One of the Louisville cop involved in Breonna Taylor’s cold blooded murder said on nationally tv Wednesday that she would be alive today if he and six other officers had stormed into her house faster and given her less time to react — which policing experts blasted as “outrageous,” “mind-boggling,” and “irrelevant.”
Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, one of the three Louisville Metro Police Department officers who opened fire in Taylor’s house in March, spoke publicly for the first time about the police raid that killed the 26-year-old Black EMT.
In an interview with ABC News and the Louisville Courier Journal on Wednesday, Mattingly said that one of the main things he would have done differently was to be more aggressive, barging into Taylor’s house faster and not giving her enough time to respond to what he claimed were multiple knocks on her door by the officers and their shouts announcing themselves.
“What would I have done differently? The answer to that is simple now that I’ve been thinking about it,” Mattingly told Good Morning America host Michael Strahan.
“Number one, we would have either served the no-knock warrant or we would have done the normal thing we do — which is 5 to 10 seconds — to not give people time to formulate a plan, not give people time to get their senses so they have an idea of what they’re doing. Because if that had happened… Breonna Taylor would be alive, 100%,” he said.
Strahran pressed him, asking, “You think she would have been alive… if you had just stormed in and not given them time?” Mattingly replied, “I do.”
Mattingly and six other Louisville officers were executing a “no-knock” warrant at Taylor’s house as part of a narcotics investigation into Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover. One lieutenant who participated in the raid told a grand jury earlier this month that police had waited about 45 seconds to a minute before barging into Taylor’s home, while another officer said it was closer to two minutes, the AP reported.
Mattingly said that the officers had expected Taylor was “going to be there by herself.”
“That’s why we gave her so much time,” he said. “And in my opinion that was a mistake.”
Three policing experts who spoke to BuzzFeed News were incredulous about Mattingly’s approach.
“I think we all have outrage fatigue, but this is a truly outrageous statement,” Pete Kraska, a criminal justice and police studies professor at Eastern Kentucky University, told BuzzFeed News.
“It indicates zero understanding of the issue of conducting dynamic entry raids on people’s homes in the middle of the night; not to arrest a murderer but to look for evidence of minor drug infractions,” Kraska said.
“And basically what [Mattingly is] saying is that he wishes he would have done a quick-knock raid, which is illegal, unconstitutional, and a huge part of the problem with police tactical raids,” Kraska said.
Kirk Burkhalter, a New York Law School professor and a former New York Police Department detective, said it was “mind-boggling” that of all the “million ways” police could have done this differently, Mattingly was still fixated on thinking the only way to do this was to “to take the door off the hinges by surprise.”
Even if police had barged in to her house sooner, Burkhalter said “there is a high likelihood the same result would have occurred.”
Walter Signorelli, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a retired NYPD inspector, told BuzzFeed News that it would be impossible for anyone to predict what would have happened had police barged into Taylor’s house sooner.
“It doesn’t make sense to me,” Signorelli said about Mattingly’s statement.
Police usually execute no-knock warrants when there is evidence of narcotics involved. Signorelli said that if police believed that there was a drug dealer in the house, the drug dealer “is going to have a gun and he’s going to have that gun ready in two seconds.”
So it was “irrelevant,” he added, if police had barged in sooner.
Mattingly claimed that despite having a no-knock warrant, the officers knocked on Taylor’s door six times and also repeatedly yelled, “Police, search warrant!”
He told Good Morning America that the officers were “just hoping she would come to the door.”
He said that after they knocked, one of the other officers thought he heard someone coming to the door.
“So we stop, we listen. Nobody says anything. We yell again, ‘Police, search warrant! Open the door if you’re here,'” Mattingly said.
He said that when no one responded, one of the officers rammed the door open. Mattingly said that he was first inside the house and saw two figures standing side by side at the end of the hall.
Mattingly told GMA that he felt for Taylor and for her family.
“It’s not just a passing ‘Oh, this is part of the job, we did it and move on,'” he said. “I mean, Breonna Taylor is now attached to me for the rest of my life. And that’s not again, ‘Woe is me.’ That’s me feeling for them. That’s me having a heart and a soul, going as a parent, ‘How do you move on?’ I don’t know. I don’t want to experience it.”
Last month, Mattingly prompted outrage after he sent an email to his LMPD colleagues defending his and the other officers’ actions in Taylor’s killing and referring to some racial justice protesters as “thugs.”
“I know we did the legal, moral and ethical thing that night,'” Mattingly wrote in the letter that was first reported by Vice. “It’s sad how the good guys are demonized, and criminals are canonized.”
JUSTICE for BREONNA TAYLOR.