Recently released documents show that an internal investigation concluded the officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor should not have fired their weapons.
ABC News reports that Louisville Metro Police Department’s Professional Standards Unit concluded that the officers should have practiced de-escalation tactics instead of firing their weapons. That includes Sgt. John Mattingly, who was struck in the leg when Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Walker fired when the officers came through the door.
“They took a total of thirty-two shots when the provided circumstances made it unsafe to take a single shot. This is how the wrong person was shot and killed,” Sgt. Andrew Meyer wrote in the report.
In the report, Meyers made a preliminary finding that the three officers, Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove, and Brett Hankison, violated the department’s use-of-force policy. He concluded that deadly force should only have been used against Walker, the only one that presented a threat.
“Ms. Taylor’s safety should have been considered before he (Mattingly) returned fire,” Meyer wrote.
Hankison, the only officer charged for the shooting, pleaded not guilty to the charges in September. Even though he was charged, it was not for Taylor’s death. Instead, it was for firing into a neighboring apartment.
Cosgrove and Hankison were both fired for violating police department policy, but Mattingly was cleared of any wrongdoing. According to a department spokesperson, Mattingly informed the police department in April that he plans to retire on June 1