On March 13, 2020, Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old African-American emergency medical technician, was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers. Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly, Detective Brett Hankison, and Detective Myles Cosgrove forced entry into her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky under the authority of a search warrant. Gunfire was exchanged between Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, and LMPD officers. Walker said he believed that the officers were intruders. The LMPD officers fired over twenty shots, Taylor was shot eight times and Mattingly was injured by gunfire. Another police officer and an LMPD lieutenant were on the scene when the warrant was executed.
The LMPD investigation was searching for two people who were already in police custody and suspected of selling controlled substances from a drug house more than 10 miles (16 km) away. One of the people in custody, Jamarcus Glover, had a prior relationship with Taylor. The search warrant included Taylor’s residence because it was suspected of receiving drugs in the case and because a car registered to Taylor had been seen parked on several occasions in front of Glover’s house. No drugs were found in the apartment.
Walker was licensed to carry a firearm and fired first, injuring a law enforcement officer, whereupon police returned fire into the apartment with more than 20 rounds. According to a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the police by the Taylor family’s attorney, the officers entered the home without knocking or announcing that they were police officers, and allegedly opened fire “with a total disregard for the value of human life.”