door, Search Warrant”.  He said this was done about 6 or 7 times. Sgt. Mattingly said it took about 45 seconds to a minute of banging and announcing before the police Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team broke down the door.

Mattingly said it seemed like an eternity, during the knocking. From his interview (on audio at wlky.com), the police did not announce their presence the first couple of banging sequences:

We did not announce the first couple, because our intent was to give her plenty of time to come to the door because he said she was probably there alone. So we determined, pre-determined to give her plenty of time to come to the door, 

Some people would interpret that as a dubious excuse for not announcing they were police. Many people believe announcing police were at the door would result in greater speed in answering the door, not less.

Mattingly says they arrived at the location 45 minutes early. They spent time surveilling the scene and checking out a vehicle near the apartment.

His account raises questions about the urgency of the warrant service. Why not wait another minute to break down the door in an apartment in which they did not expect any resistance?  Why do you need a SWAT team, if you do not expect resistance?

Cynics might say they rushed to break down the door before someone might answer it.

Mattingly was very likely in an adrenaline rush preparatory to breaking down the door with the SWAT team.  More from the audio interview:

6 or 7 different times, what seems like an eternity when you are at the doorway. It probably lasted between 45 seconds and a minute, banging on the door.

Adrenaline often distorts the sense of time. Time seems to stretch out when you are high on adrenaline.

One can conduct an experiment where you knock three times and say, “Police, Search Warrant, Come to the door”.

I did this six times in moderately rapid succession, with a sense of urgency to the voice and the knocking. I timed it. It took 20 seconds. Try it yourself. It is an easy experiment to do.

We do not know exactly how much time it took, because the police were not wearing body cameras. No digital files have been released with audio or surveillance files, which might give us precise timing.  We do not know how much overlap there was between the banging and the yelling about police, search warrant, come to the door, which would make communications harder to understand.

Giving the benefit of the doubt to Sgt. Mattingly, even 1 minute is far from a reasonable time for someone to be woken from a sound sleep, figure out someone is banging on the door, decide to respond, get dressed, and get to the door.  Try it sometime and time it. One to two minutes is a minimal time to be reasonable.  The warrant service was after midnight.

Kenneth Walker, testifying in an audio recording at the same link, says Breonna was yelling, at the top of her lungs “Who is it?” repeatedly, but they did not hear a response, just the banging.

Sgt. Mattingly says an officer thought he heard something, about in the middle of the banging sequence, but no one came to the door right away, so they continued on with the banging and forced entry.  That would only leave 30 seconds, at most, from the time the officer heard something until the officers broke down the door.

People on both sides of the door say they were yelling, yet both sides say they could not understand any words the other side was saying.  That seems to validate both accounts.

In a society with a robust right to arms, police breaking down doors will result in preventable tragedies.

Immediately after the shooting, Kenneth Walker called 911.  From cbsnews.com:

“I don't know what happened … somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend,” Walker told the dispatcher. When asked where Taylor had been shot, Walker replied, “I don't know, she is on the ground right now. I don't know, I don't know.” 

There was confusion about who shot Sgt. Mattingly, in early reports. Now we know why.

Kenneth Walker lied to the police, immediately after being taken into custody. When asked who shot at police, Walker said Breonna did.

In the audio testimony, Walker is asked why he lied. He says he was scared.  A jury may find that plausible. Put yourself in their shoes to determine if Walker might have reasonably lied in that situation, out of fear.

Consider the long-standing hype about the chances of anyone shooting an officer and surviving the arrest.

A defense attorney told me the chance of a suspect, who wounded a police officer, surviving an arrest, is nil.  He said he was amazed that Walker survived the arrest. His response is not uncommon.

I have not found at what point the lie was detected or Walker admitted to it.

Kenneth Walker said he thought the home invasion might be by Breonna's former boyfriend, who is accused of drug dealing, and who was arrested the same night, a little before the warrant service at Breonna's apartment resulted in the killing and wounding.

Home invasions by former boyfriends are a fairly common occurrence. They often involve a lot of banging on doors and yelling. Here is one from Oklahoma:

The woman told detectives she was at the home with her current boyfriend when they heard loud banging on the back door.

She grabbed a pistol and shot the intruder after he forced his way inside the residence, Butterfield said.

Some shots were fired from outside the apartment to the inside, with shots going through the door and window,  all the shots which hit Breonna were fired from just inside the apartment, according to the police. From wave3.com:

Sources told WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters that one of the officers, Brett Hankison, had fired multiple shots into the apartment blindly from the outside. Those statements corroborate that claim from Taylor’s attorneys.

LMPD confirmed three officers — Jon Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove and Hankison — fired their weapons that night. Mattingly was struck in the leg and returned fire. He has recovered. Cosgrove fired his weapon inside the apartment. All three officers were placed on adminstrative reassignment.

