Breonna Taylor‘s mother has celebrated prosecutors dropping a criminal case against her daughter’s boyfriend, insisting he never should’ve never been charged in the first place for shooting an officer in the botched raid that left Taylor.
Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, was fatally shot eight times by police as they served a no-knock warrant at her Louisville apartment on March 13, 2020, in the middle of the night.
Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, 28, said the officers didn’t announce themselves and he believed someone was attempting to break into their apartment.
Walker fired one shot, striking Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly in the leg. Mattingly and two other officers then returned fire and Taylor was killed as she lay in bed.
Almost a year on from the deadly shooting, Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, told NBC of the painful anniversary, ‘I don’t even know the difference between the days anymore.’
However, she said she was relieved to hear that prosecutors had permanently closed a criminal case against Walker on Monday, calling the motion ‘long overdue’ and insisted he never should’ve been charged in the first place.
Almost a year on from the deadly shooting, Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, told NBC of the painful anniversary, ‘I don’t even know the difference between the days anymore’
Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, was fatally shot eight times by police as they served a no-knock warrant at her Louisville apartment on March 13, 2020, in the middle of the night. Her boyfriend Kenneth Walker (seen left) shot an officer in the leg believing they were being robbed
Last summer, amid national racial injustice protests triggered by the police killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day, Taylor’s name also became a rallying cry for those marching, demanding ‘Justice for Breonna’.
None of the officers involved in Taylor’s death have been criminally charged after a grand jury failed to lay murder charges in September.
Speaking to NBC, Palmer said she was ‘eternally grateful’ for the Black Lives Matter protesters who have kept Taylor’s memory alive and demanded justice in her name.
‘There’s so many people who never even met her,’ Palmer tearfully began, ‘but they learned of her and they came to stand for her because what happened to her wasn’t right – I can never say thank you enough.’
Palmer, however, lamented the fact that ‘nobody has been held accountable’ for her daughter’s death and she vowed to continue fighting until somebody is.
‘Just knowing who Breonna was – she didn’t deserve that,’ she said of the EMT’s death. ‘I’ve had one job and that’s to protect my kids. So how do you not continue to fight.’
Speaking to NBC, Palmer said she was ‘eternally grateful’ for the Black Lives Matter protesters who kept Taylor’s memory alive and demanded justice in her name
Last summer, amid national racial injustice protests triggered by the police killing of George Floyd on Memorial Day, Taylor’s name also became a rallying cry for those marching, demanding ‘Justice for Breonna’
The decision to drop criminal proceedings against Walker came on Monday.
The 28-year-old had initially been charged with attempted murder for shooting Mattingly after the raid, but those charges were dropped in May last year.
However, prosecutors left open the opportunity to revisit the charge against Walker if new evidence surfaced.
A motion from Walker’s attorney asking for the permanent dismissal said Walker ‘acted in self-defense and that he did not know that police were on the other side of the door.’
Jefferson Circuit Judge Olu Stevens’ order on Monday dismissed the 2020 indictment against Walker with prejudice, meaning it can’t be reconsidered.
Mattingly recovered from the leg wound and remains on the Louisville police department.
Detective Myles Cosgrove, who shot Taylor, and Detective Joshua Jaynes, who sought the warrant for the botched drug raid, were both fired back in January.
Attorney Benjamin Crump, left, holds up the hand of Walker during a rally on the steps of the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Ky., June 25, 2020
People protest in response to Taylor’s death in Louisville, Kentucky on Sept. 24, 2020
An investigation found Jaynes violated procedures for preparation of a search warrant and truthfulness.
Walker shot Lt. Jonathan Mattingly, who remains on the force
Cosgrove, who the FBI concluded had fired the bullet that claimed Taylor’s life, was found to have violated the department’s use of force policy and failing to use a body camera, according to the publication.
Jaynes was not present during the shooting at Taylor’s apartment in Louisville, but was responsible for securing the ‘no-knock’ search warrant from a judge 12 hours before the raid.
The warrant had become the subject of controversy following the shooting, raising questions as to why officers had targeted Taylor’s home despite her not being involved in their drug investigation.
Jaynes’s termination letter stated: ‘These are extreme violations of our policies, which endangered others.
‘Your actions have brought discredit upon yourself and the department. Your conduct has severely damaged the image our department has established within our community.
Another officer, Brett Hankison, was fired last year after he was found to have ‘blindly fired’ 10 shots into Taylor’s apartment from outside.
Detectives Joshua Jaynes (left) and Myles Cosgrove (right) were fired in connection to Breonna Taylor’s fatal shooting on March 13, 2020
Another officer, Brett Hankison, was fired last year after he was found to have ‘blindly fired’ 10 shots into Taylor’s apartment from outside during the raid
Mattingly, meanwhile, filed a lawsuit against Walker in October of last year, accusing him of assault, battery, and emotional distress.
Mattingly has blamed Walker for Taylor’s death because the officers ‘returned fire’ after he was shot in the leg.
‘Every piece of evidence from when they falsely arrested and indicted him a year ago up till today prove that Kenny acted in self defense and was immune from prosecution,’ Walker’s attorney, Steve Romines, said in a statement. ‘Yet he was framed and charged to cover up Breonna’s killing. This is but a first step.’
Palmer reached a $12 million settlement with the city of Louisville last September, the largest amount the city has ever paid out. The settlement also included a series of police reforms, including one requiring all search warrants to first be approved by a police commander before being sent to a judge.
‘As significant as today is, it is only the beginning,’ Palmer said in a press conference at the time. ‘We must not lose focus on what the real job is, and with that being said, it’s time to move forward with the criminal charges, because she deserves that and much more.’
A full interview with Tamika Palmer will air on NBC Nightly News at 6:30pm ET Wednesday.