Officer involved in Breonna Taylor shooting speaks out

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, one of the officers who burst through her apartment in Louisville, speaks to ABC News for the first time publicly about that fateful night.
10:34 | 10/21/20

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Transcript for Officer involved in Breonna Taylor shooting speaks out
enter our atmosphere for scientists to examine the sample. To our "Courier-journal" exclusive and, Michael, you sat down with one of the officers. Jonathan Mattingly, one of the officers that burst through the door of breonna Taylor's apartment on that fateful night in March when she was with her boyfriend, Kenneth walkerer. He was shot and badly wounded and this did the first time he is speaking publicly. Reporter: Her death sparked nationwide outrage and anguish. 26-year-old medical worker breonna Taylor shot and killed by Louisville police officers on March 13th while executing a search warrant. Officers investigating a suspected drug operation allegedly linked to her ex-boyfriend. This morning, for the first time sergeant Jonathan Mattingly sharing publicly what he says happened that night. So we get up. I remember banging on the door, it's open hand, hard smack, bam, bam, bam, bam. First time didn't announce. Just hoping she would come to the door so everything was quiet, neighbors wouldn't come out. Can you hear anything from inside the apartment? Not at that point. Not at that point. Okay. So after the first bang, nothing happened. Banged again. I yelled police, search warrant, police search warrant. You're yelling this. How many types do you yell that. Probably three times with each bang. There was a total of six bangs, six different knocks at the door while we're doing this. Reporter: There were seven officers on the scene that night. One said he thought he heard movement inside the apartment. He said, stop. I can hear somebody coming up to the door so we stopped. We listened. Nobody says anything, we yell again, police search warrant, open the door if you're there, police search warrant and finally look back at my lieutenant who is in the stack back here, he says, go ahead and hit it. Even as you're hitting the door, you're yelling. Yes, everybody at this point. Everybody. Because that's what we do. All seven that I know. It sounded like it. It's the typical -- that's the typical how it goes every time and that doesn't change. Kenneth walker said he and breonna were screaming, who is it? He said they never heard any announcement that it was the police. And what do you say to that? Maybe he didn't. But there are also 11 neighbors who said the same thing he said. Those 11 neighbors also said we didn't knock. Kenneth walker said we knocked. The other witness says we knocked so if you didn't hear us knock you won't hear us announce. Reporter: Mattingly says once they enter the dark apartment he sees two figures in the hallway. How far away from you. 20, 25 feet. Yeah, probably 20, 25 feet. As soon as I turn the corner my eyes went straight to the barrel of this gun. I could see the tip of it and my eyes just focused in on it. Reporter: Breonna's boyfriend, 27-year-old Kenneth walker, a legal gun owner fired a shot. Later telling investigators he fired because he didn't know who was bursting through the door. An FBI ballistics report says it was walker's bullet that struck Mattingly. As soon as I felt the smack on my leg and heat, boom, boom, returned shots, four shots. From start to finish from the time I got shot to the time I'm on the ground and heard that last volley of shots, 12 seconds total. Oh, my god. Reporter: Mr. Walker said I fired a warning shot. I thought someone was breaking into my apartment. I was aiming down because I don't want to kill anyone. That was his statement. He wasn't shooting at the ground a warning shot. He's pushed out with two hands looking straight at me. We -- I saw his gun. Our postures were the same looking at each other when he fired that shot. Only one officer was wearing a body camera during the execution of the warrant that night but it wasn't turned on because Mattingly said it wasn't police procedure in these types of situations. Do you believe if you had body cameras this wouldn't have happened? No. The incident would have still happened. But it would have been shown on camera what happened. This wouldn't even be an issue. This wouldn't be a case. You'd never hear bit. Michael Strahan would never know about this case if we had cameras on that night. How would you have done it differently. Either serd a no knock warrant or do the normal thing we did which is five to ten seconds to not give people time to formulate a plan or get their senses so they have an idea of what they're doing because if that had happened I'm tells you if that had happened breonna Taylor would be alive. You believe she would be alive. 