The sources said they do not believe Taylor was struck by any of the bullets fired by Hankison from outside.

The link at wave3.com has good pictures of the bullet holes through the door and window of the apartment.

There are recorded conversations from jail phone calls (they are routinely recorded) between Breonna and her former boyfriend, in January of 2020, where they discuss her bailing him out, and some transactions, likely involving illegal drugs. This shows the legitimacy of a warrant to search her house. It is far from a legitimate reason for a no-knock warrant.

It appears the no-knock warrant was part of several no-knock warrants designed to hit several places the same night. The warrants do not appear to be have been closely coordinated.  If the purpose was to prevent one location from warning other locations, communications between various warrant serving teams have not surfaced.

Serving warrants in the dead of night is a bad idea, in general. A defense attorney told me it has become, essentially, a terror tactic.

Consider the early morning raids used to intimidate President Trump supporters, by the Muller investigation.

To sum up points of fact recently revealed, over which early reporting was ambivalent or wrong:

  • The warrant for Breonna's apartment was legitimately issued, according to the policies in effect, at the time.
  • The police had evidence of Breonna's involvement with her accused drug dealer former boyfriend (two months before the raid) then only the information about her accepting parcels at her residence, for him.
  • The shots which killed Breonna were not fired through the door or window.
  • The shot fired by Kenneth Walker, which wounded Sgt. Mattingly was not fired through the door.
  • Breonna was in the hallway with Walker, when the shots inside were exchanged. She was not in her bed.
  • Kenneth Walker initially lied to police about who fired at police, immediately after the shooting, when he was in police custody.
  • The police's claim they announced themselves is likely true. It does not mean anyone in the apartment understood they were the police when they broke down the door.

These clarifications tend to exonerate the police officers because they followed the existing policy, and they had a legal warrant.

They show the wisdom of reforms limiting no-knock warrants, requiring body cameras, holding police accountable for firing shots promiscuously, and for a more effective announcement of police presence.

They show allowing “announce and knock” warrants, without stipulating meaningful time to allow residents to respond, just changes the name of no-knock raids.


About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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Get Out
Get Out
22 days ago

IMOA, The question of NKW’s and ERPO’s should be asked of Trump and Biden, would they do away with them since so many have caused the deaths of so many innocent lives.
In fact all politicians at all levels should be grilled on the same question too.

jack mac
jack mac
22 days ago

“Essentially, a terror tactic.” Surprise deadly raids by officials on the homes of the governed is essential for oppression. All private citizens are vulnerable to such raids lawful or not. If that does not terrorize one, they should at least be apprehensive. Sleep well.

Beobear
Beobear
23 days ago

The facts are – Breonna Taylor was involved in an organized drug dealing operation. Her previous boyfriend and boyfriend at the time of the shooting were both involved in dealing drugs. Her apartment was routinely used to hold the drug money separate from the trap house (where the drugs were kept and dealt). She was a criminal who was in a business relationship and romantic relationship with criminals. She knew that that there was always the chance that the police would show up. When the police showed up at night, which is very common and done for a reason, it’s… Read more »

uncommon sense
uncommon sense
23 days ago
Reply to  Beobear

You’re a good boot licker. You would have loved the red coats in 1776 too.

Beobear
Beobear
22 days ago
Reply to  uncommon sense

How witty. Oh, I mean stupid.

Get Out
Get Out
22 days ago
Reply to  Beobear

You need to provide links to your so called facts.

No drugs or cash were found in her home.
No suspicious packages either, “Josh Jaynes, who was today placed on administrative leave, stated that the postal inspector confirmed that there were suspicious packages going to that primary target to Breonna’s house,” Baker said Wednesday. “Well, the postal inspector said ‘no one from Louisville Metro Police ever reached out to me. The one agency that did reach out, we told them there’s no suspicious activity.’ 
https://www.insideedition.com/breonna-taylor-case-postal-inspector-never-raised-flag-of-suspicious-packages-warrant-mentioned

Beobear
Beobear
22 days ago
Reply to  Get Out

Go look at the facts on Theofficertatum.com. There’s a 37 page phone log from the jail of the main players involved after the shooting. The actual people involved talking to each other about what happened. There’s zero doubt that Breonna Taylor was involved in the drug dealing and that she was the “bank” where the cash was stored. The phone logs discuss Taylor keeping the money at her place and even another woman’s anger that Taylor was the money holder and not her. These are the words of the actual people involved, not a third party with a liberal agenda.… Read more »

Get Out
Get Out
21 days ago
Reply to  Beobear

No drugs, cash or suspicious packages were found in her home to link her to any illegal activity. It would have been a different story had they found anything at all, but they didn’t.
LEO lied that the postal inspector said there were suspicious packages to get the NKW.

