An investigation by the Louisville Courier Journal reveals that, according to multiple records, Breonna Taylor was alive for six minutes after police officers shot her in her own home. Taylor's boyfriend Kenneth Walker, who was arrested after the raid for shooting an officer in the leg out of self defense, said in an interview with police that Taylor was "coughing" and gasping for breath.
"(Police are) yelling like, 'Come out, come out,' and I'm on the phone with her (mom). I'm still yelling help because she's over here coughing and, like, I'm just freaking out," Walker said in a recorded police interview three hours after the shooting.
The Jefferson County coroner has disputed that account, telling the New York Times that Taylor likely died within a minute of being shot and couldn't have been saved.
However, records contradict this claim. According to dispatch logs obtained by the Courier Journal, for more than 20 minutes after Taylor was fatally shot at approximately 12:43 a.m. by Louisville officers, the 26-year-old lay where she fell in her hallway, receiving no medical attention,
"Breonna, who was unarmed in her hallway, was struck by several rounds of gunfire. She was not killed immediately," attorneys Sam Aguiar and Lonita Baker wrote in a revised lawsuit filed on behalf of Taylor's family. "Rather, she lived for another five to six minutes before ultimately succumbing to her injuries on the floor of her home."
Taylor's family has alleged in a court filing that for "more than five minutes," she was still breathing and "fought for her life."
The Courier Journal reviewed multiple documents to recreate the minutes that followed Taylor's shooting, looking at search warrants, arrest citations, Taylor's death certificate and the coroner's news release, dispatch logs and court filings, as well as recorded police interviews with Mattingly and Walker.
A new court filing made by the attorneys representing Breonna Taylor’s family on Sunday (July 5) claims the 26-year-old was alive for up to six minutes after she was shot by police officers but never given medical assistance.
According to the New York Times, the document also contends that the March 13 shooting was motivated by Louisville’s Mayor Greg Fischer’s desire to clear a block in one of the city’s most blighted neighborhoods for redevelopment.
The docs say Breonna’s home was raided by police because there was "a political need to clear out a street for a large real estate development project" and that “a newly formed, rogue police unit” was created to violate “all levels of policy, protocol and policing standards.”
The family also claims that less than a month after Taylor’s death and over a three-week period, eight homes in her neighborhood were demolished in an effort to speed up a multi-million dollar development plan.
City officials called the claims by Taylor’s family a “gross mischaracterization,” and referenced the coroner who performed the autopsy to indicate that Breonna’s injuries would have been lethal regardless of medical treatment.
The new 31-page complaint presents a new narrative of events leading up to the raid, which it calls “wanton” and “reckless,” and tries to fill in the details of how Taylor died at the hands of police.
According to Taylor’s death certificate she was struck by five bullets.
“In the six minutes that elapsed from the time Breonna was shot, to the time she died, we have no evidence suggesting that any officer made entry in an attempt to check and assist her,” Sam Aguiar, the family’s lawyer, said to the NY Times. “She suffered."
Since Taylor’s shooting, the City of Louisville has banned “no-knock” warrants. Only Brett Hankison, one of the three officers involved in her death have been fired. However, none have been officially charged in her killing.
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