Patrons trying to enjoy their dinner at a Kentucky restaurant this week were shocked to find a Republican women’s club using the venue to host one of the officers involved in the 2020 police raid that killed Breonna Taylor, according to the local NAACP chapter and two patrons who spoke with news outlets.
At one point, graphic video footage of the raid was allegedly played loudly in the restaurant, where other diners said they could hear it.
“You could hear the gunshots in the footage,” one diner, 34-year-old Cayce Johnson, told The Washington Post. “Our dinner was completely hijacked. We couldn’t hear ourselves at that point.”
The Bowling Green-Warren County branch of the NAACP said it was “outraged” and “profoundly dismayed” over the incident on Tuesday at Anna’s Greek Restaurant in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The Republican Women’s Club of South Central Kentucky was forced to find a new location for its event, featuring former Louisville Police Sgt. John Mattingly, after their original country club venue dropped them, NBC News reported.
Mattingly was one of several officers involved in Taylor’s killing in March 2020. The officers executed a no-knock warrant at Taylor’s apartment in Louisville late one night, startling the Black medical technician and her boyfriend, who was armed. He then shot Mattingly in the leg. Officers retaliated with a hail of gunfire toward the pair, killing Taylor.
The man the officers were searching for, an ex-boyfriend of Taylor’s, was not in the apartment at the time.
According to a now-deleted Facebook post from the Republican Women’s Club, Mattingly would “share what really happened during the raid that killed Breonna Taylor, what he saw, and how the media’s narrative has been corrupted and twisted to fit into a false, woke storyline,” reported LEX18, a local NBC News affiliate.
The Greek restaurant, which sits in a former church, was open to the public while the event took place upstairs, according to the local NAACP chapter. Because Mattingly had access to the restaurant’s speaker system, the group said, the footage of the raid and his commentary could be heard throughout the venue.
Another patron took to Facebook to express her disgust. She described the Republican event as “some kind of loud tribute/rally” for Mattingly and said, “they were speaking very loudly with a microphone.”
After a glowing review of the restaurant Mattingly posted on Facebook attracted criticism, Mattingly began picking fights with the commenters.
Johnson, the diner who later spoke to The Washington Post and The New Republic, filmed a restaurant manager responding to questions about why the event had been permitted. The man can be seen shrugging his shoulders.