Charges have been dropped against Kenneth Walker, a legal gun owner in Kentucky who fired at police officers who fatally shot his girlfriend, Breonna Taylor, in the couple’s home.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine said Friday that a grand jury did not have sufficient evidence to indict Walker on charges of attempted murder of a police officer and assault.
On March 13, Louisville Metro police served a late-night, no-knock drug warrant at Walker and Taylor’s home. Walker, who says he feared intruders, fired at police and struck one officer in the femoral artery. Police returned fire, shooting Taylor eight times and killing her. They found no drugs in the home.
Despite having a no-knock warrant, officers did knock, both authorities and Walker himself testified. Walker said that when he and Taylor heard someone at their door around midnight, they feared it was an ex-boyfriend. He said police didn’t identify themselves.
“First thing [Taylor] said was, ‘Who is it?’ No response. ‘Who is it?’ loud, at the top of her lungs, no response,” Walker told police in audio released Friday. “So I’m like what the heck? So I grab my gun, it’s legal, I have a license to carry, I’ve never even fired my gun outside of a range. There’s another knock at the door, she’s yelling at the top of her lungs, and I am too, at this point, ‘Who is it?’”
Police said they announced themselves. Wine said there may have been a miscommunication that turned deadly.
“It’s very possible there was no criminal activity on either side of the door because neither could hear what the other party was saying,” Wine said at the press conference.
Walker’s attorney has cited Kentucky’s stand-your-ground law as an early reason to dismiss the charges. Asked Friday if that law makes it dangerous to serve no-knock warrants, Wine said the potential conflict between the two would have to be considered.
“That’s the great debate,” Wine said. “It certainly does create a problem.”
Taylor’s family has filed a lawsuit against the department, and Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) has called for an investigation of Taylor’s death.
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