Kenneth Walker, boyfriend of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old Black EMT who was fatally shot by Louisville, Ky., police in her own home earlier this year, said he was told by a police officer moments after her death that it was “unfortunate” he hadn’t been hit as well.
Walker opened up about the events that took place the March night of the botched police raid at his girlfriend’s apartment in an interview with CBS News on Wednesday.
“To the world, she’s just a hashtag, a picture and all of that,” Walker began. “But to me, it was much more. More than a girlfriend too, I think that’s what I want the world to know the most — my best friend.”
“The most important person to me on Earth, and they took her,” he said.
#EXCLUSIVE: Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker talks to @GayleKing about the night police raided her home as part of a narcotics investigation into Breonna’s ex-boyfriend. Neither Walker nor Taylor has a criminal history and no illegal drugs were found in the home. pic.twitter.com/4qvYpMjieG
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) October 14, 2020
Walker said in the interview that he and Taylor shared a “relaxed” day in the hours leading up to the police raid that resulted in her death on March 13. He said they had gone on a date and later watched a movie at home before going to bed.
“There was a loud bang at the door,” Walker said, adding that no one responded when he and Taylor repeatedly asked, “Who is it?”
A trio of plainclothes police officers had arrived to execute a no-knock search warrant targeting Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, who was not present.
However, Walker, along with a number of neighbors, have pushed back on that claim. During the interview this week, he said he is certain “nobody identified themselves.”
As the police forced their way into the apartment, Walker said he and Taylor got dressed and that he grabbed a firearm, which he is licensed to carry.
“That was the one time I had to use it,” he told the CBS, saying that as the door was being taken off its hinges, he fired one shot as a warning. “I’m figuring if somebody’s trying to break in or something, they’re not going to want to do anything after that.”
“And after that, I don’t think I ever heard so many gunshots, like all at the same time. I’ve never been to war but I assume that’s probably what war sounds like,” he said, adding that he didn’t realize Taylor had been shot until roughly into “the middle of all the gunfire,” when she screamed.
“I was holding her hand … I pulled her down to the ground, but, you know, she was just scared. So, she just didn’t get down,” Walker recalled.
Shortly after, Walker said he called his mother and then 911 to report the incident. In audio of the second call, he can be heard telling the operator in distress, “I don’t know what is happening, somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend.”
“I didn’t know it was the police … if I knew who it was I would have said the police. I wouldn’t have called the police on the police,” he said in the interview.
Walker said he heard talking outside moments later, which he thought was the police coming to help him. But to his surprise, when he went outside, there were guns pointed at him.
Walker said he was “threatened with dogs” and an officer asked him if he was “hit by any bullets.”
“I said no, he said, ‘That’s unfortunate,” Walker recalled. “So, that threw me off too. So, I’m like what’s he mean by that?”
Walker said not long after police took him down the street with no shoes or socks on and he was placed into the back of a car.
No drugs were uncovered as part of the raid, and neither Taylor nor Walker reportedly have a criminal history.
“When we finally left the scene, we pulled over in like a random parking lot … down the street from Breonna’s apartment, and another officer in an unmarked car, and he wasn’t in uniform and stuff, and he came into my window. But his tone was way different than everybody else’s who was just on the scene,” Walker said.
“He told me that this was a misunderstanding and we’re going to get to bottom of it and asking me do I need anything, did I need water and this and that,” he continued.
During his interview this week, Walker said that he didn’t find out about Taylor’s death directly from officers, saying he learned she died from the news while in jail.
“I never really got told, like directly. I saw it on the news … I was in the cell and it was like on the news and it said, ‘one female dead,’” he said.
The interview comes weeks after a Kentucky grand jury decided not to charge any of the police officers involved in the killing of Taylor with her death. One of the three, officer Brett Hankison, faces three lesser counts of wanton endangerment for shots that traveled into a neighboring apartment.