'Criminals Are Canonized,' Says Cop in Breonna Taylor Shooting

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly complains about 'thugs,' much more in email to colleagues
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2020 9:20 AM CDT
Cop in Breonna Taylor Shooting: We Did the 'Moral' Thing
Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly.   (Louisville Metro Police Department via WHAS)

Louisville is holding its breath, as is Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, one of three officers involved in the Breonna Taylor shooting, who could face charges with a grand jury decision. His words, however, are flowing. On Tuesday, Mattingly penned an email to 1,000-plus colleagues in which he defended his actions on March 13. "Regardless of the outcome ... I know we did the legal, moral, and ethical thing that night," he wrote, per NBC News. "It's sad how the good guys are demonized, and criminals are canonized." Taylor, 26, was killed as police served a no-knock warrant at her home, which her ex-boyfriend, a convicted drug dealer, had identified as his own residence. Taylor's boyfriend claims officers didn't identify themselves. The licensed gun owner fired a shot, striking Mattingly in the thigh. Officer Brett Hankison "blindly" fired 10 of more than 20 shots, per the Washington Post.

Hankinson was fired in June. Mattingly and another officer, Myles Cosgrove, are on administrative leave pending an internal investigation, per the Post. Protesters have been calling for the arrests of all three. "These next few days are going to be tough," wrote Mattingly, 47. He advised officers to de-escalate tensions if possible and "make sure you can justify your actions because everything ... is recorded" and the department will "go after you for civil rights violations." He added Mayor Greg Fischer, Public Safety Chief Amy Hess, and former Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad "failed all of us in epic proportions for their own gain and to cover their asses," leaving officers in a position "that allows thugs to get in your face." "I'm proof they do not care about you or your family, and you are replaceable," he wrote. "I'll be praying for your safety." (A state of emergency has been declared.)

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