Breonna Taylor: What Has Gone in the Year Since Her Shooting Death
In the year since her shooting death, much has transpired about what happened in the early morning hours of March 13, 2020. This is a timeline of what has gone on since.
It has been a year since 26-year-old EMT Breonna Taylor was killed inside her Louisville, Kentucky, apartment. Since news of her tragic passing grew beyond local news headlines, her death, along with the untimely passing of both Ahmed Arbury and George Floyd in 2020, sparked a global movement for radical change of systematic racism, police brutality, and push for equality not seen since the 1960s in America.
In the year since her shooting death, much has transpired about what happened in the early morning hours of March 13, 2020. This is a timeline of what has gone on since.
March 13, 2020
In documentation previously obtained by the Louisville Courier-Journal, police were authorized to carry out a “no-knock” warrant on Taylor’s Louisville home on March 13 as part of a narcotics investigation of a person who lived in a home 10 miles away. Neither Taylor nor her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were the investigation's target. Police had suspected, though, that Taylor’s home was used to receive drugs because cops said her ex-boyfriend was using her address to mail drugs through the post office.
Authorities said they identified themselves, despite the “no-knock” warrant. Police said the officers were “immediately” met by gunfire when they entered Taylor and Walker's home, at which point they returned fire. More than 25 bullets from three officers who entered Taylor’s home were fired, some entered the nearby apartments, one of which contained a five-year-old child.
Walker, a licenced gun owner, called 911 during the ordeal and he was informed he'd shot an officer. He was initially charged with attempted murder, but his charges were later dropped after he said he shot in self-defense thinking he and Taylor were victims of a home invasion.
Taylor was struck by eight bullets killing her on the scene.
Detectives Miles Cosgrove, Brett Hankison and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly are placed on administrative reassignment until the Louisville Metro Police Department's Public Integrity Unit completes its investigation.
Neither Taylor nor Walker had any criminal history and no drugs were located in the home.
March 20, 2020
The family of Breonna Taylor hold a wake for her at Spring Valley Funeral Home in New Albany Indiana. The funeral home’s website said of Breonna Taylor “she leaves behind to cherish her memory a host of family and friends, some she was born into, some she inherited and some she made all on her own, but nevertheless no matter how they came they were all family in the same to her.”
The funeral home also asked for trees to be planted in Taylor’s name.
March 21, 2020
A funeral service for the hero EMT at Greater Friendship Baptist Church in Louisville. She is then buried.
April 27, 2020
Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, hires attornies Lonita Baker and Sam Aguier and files a wrongful death lawsuit against Officers Cosgrove and Hankison and Sgt. Mattingly.
"The Plaintiff brings this personal injury and wrongful death action in order to obtain damages resultant from the Defendants' unlawful conduct, which directly and proximately caused the death of a young, beautiful human being who was also an essential front-line medical professional in this community," according to the lawsuit.
The three officers denied all allegations of wrongdoing.
The FBI announces they are investigating Taylor’s death.
May 15, 2020
Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump joins the legal team assembled by Tamika Palmer and helps bring the story to national attention.
The same day, Louisville Postal Inspector Tony Gooden says he was not part of an LMPD investigation about drug trafficking through the mail, ABC News reported.
Tamika Palmer and Lonita Baker speak to Inside Edition about Breonna Taylor.
“Breonna, she's always been full of life. Even as a kid, I always said she had an old soul. She just kind of always seemed to be ahead of her age group,” her mother, Tamika Palmer, told Inside Edition Digital in June. “She just was fun and loving and helpful to anybody around her, her friends, her family, her boyfriend. She just had a nurturing spirit, so it really didn't get no better than her. She just was all around this person everybody wanted to be around.”
As the coronavirus pandemic took shape across the globe, Palmer worried about her daughter working in healthcare. But for Taylor, helping others was a calling from which she could not step away.
“I said to Breonna, ‘You need to be careful because you at the ER, and these people are coming here first.’ She said, ‘Mama, I'm going to be okay. I got to do what I got to do. People need help,’” Palmer said.
“I was just like, ‘Wash your hands!’ Never in a million years did I think I'd have to be worried about the police killing her.”
Palmer last spoke to her daughter on March 12. They spoke of the usual things, like work, and her mom repeated to her daughter to “wash her hands.” They also spoke of another of Taylor's passions in life— family. Taylor urged her mother to have their relatives over. Palmer declined to have people over, so Taylor and her live-in boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, went out to dinner, came home, watched a movie and went to bed.Hours later, police entered her apartment.
June 5, 2020
The viral #SayHerName movement is started by Cate Young to celebrate what would have been Breonna Taylor’s 27th birthday.
“I decided to do this because I was upset that her story was quickly falling out of the news cycle and the protests are made in George Floyd’s name, there were other people who were killed at the hands of the police,” she told Inside Edition Digital around the time. “I could never imagine it would get as big as this ... I have never organized anything like this before.”
In her honor, her family had a big balloon release in the center of Louisville. It was one of the many ways in which Taylor's birthday was commemorated in her honor, an outpouring of support which has touched Palmer.
