Louisville, KY – Louisville Metropolitan Police Department (LMPD) officers arrested 87 protesters trespassing in the front yard of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron on Tuesday at the request of the state’s top law enforcement official.
A large group of protesters marched through the Greymoor-Devondale neighborhood at about 4 p.m. on July 14 and stopped on Bedford Lane at the home of the attorney general, the Courier Journal reported.
A sit-in led by fringe-left Muslim activist Linda Sarsour ensued on Cameron’s lawn as confused neighbors watched from their windows.
“We want you all to know that you may see us often in your neighborhood,” Sarsour told the neighbors through a megaphone. “We are here to hold Daniel Cameron accountable and make sure that he does his job, because he is not doing his job.”
The protesters sang “We Shall Overcome” and chanted “Say her name, Breonna Taylor,” the Courier Journal reported.
The protesters, many of whom were affiliated with Sarsour’s group Until Freedom, locked arms and demanded that the attorney general press charges against the officers involved in the death of Taylor.
Police ordered protesters to disperse and began arresting people for trespassing at the request of the attorney general at about 5 p.m., the Courier Journal reported.
— Joel Schipper (@JSchipperWDRB) July 14, 2020
Taylor was killed in an incident with police in the 300-block of Springfield Drive at approximately 1 a.m. on March 13, when Louisville Metropolitan Police Criminal Interdiction Division Sergeant John Mattingly, Detective Myles Cosgrove, and Officer Brett Hankison arrived at Taylor’s residence to execute a search warrant pertaining to a narcotics investigation, LMPD Public Integrity Unit Spokesperson Ted Eidem said during a press conference at the time, according to WDRB.
The plan was to serve the no-knock search warrant at the same time other members of the Criminal Interdiction Division were serving an arrest warrant for Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, at his home on Elliott Avenue, 10 miles away, the Courtier Journal reported.
LMPD suspected Glover had been selling drugs out of his residence on Elliott Avenue but using Taylor’s address to receive mail, store drugs, or stash money he made selling drugs, the Courier-Journal reported.
LMPD Detective Joshua Jaynes said in an affidavit summarizing the investigation for the warrants that officers had seen Glover go into Taylor apartment in January and leave with a “suspected USPS package in his right hand.”
The affidavit said Glover went from Taylor’s apartment to a “known drug house” on Muhammad Ali Boulevard, the Courier-Journal reported.
Det. Jaynes said he was able to verify through the U.S. Postal Service that Glover had in fact been receiving packages at Taylor’s address.
“Affiant knows through training and experience that it is not uncommon for drug traffickers to receive mail packages at different locations to avoid detection from law enforcement,” he wrote in the affidavit, according to the Courier-Journal.
Sam Aguiar, an attorney for Taylor’s family, said Taylor had dated Glover two years earlier and maintained a “passive friendship” with him.
But officers reported seeing Taylor’s vehicle parked in front of Glover’s home on Elliott Avenue multiple times in 2020, and said that as of February, Glover was listing Taylor’s apartment as his “current home address,” the Courier-Journal reported.
The Criminal Interdiction Division officers executed the warrant on Taylor’s residence in plainclothes with no cameras.
Chief Conrad said some members of the Criminal Interdiction Division do not wear bodycams.
The officers said that they knocked on Taylor’s door repeatedly and announced their presence before forcing their way inside, WDRB reported.
They were “immediately met by gunfire,” Eidem said.
Sgt. Mattingly was shot in the upper thigh during the attack, lacerating his femoral artery, WHAS reported.
The officers immediately returned fire as they made their way to safety, according to WDRB.
The gunman, 27-year-old Kenneth Walker, ultimately surrendered to police.
When the LMPD’s SWAT team searched the residence, they located 26-year-old Breonna Taylor unresponsive inside, WDRB reported.
Taylor had been fatally shot during the exchange of gunfire.
Sgt. Mattingly was rushed to the hospital and taken into surgery, WDRB reported.
He is expected to make a full recovery.
Walker was booked into jail on a charge of attempted murder of a police officer, and his bond was initially set at $250,000.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge the following day, and was later released to home incarceration, according to WDRB.
No drugs were found inside Taylor’s home.
Records showed that police who served the arrest warrant on Glover at the Elliott Avenue address at about the same time recovered “several ounces of suspected crack cocaine, marijuana, and U.S. currency,” the Courier-Journal reported.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced on June 19 that he was in the process of terminating Officer Hankison for his role in the incident, according to the Courier Journal.
LMPD Interim Chief Robert Schroeder alleged that Officer Hankison “blindly” fired 10 rounds into Taylor’s home during the March 13 raid, in violation of the department’s use of force and obedience to rules and regulations policies, according to the termination letter he sent to the officer.
Officer Hankison fired through windows covered with blinds after another officer was shot by a man on the inside of the residence.
“I find your conduct a shock to the conscience,” Chief Schroeder continued. “I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion.”
The chief said that the officer’s actions “seriously impedes the Department’s goal of providing the citizens of our city with the most professional law enforcement agency possible,” according to the Courier Journal.
“I cannot tolerate this type of conduct by any member of the Louisville Metro Police Department,” Chief Schroeder declared. “Your conduct demands your termination.”
The department is investigating the other officers who were there but has not yet fired them.
Protests kicked off in early May over the shooting of Taylor, but demonstrations turned violent and multiple people were shot during the riots that followed the death of George Floyd in the custody of the Minneapolis police.
Cameron said Tuesday after the sit-in on his lawn that “a thorough and fair investigation” was underway, the New York Daily News reported.
“The stated goal of today’s protest at my home was to ‘escalate,’” the attorney general told reporters. ‘That is not acceptable and only serves to further division and tension within our community.”
“Justice is not achieved by trespassing on private property, and it’s not achieved through escalation,” he said. “It’s achieved by examining the facts in an impartial and unbiased manner. That is exactly what we are doing and will continue to do in this investigation.”