Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman fatally shot inside her home by Louisville police officers, reportedly lay dying for at least five minutes without any medical assistance before she succumbed to her gunshot wounds.
The 26-year-old EMT was asleep in bed with her boyfriend on March 13 when three undercover cops — Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove — burst inside her home around 1 a.m. She was shot five times during the botched narcotics raid, which did not turn up any evidence of drugs in the Louisville home.
Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, alleged in an interview with law enforcement that his girlfriend was still alive after she was struck in the flurry of gunfire, the Louisville-Courier Journal reported.
“(Police are) yelling like, ‘Come out, come out,’ and I’m on the phone with her (mom). I’m still yelling help because she’s over here coughing and, like, I’m just freaking out,” Walker said in a recorded police interview three hours after the shooting.
The Jefferson County coroner has disputed that account, ruling Taylor likely died within a minute of being shot — but records obtained by the Kentucky newspaper also raise questions about what care, or lack there of, was provided to the shooting victim.
Officers didn’t radio into dispatch about Taylor until nearly a half-hour after they shot into her apartment while serving the early-hours “no-knock” warrant, which was actually connected to a man who did not live at the residence, the Courier Journal reported.
When officers finally did alert dispatch around 12:43 a.m., it was to report Mattingly had been shot in the chaos.
Walker first called Taylor’s mother and then police at 12:47 a.m, according to the Courier-Journal.
“I don’t know what is happening,” the 28-year-old told a dispatcher, according to the paper. “Somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend.”
For more than 20 minutes after Taylor was gunned down by Louisville officers, she remained on the ground in hallway where she initially fell and did not receive any medical attention, according to dispatch logs.
In a revised lawsuit, Sam Aguiar and Lonita Baker, who are representing the family, said Taylor “was unarmed in her hallway, was struck by several rounds of gunfire. She was not killed immediately.”
“Rather, she lived for another five to six minutes before ultimately succumbing to her injuries on the floor of her home,” the suit reads.
Jefferson County Coroner Barbara Weakley-Jones said that Taylor died around 12:48 a.m. She told the Journal it was an “estimate” based on information and evidence from the body, adding that her team was not called to the scene until at least an hour later.
Weakley-Jones said that it is not uncommon to be called in that much later after an incident.
“If she had even been outside of an emergency room department at a hospital, and she got shot and sustained the same injury, they would not have been able to save her,” she said, emphasizing that the injuries were not survivable.
“… So there’s no way that even if they (police) ran to her and tried to give her aid, they can’t do anything because it’s all internal injuries that you can’t stop.”
Taylor’s death has sparked widespread outrage and spawned rally’s demanding justice as well as the arrest of the officers involved.
Mattingly and Cosgrove are on administrative reassignment, while Hankison was fired in June and is appealing his termination. Attorneys for Taylor have alleged Hankison, who they suspect fired off at least one of the fatal shots, “blindly” shot inside Taylor’s Louisville home from outside.
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