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Boyfriend of Breonna Taylor Sues Louisville Police for Violating Rights in Deadly No-knock Raid

— March 18, 2021

Kenneth Walker III claims that Louisville Police acted improperly and without regard for his constitutional rights when they broke down Breonna Taylor’s door without warning.

The boyfriend of Breonna Taylor, an African-American woman who was killed during a no-knock police raid in Louisville, Kentucky, has filed a lawsuit against local law enforcement.

According to CNN, the lawsuit relates to a flawed, forced-entry raid which targeted Taylor’s apartment on March 13, 2020.

Louisville Metro Police Department officers had listed Taylor’s apartment in a search warrant, since she had previously dated a man suspected of narcotics trafficking.

Although Taylor was no longer dating the man—who kept residence miles away from Taylor’s home—police noted that her ex-boyfriend had, in the past, tried to ship drug-filled packages to Taylor’s apartment.

Even though the man was no longer living with Taylor, police broke down her front door in the middle of the night. Fearing a home invasion, Taylor’s current partner—Kenneth Waler III—fired a single shot from a registered handgun.

The bullet penetrated the bedroom door and struck Sgt. John Mattingly in the leg.

Black Lives Matter protesters. Image via Flickr/user:Tony Webster. (CCA-BY-2.0)

In response, the officers opened fire, killing Taylor and almost hitting a family in a neighboring apartment.

Walker, notes CNN, was initially arrested and charged with shooting a police officer. However, those charges were dismissed last year, then dismissed permanently last week.

Now, Walker and his attorneys have claimed that the Louisville Metro Police Department—along with several individual officers and officials—violated Walker’s Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure.

The lawsuit, says CNN, observes that Louisville officers:

  • Executed a search warrant founded upon baseless assertions; and
  • Used unnecessary force in entering Taylor’s home; and
  • Did not announce they were police; and
  • Responded to Walker’s single shot with overwhelming, deadly force

Walker’s complaint further alleges that the officers who entered Taylor’s home had no coordinated with the city’s SWAT team, which typically carries out no-knock raids.

“In view of these manifold failures by the LMPD, the events that led to Ms. Taylor’s death and Mr. Walker’s injuries on March 13, 2020 — and other incidents like it — were all but inevitable,” the lawsuit states.

Cliff Sloan, a Georgetown University Law professor and one of the attorneys representing Walker, told CNN the lawsuit is necessary to vindicate Walker and establish his rights.

“We are seeking to ensure that there is justice and accountability for the tragic and unjustified police assault on Kenneth Walker and killing of Breonna Taylor in her home in the middle of the night,” Sloan said.


Breonna Taylor’s Boyfriend Files Federal Lawsuit Against Louisville Police

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