September 15, 2020
Breonna Taylor's Boyfriend Kenneth Walker Sues Louisville Police Department, City

Kenneth Walker, the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor, has sued the Louisville Police Department and the city, saying that authorities need to be held accountable for the botched police raid that killed his girlfriend and left him with lasting trauma.

As NBC News reported, Walker was asleep in bed with Taylor in the early morning hours of March 13, when three plainclothes police officers forcefully entered the apartment where the two were staying, seeking to execute a no-knock search warrant. As reported in a companion NBC News report, Taylor had previously had a relationship with a drug suspect, and police believed one of the suspects had been picking up drugs delivered to Taylor's building. No drugs were found at the scene.

During the operation, police entered the apartment without identifying themselves. Walker, believing they were intruders, shot at them, and police fired back. The officers fired over 20 shots, eight of which struck Taylor, killing her. Walker was arrested and charged with first-degree assault and attempted murder of a police officer; those charges have since been dismissed.

None of the officers involved in the incident have been criminally charged.

a billboard bearing a photo of breonna taylor
Getty Images | Jon Cherry

Walker's civil lawsuit names the three officers who fired their weapons that day, as well as multiple other Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers, Mayor Greg Fischer, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, and the city itself as defendants.

At a press conference hours after he filed the lawsuit on his client's behalf, Walker's attorney, Steve Romines, said that the LMPD is trying to portray Walker, who had never had any legal trouble, as a criminal for allegedly shooting at a police officer.

"The police want you to believe that at almost 1 o'clock one evening, he says, 'my first foray into the criminal justice world, I'm gonna try to shoot a cop,'" Romines said.

Romines also said that 30-45 gunshots were fired that morning, and that the shot that almost killed Sgt. Jon Mattingly, for which Walker was charged with attempted murder, was likely fired by another police officer.

Walker, for his part, claimed that authorities locked him up to try to "silence" him.

"The charges brought against me were meant to silence me and cover up Breonna's murder. For her and those that I love, I can no longer remain silent," he said.

He claims in his lawsuit that he "has already sustained life-long trauma" and "still fears harm from those who consider him a danger and seek to take away his freedom again."