“I'm here. I'm maintaining. I'm busy a lot, so it helps me get through," Palmer told Inside Edition Digital, who works in dialysis, of the spotlight she now finds herself in.
June 10, 2020
Detective Joshua Janyes, the officer who applied for the “no-knock” warrant to enter Taylor’s home is placed on administrative reassignment.
June 11, 2020
The Louisville, Kentucky, Metro Council unanimously passes Breonna's Law which bans “no-knock” warrants like that which led to the EMT’s death to be served in the city. A no-knock warrant is a search warrant approved by a judge that permits police to enter a home without permission and without first knocking and announcing their presence or purpose prior to entering the premises.
"I'm just going to say, Breonna, that's all she wanted to do was save lives, so with this law she will continue to get to do that," Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, said at a press conference following the law being passed. “She would be so happy.”
June 23, 2020
LMPD fires Detective Brett Hankinson. He is currently contesting his termination. Inside Edition Digital has reached out to his attorney for comment on this story and has not heard back.
September 15, 2020
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announces a $12 million settlement with the Taylor family following the lawsuit they filed against the city and the three officers. The settlement did not admit any wrongdoing on the part of the city and police. The city also promises sweeping police reform.
Tamika Palmer, Breonna’s mom, was emotional as she spoke, saying, “as significant as today is, it is only the beginning to get the full justice for Breonna.”
Attorney Ben Crump, one of the lawyers representing Taylor's, said the settlement is the “largest amount ever paid out for a Black woman killed by police in America.”'
September 23, 2020
Exactly three months after his termination, Detective Brett Hankison is charged by a Kentucky Grand Jury with three counts of wanton endangerment for bullets that hit an apartment of one of Taylor’s neighbors. He was booked and released on $15,000 bond. He has pleaded not guilty. Inside Edition Digital has reached out to his attorney for comment on this story and has not heard back.
Hankison, Mattingly, Cosgrove were not charged with the shooting death of Breonna Taylor.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron stated that the investigation found that Mattingly and Cosgrove were "justified in their use of force after having been fired upon by Kenneth Walker.”
September 28, 2020
An anonymous member of the grand jury files a lawsuit to have the audio recordings of the proceedings released as well as allow members of the grand jury to speak publicly about the case.
Cameron said that the only charge he brought forth to the jury was that of wanton endangerment and said that he did not object to anything being released or for grand jury members to speak publicly about their experiences.
Over the next two weeks, Cameron then tries to file a motion to block jurors from speaking stating that it goes against centuries of U.S. customs and traditions and asks for a stay of any order allowing the juror to speak out publicly until after the state can file an appeal, ABC News reported. It is later overruled by a judge who ruled in favor of the anonymous juror.
Sgt. Mattingly said that he intended to retire, according to Associated Press. Since Taylor’s death he had been on administrative reassignment.
October 14, 2020
Kenneth Walker speaks on national television for the first time when he sits down with CBS News’ Gayle King and says he is “a million percent sure” cops never announced themselves when they entered their Louisville, Kentucky, apartment on March 13. Walker also stated that had he not lived, the world might not have known about the case and what happened to the 26-year-old EMT who died inside her apartment due to gunfire.
"I'm a million percent sure that nobody identified themselves," he told King. "If they had knocked on the door and say who it was, we could hear them. It was dead silent."
In a statement to Inside Edition Digital about Walker’s interview at the time, Sgt. John Bradley of the LMPD says “We appreciate the opportunity to respond. It would be inappropriate to discuss this case until all investigations are completed. Once investigations are complete, we will be in a better position to discuss things.”
October 20, 2020
Breonna Taylor’s aunt, Bianca Austin, sets up a foundation in her niece’s name to keep her legacy alive and to support causes the 26-year-old cared about, such as youth programs and scholarships for students pursuing careers in health care.
October 22, 2020
ABC News in conjunction with the Louisville Courier Journal air an interview with Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly. Det. Mattingly, who was one of seven officers on the scene that night, was serving a no-knock warrant to search Taylor’s apartment. He says he knocked multiple times on the door and then said it was the police despite Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, and 11 neighbors who say they never heard the police announce themselves.
"We expected that Breonna was going to be there by herself. That's why we gave her so much time. And in my opinion that was a mistake," Mattingly, 47, told ABC News.
In the interview, Mattingly described being shot in the leg by Walker’s gun and called the situation “tragic.” Adding, “It's horrible,” when asked how he felt after learning the news of her death, "Again, that's a situation that you dread, that you pray never happens.”
ABC News and Louisville Courier-Journal also interviewed Walker who said he did what he had to do to “protect Breonna, protect myself.”
In the lengthy interview with ABC News, Detective Mattingly said what happened to Taylor was not about race.
"It's not a race thing like people want to try to make it out to be. It's not,” he said. “This is a point where we were doing our job, we gave too much time when we go in, I get shot, we returned fire. This is not us going, hunting somebody down. This is not kneeling on a neck. It's nothing like that."
