In March, three plainclothes officers of the Louisville Police Department, driving and unmarked car, reportedly burst into an apartment where Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker were sleeping. Believing it to be a home invasion, Walker, who has a concealed carry permit, opened fire, wounding one of the three officers.
The cops shot back, hitting Taylor eight times and killing her. Walker survived and was charged with attempted murder of the police officers…non-uniformed men who Walker says burst in on them in the middle of the night.
The shooting has caused a huge outcry in Louisville. Chief of Police Steve Conrad made the sudden decision to announce his retirement yesterday. The LMPD claimed the officers knocked on the door and, in response, were met with gunfire from inside the home. Conrad has been heavily criticized for providing inaccurate data to the city council on the number of no-knock raids the LMPD conducts.
Today, the FBI announced that it would begin its own investigation into the shooting.
Now, local prosecutors have announced that the attempted murder charges against Walker are being dropped.
From the Louisville Courier Journal:
Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine announced at a news conference Friday that his office will move to dismiss the case against Kenneth Walker, who was charged after he fired one shot out of Taylor’s apartment, striking a police officer.
Walker’s attorney has said he thought they were being robbed and he did not know the intruders were police officers serving a search warrant.
Wine acknowledged that a grand jury should have seen more information before deciding to indict Walker.
“I believe that additional investigation is necessary,” Wine said.
To be clear, the charge is being dropped for now. If more investigation into what exactly happened that night reveals wrongdoing on the part of Walker, Wine may indict him again.
The Courier Journal reported Thursday that a Louisville police sergeant who obtained the indictment of Walker didn’t inform the grand jury that Walker had told police he didn’t known it was police who were trying to get into the apartment.
Walker’s attorney, Rob Eggert, moved for a dismissal of the charges on the grounds that the commonwealth “woefully misled” the grand jury to get the indictment.
A recording of Sgt. Amanda Seelye’s grand jury testimony obtained by The Courier Journal also shows she didn’t tell the grand jurors that Taylor was shot and killed in police officers’ return fire.
As the AP reports . . .
Wine played some of Walker’s interview with police during the news conference Friday. Walker told police on the audio recording that he could hear knocking on the night of the shooting but did not hear police announce themselves.
Walker said he was “scared to death” so he grabbed his gun and when the door was knocked down, he fired a shot. He said his intention was to fire a warning shot downward toward the ground. The bullet hit a police detective.
Wine said he also was seeking to dispel some “false information” that has been reported about the case. Wine said he believes that the police knocked and identified themselves despite receiving approval for a “no-knock” warrant. Those warrants allow officers to enter a home without first announcing their presence.
Taylor’s family has sued the city over the shooting. This isn’t over by a longshot.