Breonna Taylor’s Boyfriend Said Police Didn’t Tell Him She Died

Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said that no one directly told him that his girlfriend died in a botched drug raid that fueled nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality.

Walker, 27, told CBS’s Gayle King that the first time he found out Taylor had been killed by police at their Louisville, Kentucky, apartment was when he was watching the news while wrongly detained after the March 13 incident. 

“When were you finally told that Breonna didn’t make it?” King asked in a clip of the interview that was released Wednesday. The full interview will be available on Thursday.

“I never really got told, like directly. I saw it on the news,” Walker said to a visibly astonished King. “I was in the cell, and it was on the news, and they said one, you know, female dead. They confirmed it.” 

Plainclothes officers with the Louisville Metro Police Department fatally shot Taylor, a 26-year-old Black medical technician, in her home in the early hours of March 13. The officers were serving a “no-knock” drug warrant for a different person and awakened the couple with what Walker said was a loud bang. Walker, a legal gun owner, said he fired a single warning shot in fear that someone was breaking into the apartment. Officers fired back, shooting Taylor six times and killing her.

Police did not find drugs in the home, and neither Taylor nor Walker were the specific targets of the investigation. But police arrested Walker on attempted murder charges, accusing him of wounding an officer. Evidence is unclear as to whose bullet struck Det. John Mattingly, though. The charges were later dropped, and Walker has filed a lawsuit over his arrest.

“I didn’t know for sure what condition she was in when I left, so I didn’t know what they did,” Walker said of the officers. “As these bodycam videos come out, I see they did nothing. Clearly we see the SWAT team in there, and she was still in there. They’re still like casing the apartment with her laying right there on the ground. Disrespectful.”

A grand jury declined to charge the three officers involved in Taylor’s killing with manslaughter or homicide. Instead, Det. Brett Hankison was indicted on a charge of wanton endangerment, a first-degree felony, for putting the lives of apartment neighbors in danger. An anonymous member of the grand jury claimed last month that Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) never asked jury members to consider homicide charges.

About 20 hours of recorded grand jury deliberations in the case were released Oct. 2 after a state judge ruled that the audio would be added to the court case’s file. The Jefferson County Circuit Court judge overruled Cameron’s decision to not release the full grand jury report.

Walker told King that when he was arrested ― without socks or shoes on ― an officer asked him if he had been hit by a bullet. When Walker said no, the officer allegedly said, “Well, that’s unfortunate.”

“There wouldn’t be a story” if he had not survived the shooting, Walker said. “You probably wouldn’t even know about it. If I didn’t live, you probably wouldn’t even know about Breonna Taylor.”

The city of Louisville has reached a $12 million settlement with Taylor’s family over the killing, but Taylor’s family demands that the officers involved be charged in her death. Walker told King in the interview that the only way there can be justice for Taylor is if she were sitting right next to him.

“She would do anything for anybody. She took care of a lot of people,” he said. “There’s a lot of people who need her bad right now, including me.”

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