Louisville, KY – One of the officers under investigation for the shooting of Breonna Taylor during a raid in March sent an email to about 1,000 Louisville Metropolitan Police Department (LMPD) officers early Tuesday morning defending his actions, called protesters “thugs,” and blamed politicians for “covering their a–es.”
The missive, which LMPD Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly sent out at 2:09 a.m. on Sept. 22, was addressed to “LMPD Family” and arrived as federal and city officials were preparing for potential riots when Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announces whether the officers involved in Taylor’s death will face criminal charges.
Officials in Kentucky on Monday ordered the federal courthouse closed down and police declared a State of Emergency in anticipation of riots if prosecutors don’t criminally charge the officers.
“I’m not here to give you a Rah Rah you got this speech,” Sgt. Mattingly, who was shot when Taylor’s boyfriend opened fire on officers on the other side of the front door, began the email to his fellow officers.
Taylor’s boyfriend has filed a lawsuit claiming he was covered by Stand Your Ground laws when he opened fire at the officers on the other side of the door and has suggested Sgt. Mattingly may have been shot by one of the other officers instead of him.
“I’m not here to tell you that you signed up to help this community and to keep your head up,” the wounded sergeant wrote. “I’m here to tell you I’m sorry you have to go through this. I’m sorry the Mayor, Amy Hess and Chief Conrad failed all of us in epic proportions for their own gain and to cover their a–es.”
“You DO NOT DESERVE to be in this position,” the letter continued. “The position that allows thugs to get in your face and yell, curse, and degrade you. Throw bricks, bottles and urine on you and expect you to do nothing. It goes against EVERYTHING we were all taught in the academy. The position that if you make a mistake during one of the most stressful times of your career, the department and FBI (who aren’t cops and would piss their pants if they had to hold the line) go after you for civil rights violations. Your civil rights mean nothing, but the criminal has total autonomy.”
“We all signed up to be police officers,” Sgt. Mattingly wrote. “We knew the risks and we were willing to take them, but we always assumed the city had your back. We wanted To [sic] do the right thing in the midst of an evil world to protect those who cannot protect themselves. To enforce laws that make it possible to live in a peaceful society.”
“We as police DO NOT CARE if you are black, white, Hispanic, Asian, what you identify as… this week. We aren’t better than anyone. This is not an us against society, but it is good versus evil. We are sons, daughters, husbands, wives, partners, brothers, sisters, dads and moms. We are human beings with flaws, feelings and emotions,” the letter continued.
“Now I’m just rambling, but I wanted you to know that I’m still proud to be a cop,” Sgt. Mattingly wrote. “To be an LMPD cop. No matter the ineptitude in upper command or the mayors office, this one of the greatest jobs on earth. With that being said these next few days are going to be tough. They are going to be long, they are going to be frustrating. They will put a tremendous amount of stress on your families.”
“Do not let your ego get you in a trick bag,” he warned. “Have your partners 6. De escalate if possible. DO NOT give the pencil pushers at the top, you know the ones who are too scared to hold the line, a reason to open investigations on you. The same ones that couldn’t make decisions to save their lives.”
“We need leaders that lead from the front and not in a room under a desk,” the sergeant continued. “Do what you need to do to go home to your family. Just do it with dignity and make sure you can justify your actions because everything down there is recorded.”
“I don’t know a lot of you guys/gals but I’ve felt the love. Regardless of the outcome today or Wednesday, I know we did the legal, moral and ethical thing that night. It’s sad how the good guys are demonized and criminals are canonized. Put that aside for awhile, keep your focus and do your jobs that you are trained and capable of doing. Don’t put up with their s–t, and go home to those lovely families and relationships,” he wrote.
“I wish I were there with you leading the charge,” Sgt. Mattingly wrote. “I’ll be praying for your safety. Remember you are just a pawn in the Mayors political game. I’m proof they do not care about you or your family, and you are replaceable.”
He signed off his email by telling officers to stay safe and do the right thing as they face off with so-called “peaceful protesters” in the coming days.
The section about the enforcement of civil rights violations is particularly jarring. "..the department and FBI (who aren't cops and would piss their pants if they had to hold the line) go after you for civil rights violations." pic.twitter.com/CExRQCklO0
— Roberto Aram Ferdman (@robferdman) September 22, 2020
The attorney general was expected to announce within days if criminal charges will be filed against LMPD Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly, Officer Myles Cosgrove, and former Officer Brett Hankison, the Courier-Journal reported.
Extra security measures were being taken in anticipation of violent riots should Black Lives Matter demands that the officers involved be criminally charged not match the ruling of the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office.
Last week, city officials agreed to pay the family of Breonna Taylor $12 million and promised to institute police reforms in order to settle the wrongful death lawsuit against the city.