Kenneth Walker, boyfriend of Breonna Taylor, sues police and city of Louisville for immunity

Walker contends he is protected under the state's "stand your ground" law.

September 1, 2020, 6:55 PM

Kenneth Walker, the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor who allegedly opened fire at the officers who shot and killed her, announced Tuesday he's suing the city of Louisville, its police and others, for immunity against his actions that night under Kentucky's "stand your ground" law.

Walker, 27, and a licensed gun owner, was initially charged with attempted murder and assault following the March 13 incident, but those charges were dropped. Kentucky's attorney general and the FBI are still investigating Taylor's shooting, and Walker said the suit would prevent officials from re-arresting and charging him for any crime related to the incident.

"I was raised by a good family. I am a legal gun owner and I would never knowingly shoot at a police officer," he said at a news conference.

On March 13, three undercover Louisville officers, Myles Cosgrove, Brett Hankison and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, executed a no-knock warrant at the apartment where Taylor and Walker were living. The officers contend that Taylor's ex-boyfriend was shipping drugs to the address.

Kenneth Walker, the boyfriend of the late Breonna Taylor, stands between his mother and attorney during a press conference in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 1, 2020.
Alton Strupp/Courier Journal via Imagn

The couple was asleep when the officers allegedly tried to break down the door, which prompted Walker, a USPS worker, to get his licensed gun and fire at the door, according to the lawsuit.

The officers returned fire, killing Taylor, 26, an EMT, in her sleep and no drugs were found in the residence, police said. Mattingly was struck in the leg during the incident, according to police.

Taylor's death gained national attention from activists all over the world who have called for the officers to be disciplined and criminally charged. As of Sept. 1, only one officer, Hankison, has been fired while Cosgrove and Mattingly have been placed on administrative duties.

Breonna Taylor, 26, was shot and killed by Louisville, Kentucky, police officers after they allegedly executed a search warrant of the wrong home.
Courtesy Tamika Palmer

Walker was immediately arrested after the shooting and released into home confinement less than two weeks later due to COVID concerns in the jail. In May, Jefferson County Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine announced the charges against Walker were dropped as the FBI and state attorney general investigated the shooting.

Walker told reporters that the charges were made to silence him.

"I can no longer remain silent," he said.

Walker's attorney, Steve Romines, said his client has never been in trouble with the law before and had a legal right to own the gun. The suit contends the state's "stand your ground" law "protects all Kentuckians who seek to protect themselves or loved ones in self-defense."

The suit said that Walker asked, "Who is it?" three times to no response before the officers broke open the door.

"Kenny immediately reacted by firing a single shot to scare away the intruder or intruders," the suit said.

PHOTO: Kenneth Walker, center, the boyfriend of the late Breonna Taylor, stands alongside his mother and attorneys during a press conference in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 1, 2020.
Kenneth Walker, center, the boyfriend of the late Breonna Taylor, stands alongside his mother and attorneys during a press conference in Louisville, Ky., Sept. 1, 2020. Kenneth Walker T9i5056090120
Alton Strupp/Courier Journal via Imagn

Romines said he is still waiting to get a ballistics report, but questioned whether Mattingly was struck by his client's bullet or friendly fire.

"It is still six months later and they're still trying to figure out what happened in that apartment," he said at the news conference.

In addition to preventing future prosecution, Walker is seeking damages in part for the gross negligence of the police "for the trauma, humiliation, indignity, physical pain, mental suffering, or mental anguish he suffered," the suit said.

Jean Porter, a spokeswoman for Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, said in a statement to ABC News that her office cannot comment on the specifics of the pending litigation.

"As the mayor has said, Breonna Taylor's death was a tragedy, and justice, peace, and healing are what is needed for her, for her loved ones and for our community," she said in a statement.

A spokesman for Wine's office told ABC News that the office was not served as of Tuesday afternoon and could not comment on the suit. The Louisville Police Department could not be reached for comment.

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