“Breonna Taylor is now attached to me for the rest of my life,” says Sgt. Jon Mattingly, one of the officers who was involved in the botched raid that ended Taylor’s life.
In a Good Morning America interview released this morning with co-anchor Michael Strahan, Mattingly provides his recollection of the evening and tells his side of the story. The platform he’s been given provides him a space to carve out his own facts, this is the first time he’s spoken out in the past seven months.
Below we’re sharing the biggest takeaways from his interview.
During the interview, Mattingly expresses that when the team of seven officers reached the porch of Taylor’s apartment, a neighbor came out and began arguing with Hankinson. He remembers the neighbor saying something close to, “‘She’s a good girl, leave her alone.” The officers were aiming to find money and drugs that could be linked to an ongoing investigation into Jamarcus Glover, Taylor’s ex-boyfriend.
He then shared before entering the apartment, the officers announced themselves. But, according to 12 witnesses including Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, the officers did not. Once the officers entered the apartment by force, he said he saw two figures at the end of the hall. Following this moment, he claims he heard a shot and felt a burning sensation in his leg. Walker reportedly shot him with a “warning shot,” this led to Mattingly shooting four return shots. This led to 32 shots ringing off, these shots led to Taylor’s death. He also adds here that if the seven officers stormed in with a no-knock warrant, that Taylor would still be alive today.
He alleges he didn’t learn of her death until the morning after the raid when he was out of surgery for his injury. Mattingly makes it clear that it was a mistake to assume Taylor was at her apartment alone. He also notes that he believes she’d be alive if the officers had given her and Walker more time to collect themselves.
At one point, Mattingly shares empathy for Taylor’s family. But, he also manages to throw in bigoted ideals in regards to violence inflicted on African Americans. “It’s not a race thing like people want to try to make it out to be. It’s not. This is a point where we were doing our job, we gave too much time when we go in, I get shot, we returned fire,” he said. “This is not us going, hunting somebody down. This is not kneeling on a neck. It’s nothing like that.” It’s difficult to stomach these sentences as anything less than racist.
Mattingly’s depiction of George Floyd was also alarming. “This is not relatable to George Floyd. This is nothing like that.” He added, “It’s not Ahmaud Arbery. It’s nothing like it. These are two totally different types of incidences.”
This blatant erasure clarifies the officer’s viewpoints and could point to the fact that he doesn’t value Black bodies. The publicized deaths that have driven protestors and activists to organize throughout generations are not isolated incidents.
Immediately after the Good Morning America interview aired, users on Twitter began sharing their take on it. There were quite a few reactions that stood out, you can read a few of them below.
At the moment, a grand juror who was granted the ability to speak out about the case has divulged that the grand jury “didn’t agree that [Taylor’s] fatal shooting was justified,” per NBC. This news comes after a Kentucky judge ordered records in the proceedings to be released.
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