‘This is not kneeling on a neck': Officer from Breonna Taylor raid claims he was ‘just doing his job’ when she was shot dead

Gino Spocchia
·2 min read
Officer involved in Breonna Taylor shooting has spoken out (REUTERS)
Officer involved in Breonna Taylor shooting has spoken out (REUTERS)

An officer involved in the police raid that opened fire on Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend has said the black woman’s death had “nothing to do with race,” as he defended his actions.

Speaking on Tuesday, Kentucky police sergeant Jonathan Mattingly said Taylor’s death on 13 March could not be compared to other incidents in which black Americans were killed.

"This is not relatable to George Floyd. This is nothing like that," Mattingly told ABC News and the Louisville Courier Journal. "It's not Ahmaud Arbery. It's nothing like it. These are two totally different types of incidences,"

Mattingly, who with two other plainclothes officers forced their way into Taylor’s apartment with a “no-knock” warrant, was shot by the 26-year-old’s boyfriend.

They officers then opened fire, killing Taylor, whose death sparked demonstrations over police actions in Louisville.

Still, Mattingly denied comparisons with Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on the neck of George Floyd until he could not breathe, in another case that caused nationwide unrest this summer.

“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,” he added, in comparison to Chauvin.

Mattingly, who was not charged for Taylor’s death in a decision last month, said Louisville’s mayor and police department should have spoken-out about the case as protests over Floyd took place.

“It's been excruciating. When you have the truth right there in your hands and everything else is getting crammed around you, it's frustrating,” he said, having called comparisons with Floyd “disinformation”.

Kentucky’s attorney general, Daniel Cameron, had been criticised for not seeking charges in Taylor's death, although such convictions against officers are uncommon.