Louisville SWAT team tells investigators raid on Breonna Taylor’s home was an ‘egregious act’

Danielle Zoellner
·2 min read

Members of the Louisville Metro Police Department's SWAT unit who responded to the raid on Breonna Taylor’s home have criticised the police, including one member calling the raid an “egregious act”.

Lieutenant Dale Massey and other members of the SWAT team were interviewed by the Profession Integrity Unit following the 13 March raid.

During the interviews, members of the SWAT team said the three police officers violated their basic rule of policing: identify the target and what’s in the background before shooting.

Sergeant Brandon Hogan called this rule “basic academy stuff” in interview transcripts obtained by the Louisville Journal-Courier.

The members of the SWAT team who responded to the fatal shooting at Ms Taylor’s apartment also told investigations they didn’t know about the search of her residence, even though police debriefed them about other simultaneous warrants that night.

They actually didn’t know about the police officers’ search of Ms Taylor’s home until they overheard an officer was wounded over police radios, the four team members said.

“We’re like, ‘What are you talkin' about?'" Mr Massey recalled in an interview reported by WDRB. "You know, again, back to the point that we had no idea they were doin' a warrant."

When Mr Massey arrived on the scene, he observed multiple officers with their guns pointed at the apartment building. He told them to stand down.

"I mean, the target identification, there's — there's nothin' to point at because there's cars and everything else, you're just pointin' a gun to point a gun,” he said.

Mr Massey added he told investigators that serving multiple warrants at once was “bad business” and dangerous. Also, according to Mr Massey, the search of Ms Taylor’s residence was never mentioned during briefing about a larger narcotics investigation in Louisville.

The Louisville Metro Police Department has declined to comment amid an ongoing investigation.

Ms Taylor was shot and killed when Sergeant Jonathan Matitngly and detectives Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison fired more than 30 rounds after her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired what he described as a “warning shot”.

Mr Walker told investigators he did not know the police were at his door, despite claims from police they announced themselves multiple times. Instead, Mr Walker said he thought someone was breaking in.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office ruled Mr Mattingly and Mr Cosgrove were acting in self-defense during the fatal shooting.

A grand jury only indicted Mr Hankinson, who was already fired from the police department, on three counts of wanton endangerment after he fired multiple shots into an occupied apartment in Ms Taylor’s building.

No police officer involved in the fatal shooting of Ms Taylor have been charged for her death.

Read more

‘Disgusting’: Kentucky AG responds to Megan Thee Stallion’s criticism

Audio released from grand jury hearings in Breonna Taylor case

Kentucky AG asks to delay release of Breonna Taylor grand jury tapes