LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky prosecutor is moving to dismiss an attempted murder charge against the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor, who shot a police officer as they entered Taylor’s home.
Tom Wine, Louisville’s top prosecutor, announced Friday that the case needs more investigation and he wants to let state and federal prosecutors finish their inquiries.
“If, after those reviews, we believe that there is sufficient evidence to present this matter to the grand jury, we will do so,” Wine said in an online news conference.
Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, had been charged with the attempted murder of a police officer for shooting at officers as they served a narcotics search warrant. Walker was not injured but Taylor, a black emergency medical tech, was shot eight times during the March 13 warrant search. No drugs were found at the house.
Attention on Taylor’s death has intensified this week as Louisville’s police chief announced his retirement and the mayor changed some police warrant search policies. The case has attracted national headlines alongside the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in a Georgia neighborhood in February.
Wine played some of Walker’s interviews with the police during the news conference Friday. Walker told police on the audio recording that he could hear knocking on the night of the shooting but did not hear police announce themselves.
Walker said he was “scared to death” so he grabbed his gun and when the door was knocked down, he fired a shot. He said his intention was to fire a warning shot downward toward the ground. The bullet hit a police detective.
“The door like comes off the hinges so I let off one shot,” Walker told police. “Still can’t see who it is or anything. All of a sudden there’s a whole lot of shots.”
Wine said he also was seeking to dispel some “false information” that has been reported about the case. Wine said he believes that the police knocked and identified themselves despite receiving approval for a “no-knock” warrant. Those warrants allow officers to enter a home without first announcing their presence.
“We know Mr. Walker heard a series of loud knocks,” Wine said.
A lawsuit filed last week by Taylor’s family said the officers “spray(ed) gunfire into the residence with a total disregard for the value of human life.”
Police said they were returning fire after being shot at. The lawsuit said police had already located the drug suspect they were seeking at a different location before executing the warrant at Taylor’s residence.
Wine began the news conference expressing condolences to Taylor’s family, and said: “no amount of cocaine, heroin, marijuana or any drug … is worth the life of one human being.”
Dylan Lovan, The Associated Press