In a statement to Inside Edition Digital about Mattingly’s interview, Sgt. John Bradley of the LMPD said, “The views and opinions expressed by those involved in the interview(s) you mention do not necessarily express the views, opinions, or position of the Louisville Metro Police Department. As we were not involved in the production of these interviews, we have no access to, nor knowledge of the entire context of the interview. If copies of the unedited interviews are provided to us, we would be willing to consider reviewing it and perhaps providing comment.”
October 28, 2020
Two Grand jurors tell “CBS This Morning” police actions were “criminal” before Taylor’s death. Flanked by their attorney, Kevin Glogower, the two anonymous jurors said prosecutors never gave them opportunity to consider indicting officers on more serious charges in her death — which they said left them feeling frustrated and disgusted.
The jurors, who were only named as “Juror 1” and “Juror 2” agreed Walker was credible, however, both said the police were not.
Cameron said he and the grand jury had been reviewing the case for months.
October 29, 2020
River City Fraternal Order of Police President Ryan Nichols defended Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's handling of the case and the officers' actions on the night Breonna Taylor was killed. He called Cameron’s handling of the investigation “complete and thorough,” in an interview with “CBS This Morning.”
“A tragedy did in fact happen, a police officer was critically injured, a woman was fatally injured and a long thorough investigation ensued, and that is the process that should happen,” he said.
He also said that the LMPD did not have a problem with racial bias.
Following Nichols interview, the LMPD told Inside Edition Digital in a statement that “Thank you for the opportunity to comment. Due to the nature of this on-going incident, the LMPD declines to comment.”
October 30, 2020
Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly files a lawsuit against Kenneth Walker. In his lawsuit, he alleges that Walker assaulted him and caused him emotional distress when he opened fire on police during the March 13 raid of Taylor’s Louisville home. He is requesting a jury trial as well as damages and attorney fees, according to reports.
"Sgt. Mattingly was shot and nearly killed by Kenneth Walker," Mattingly attorney Kent Wicker told BuzzFeed News. "He's entitled to, and should, use the legal process to seek a remedy for the injury that Walker has caused him.”
Walker initially filed a lawsuit over the summer against several Kentucky officials, saying he opened fire on police in self defense because he believed they were intruders and he didn’t hear them announce themselves on the night of Taylor’s killing.
Attorney Steve Romines, who represents Walker, told BuzzFeed News that the lawsuit is “the latest in a cycle of police aggression, deflection of responsibility, and obstruction of the facts in what is an obvious coverup.”
"If Kenny can be sued for defending himself, make no mistake, all lawful gun owners’ rights are at risk. And that should scare everyone," Romines said. "We intend to defend Kenny — once again — from baseless charges intended to harm, intimidate, and cover up the events of March 13, 2020.”
In March 2021, Inside Edition Digital has reached out to the legal teams representing both Walker and Mattingly for a statement on this matter and has not heard back. The lawsuit is currently ongoing according to the Jefferson County Courts.
January 5, 2021
Detectives Cosgrove, who shot Taylor, and Joshua Jaynes, who sought the warrant for the raid on Taylor’s apartment, are fired from the LMPD. The LMPD confirmed the termination of Cosgrove and Janyes to Inside Edition Digital in an email featuring the termination letters. Both men are appealing the termination.
Cosgrove’s attorney told Inside Edition in March 2021 that “The appeal is pending and the Merit Board has not scheduled a hearing for his case.”
Jaynes' appeal is also still pending and the Merit Board has not scheduled a hearing for his case, according to his attorney.
“I prefer to withhold any comment until we have our Merit Board hearing,” attorney Thomas Clay representing Jaynes told Inside Edition Digital.
Inside Edition has reached out to the River City Police Union for comment and has not heard back.
Inside Edition Digital has reached out to the attorneys representing Taylor’s estate for comment, as well lawyers representing Walker as well as officers Mattingly and Hankinson and have not heard back for comment.
The Kentucky Commonwealth’s attorney’s office told Inside Edition Digital that they will not comment on ongoing open cases.
March 8, 2021
Kentucky prosecutors move to permanently dismiss criminal charges against Kenneth Walker. A judge permanently dismissed charges that afternoon against Walker for allegedly shooting Mattingly. Following the ruling, Walker cannot be recharged for the crimes. The charges were dropped in May but without prejudice. Prior to the ruling, the Kentucky Commonwealth’s attorney’s office told Inside Edition Digital that they will not comment on ongoing open cases.
In a statement to Inside Edition Digital Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said “The death of Breonna Taylor was a tragedy, and the truth is that one year later, the pain remains, especially of course, for her family and friends. It’s also true that this case and resulting demonstrations for racial justice and equity has led to many reforms here, with many more on the way.
"And people also are looking more broadly at what public safety is now, recognizing that it’s not just the enforcement by police — it's intervention, it's prevention, it's reentry. The broadening of that lens, the sense of urgency now about the need to reimagine public safety and build greater equity across our nation – that, I believe, is the greatest legacy of the past year, and the legacy Breonna Taylor.”
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