(Reuters) - Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend said he was “a million percent sure” police did not identify themselves when they broke into Taylor’s apartment and shot her dead, telling CBS News both he and Taylor had asked who was banging at the door.
Kenneth Walker was with Taylor, a Black emergency medical technician, when police burst into her home in the early hours of March 13 in Louisville, Kentucky. Walker fired once, at what he said he believed were criminal intruders, wounding one officer.
Three police officers responded with 32 shots, six of which struck Taylor, killing her and fueling national protests about racism and police use of force against Blacks and minorities.
Police said they repeatedly identified themselves while executing a search warrant in relation to a drug investigation focused on Taylor’s ex-boyfriend. No drugs were found in her apartment.
“I’m a million percent sure that nobody identified themselves,” Walker told CBS in an interview to be aired on Wednesday. Excerpts were released on Tuesday.
Walker, who had a license to carry a gun, said he “didn’t have a clue” who was at the door.
“That’s why grabbed the gun,” he said.
Officers said they banged on the door and identified themselves for an estimated 30 to 90 seconds. But they also described a confused and chaotic scene with one officer who opened fire mistakenly, fearing his colleagues were being shot at with an AR-15, according to recordings of their interviews with investigators. [nL1N2GT0ZS]
A grand jury investigation cleared them of homicide charges, though one officer was indicted for wanton endangerment.
Asked if it ever crossed his mind the police might be knocking, Walker said no, “because why would the police be coming here?”
Walker said both he and Taylor asked “several times” who was knocking and got no response.
“So the next thing I know the door is flying open,” Walker said.
Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Bernadette Baum
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.