100%. If you had stormed in. Yes. And not given them time. I do. Say her name. Reporter: In the months following protests erupting across the country, celebrities like Oprah and Beyonce calling for the officers involved to be arrested and be criminally charged with breonna's death. What was your feelings watching all that unfold after this? Mostly frustration and the frustration came from our command and from the mayor's office because there was so much disinformation out because this is not relatable to a George Floyd. This is nothing like it. It is not an ahmaud arbery. It is nothing like it. Two totally different type it's not a race thing like people want to try to make it be. This is a point where we were doing our job, we gave too much when we go in, I get shot. We return fire. This is not us going -- hunting somebody down. It is not kneeling on a neck. This is nothing like that. And I know I'm not going to sit here and ago like playing the big victim card but I mean I was a victim in this as well. My family has been a victim in this. They have had to go in hiding and had death threats. When somebody sits back from their mansion and accuses somebody of being a racist and being a dirty cop and being a murderer when that's not the case, that does affect you. You were called racist. Uh-huh. Are you racist? No. Not at all. Do you think there is a racist divide between the community and pd. I think there are people who stir things up and make it more that because when you're dealing with criminal element, you know, you talk about racial profiling, good police anyway, police I worked with don't racial profile. You criminal profile. Let's address the fact that just because you're black you're a threat is not the case. I'm not scared of -- That's how black men feel. That's how black women feel. Does it make it real? If it's how you feel then No, not necessarily. What is the difference between criminal profiling, racial profiling? Criminal profiling is when you get to know an area and work in an area long enough you can tell by people's demeanors if you pull up beside somebody and they don't make eye contact, they swerve off, there's just different elements of people's psychological game that they -- that they put out that you can tell when you've done something long enough. Basically it's a feeling. Not just a feeling. I mean it's a feeling that goes along with what you've experienced, with what is in the area, what should or shouldn't be. You look at a George Floyd. What happened to him is tragic. It was horrible. Everybody looked at that and said, wrong. Bad. Disgusting. And what happens, they end up getting locked up which in my opinion and I don't know the ins and outs of the case and careful not to judge people for Monday morning quarterbacking but in my opinion that was the right call whether he died Offen overdose or whatever but what happened after that in my opinion George Floyd was not a model citizen. It's very hard for me to sit here and hear George Floyd died of an overdose. He died because somebody was kneeling on his neck N regards to being a model citizen or not he doesn't deserve that. Nobody said he did. I just demonized it. I said it's horrible. No one has been charged in connection with Taylor's death. An autopsy confirmed she died of multiple gunshot wounds. One officer in the case, Brett Hankison, has been charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for endangering neighbors when he opened fire. He's pled not guilty. If breonna's mother Tamika palmer is watching this, is there anything that you would like to say to her? Miss palmer, nobody should ever have to go through what you're feeling. Nobody can sympathize or feel what you're feeling unless they've lost a child. There is no way I could ever tell you enough how much I wish this hadn't taken place. No amount of money in the world is going to change that. Police reform is not going to bring her back but I just hope that you can find it in your heart at some point to find some peace, find some love in the future and I pray that everybody learns something from this and that this tragedy never happens again to any other family. And we know Mattingly wasn't indicted for the death of breonna Taylor and there is a pending FBI investigation to determine if her civil rights were violated and I asked him about the leaked email that he sent out to his fellow officers where he used the term to describe protesters, used the term peaceful protesters when he -- also called them thugs and he says they aren't worth your career or freedom. He said he was referring to the protesters who were causing property damage and taunting officers. Kind of -- it didn't -- frustrating at tiles to hear some of the things that were said. There's a lot more. There's so many discrepancies. So many. Had a sense of why he wanted to speak out. Seven months of not being able to say anything has built up and he released this email that was publicly scrutinized the night before the grand jury came back with their decision. Again, he called protesters thugs. Peaceful and that was the question, how are they peaceful but yet thugs? His explanation, you be the judge and if it works out and if you understand it or not. What he said about George Floyd as well. Was, yeah, way in -- in my opinion left field. Had nothing to do -- Gratuitous. Trying to bring the character of someone in the situation where they were basically killed made no sense to me. At the end of the day anent black woman is dead. Yes. Unnecessarily. Michael, really great. Thank you. You can see a lot more tonight

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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