The boyfriend of Breonna Taylor is off the hook for shooting a police officer involved in the fatal raid that killed his girlfriend.
A judge dropped all charges against Kenneth Walker with prejudice, meaning that they cannot be filed again, The Hill reported.
He’s off the hook
Walker was charged with assault and attempted murder of a police officer for shooting a cop as three plainclothes officers were attempting to serve a drug warrant early one morning in March 2020.
The police maintain that they announced themselves, but Walker and social justice activists have said that it was an unannounced “no-knock” raid that ended in police brutality.
Walker fired a single shot, striking Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly in the leg, and the cops responded with 32 shots. Taylor was killed in the crossfire.
Jefferson Circuit Judge Olu Stevens ruled Monday that all charges against Walker will be dropped for good, after an investigation found that there was no additional evidence to justify prosecuting him. The charges were initially dismissed in May without prejudice.
Last week, Jefferson Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine moved to dismiss the charges with prejudice, saying that “no new information relevant to the charges against (Walker) in this matter has been brought to commonwealth’s attention.”
Shooting galvanized unrest
Walker welcomed that news on Instagram. “They dropped them charges,” he said. “I’m blessed for sure but there’s a lot more to be done we gonna get justice for Breonna Taylor.”
Walker has said that he was acting in self-defense against what he thought was a home invasion. He sued Louisville in September, seeking immunity from prosecution under Kentucky’s “stand your ground law” and damages for the shooting. Judge Stevens dismissed the immunity request as “moot.”
In a statement, Walker’s lawyer said that Louisville and the cops used Walker as a “pawn” and a “scapegoat” for “an improper raid gone bad.”
Mattingly has filed his own lawsuit against Walker over the shooting, which required him to get surgery.
Taylor’s death was one of the most high-profile cases that drove protests and riots against police last summer after the death of George Floyd, as Louisville and other cities erupted in violence. The city saw more unrest after no charges were brought against the cops involved in the shooting in September.