Breonna Taylor Ballistics Report Could Cast Doubt on AG's Claim

Report did not confirm Breonna Taylor's boyfriend fired the shot that hit cop
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2020 2:40 AM CDT
Ballistics Report Could Cast Doubt on Claim That Taylor's BF Shot Cop
In this Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020, file photo, people gather in Jefferson Square in Louisville, awaiting word on charges against police officers in the death of Breonna Taylor.   (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

Kentucky's attorney general said last week that his office's investigation into the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor ruled out friendly fire as the cause of the bullet that struck Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly. AG Daniel Cameron's conclusion, which he stated explicitly last week per Vice, is that Taylor's boyfriend Kenneth Walker fired the shot, thus prompting the officers, who had entered the home on a no-knock warrant, to return fire and ultimately kill Taylor. But, as the Louisville Courier-Journal reports, the Kentucky State Police ballistics report does not confirm that claim. The report says that "due to limited markings of comparative value," the bullet was neither "identified nor eliminated as having been fired" from Walker's gun.

Cameron also said former officer Brett Hankison was carrying a .40 caliber handgun and thus could not have fired the 9mm bullet that hit Mattingly. But one of Walker's attorneys says he has obtained Louisville Metro Police Department records that show Hankison had also been issued a 9mm. And a forensic scientist says photos of Mattingly's wound appear similar to wounds inflicted from close range, not 20 feet away like Walker was standing. He says a gunshot residue test should have been performed to determine the proximity of the shooter, but none appears to have been carried out. Charges against Walker have been dropped, though Vice notes he could be re-indicted. (More Breonna Taylor stories.)

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