Chuck
Chuck
23 days ago

Why are warrants being served in the middle of the night? Not only is it a piss poor policy/tactic, it sets the stage for violence to ensue (as evidenced by Walker’s reaction to the break in). In what universe, is the execution of a “soft” warrant justified in the middle of the night? I’m not condemning the officers, I’m condemning the thinking that these Gestapo type tactics are in any way ethical, if not bordering on illegal. There’s absolutely no justification for the fuster cluck of piss poor decisions at the root of this incident. Whomever it was that signed… Read more »

uncommon sense
uncommon sense
23 days ago
Reply to  Chuck

In what universe is this justified? In totalitarian Amerika.

RoyD
RoyD
23 days ago

I am amazed, but not surprised, by the poor tactics used by the inhabitants of the apartment. But then they were not “people of the gun.” A crappy situation no matter how you look at it.

Chris Mallory
Chris Mallory
23 days ago

11 witnesses report that the police did not announce. The one independent witness who did say the police announced who they were only did so in the 3rd interview with police. During the first two interviews he(?) said he did not hear any announcements. The warrants were closely coordinated enough that they used the same copy and paste passages as justification for the warrants. The postal inspector has said he did not tell LPD that the package was “suspicious”. No drugs or cash were found in the apartment. No SWAT team was used in this raid, it was carried out… Read more »

uncommon sense
uncommon sense
23 days ago
Reply to  Chris Mallory

Boot lickers will lick boots no matter what. These are the fudds who say, “Let ____ come and take muh gunz!” as though it will be the politicians and not their heroes with badges and costumes doing the taking.

Gary Willis in Maryland got the “rapid due process” RINO Trump wants in his “take the guns first, then due process second” policy.

So-called Pro-2Aers: “Well he should have obeyed and not resisted tyranny!”

jack mac
jack mac
22 days ago
Reply to  uncommon sense

Except for the dig at Trump, you comments are appropriate. Regardless of Trump’s mindless comments, or the bump-stock thing; he must win this election.

Jen-Jen
Jen-Jen
23 days ago

Is anyone going to address the dead body in the car rented in B. Taylor’s name?

uncommon sense
uncommon sense
23 days ago
Reply to  Jen-Jen

What does that have to do with cops murdering her in the middle of the night?

Get Out
Get Out
22 days ago
Reply to  Jen-Jen

Do you have any info?

The 2016 incident involving Taylor’s rental car has been widely reported, and there are no reports that suggest Taylor was involved or was suspected of involvement in Bowman’s death.
Glover was the main focus of the police warrant that led to Taylor’s death. The man Taylor was with on the night she died was her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Walker was not named in the criminal investigation into Glover, according to a Washington Post column that fact-checked the events surrounding Taylor’s death.
https://heavy.com/news/breonna-taylor-rental-car/

DvC
DvC
23 days ago

Throughout your article you’ve used “no-knock” to describe the warrant. However, my understanding is that it was not a “no-knock” warrant and even you describe the police as “knocking” at the door. Is this what police normally do on a “no-knock” warrant?

Deplorable Bill
Deplorable Bill
23 days ago

Again, anyone can SAY they are the cops. It means nothing, even if they are in uniform. Try breaking into my, or anybody’s, home in the middle of the night and you will be treated like the home invader, burglar, terrorist that you obviously are. The guy who shot was righteous in his decision to shoot. After being shot/shot at, the cops also had reason to shoot back. How could the situation be done better? Show up in the daytime, when the subject is likely to be awake. Whyy couldn’t the cops show up in the day time? If they… Read more »

Arny
Arny
23 days ago

Anyone can yell POLICE ! I’m not going to second guess who’s breaking my door down. Especially from a sound sleep. I doubt I would even hear someone knocking on my front door. With location of my bedroom. As proven in my past. Which leads to me to ask Breanna didn’t have a DOORBELL ? Or does a NO KNOCK warrant specificaly mean you need to knock ? This case & many others show why we don’t need NO KNOCK warrants. These were Red Coat tactics. And people should install their own video surveillance system. Not from a third party.

Last edited 23 days ago by Arny
Grim
Grim
23 days ago
Reply to  Arny

No Knock came into being during the Nixon administration.

jack mac
jack mac
22 days ago
Reply to  Grim

The drug war initiated under Tricky Dick. No-knock came into being because private citizens allow it.

Dr. Strangelove
Dr. Strangelove
23 days ago

It also shows the wisdom of not getting involved, in any way, with drugs. It’s too bad that Taylor lost her life, but when you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

jack mac
jack mac
22 days ago

Such raids based on mere firearm possession becoming more common. Would it be wise not to get involved with firearms? Regardless of one’s opinion of drug use, the laws involved pretext broad power to search and convict even the most upright.