Fact check: Officer in Breonna Taylor killing not shot by friendly fire
The claim: An officer involved in Breonna Taylor's death was injured by a friendly fire
After Breonna Taylor's death, the facts of the case were mixed up when various false claims circulated online. Among them is an allegation that one of the officers shot dead was shot by a friendly fire.
"It is now believed that the policeman who was shot in the leg at the Breonna Taylor shootout was shot by" friendly fire "by his own officers," activist Shaun King tweeted.
“His partners arbitrarily emptied their clips and fired shots in three different apartments. You shot him, ”King continued. King also posted the same claim on Facebook.
One of the officers involved, Jonathan Mattingly, was shot in the leg after the police broke into Taylor's apartment. There is no evidence to support King's allegation that officers shot him. Rather, Kenneth Walker, Breonna Taylor's friend, fired the shot as a "warning," he later told investigators.
Lawyers for Taylor's family and Walker do not deny how Mattingly was injured that night.
Investigator interviews after Taylor's death
After Taylor's death on March 13, the Louisville Metro Police Department investigated the case. This included interviews with the officers involved and Walker.
Jefferson County's Commonwealth lawyer Tom Wine, who made part of the investigation public in late May, said the move was intended to correct the "misinformation" circulating about the case.
One of the claims Wine tried to dispel was that Mattingly was shot by his colleagues.
During his interview with investigators, Walker described how he heard loud knocking on the apartment door, but not calls that identified the people outside the door as police. Every statement by officials describes repeated knocking and shouting "Police!" before entering the apartment.
Walker said the investigators when the police entered the apartment shot "towards the floor" as "really just a warning shot. So if it were someone, they would run away or something."
The bullet hit Mattingly in the femoral artery in his leg, causing a potentially fatal injury. The officers entered the apartment via a battering ram and fired a wave of fire, some of which mortally wounded Taylor.
"Now the door flies open on one side and suddenly there are a lot of shots," Walker told the investigators. Walker claims he heard nothing when he fired the shot.
Walker does not deny firing a shot at the scene. Mattingly was quickly taken to the hospital for surgery.
Our verdict: wrong
Kenneth Walker does not deny going round the apartment to shoot what he thought were intruders. There is no evidence that Mattingly was shot by anyone other than Walker, and lawyers from Walker and Taylor's family have not contested the allegation. We rate the claim that a policeman involved in Breonna Taylor's death was injured by a friendly fire, FALSE because our investigation does not support this.
Our fact-checking sources:
Courier-Journal, What You Should Know About The Breonna Taylor Police Shot Investigation
Courier-Journal, "Sure, I was scared": Newly released police interviews highlight the Breonna Taylor case
Courier Journal, Who are the three Louisville officers involved in the Breonna Taylor shootout? What we know
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This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: Fact Check: Officer in Breonna Taylor doesn't kill by friendly fire
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