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Breonna Taylor: Police officer sues shot black woman’s boyfriend

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image copyrightLMPD

image captionPolice officer Jonathan Mattingly (centre) was shot during the raid in March

A police officer involved in the fatal shooting of black woman Breonna Taylor has sued her boyfriend for emotional distress, assault and battery.

Jonathan Mattingly was one of three officers who took part in a raid on Ms Taylor’s home in Kentucky in March.

Boyfriend Kenneth Walker said he feared they were intruders and allegedly fired a shot injuring Mr Mattingly. Returning fire, the police killed Ms Taylor.

Mr Walker’s lawyer condemned the civil lawsuit as “baseless”.

Ms Taylor’s death has been one of a number of incidents that have spurred protests in the US and around the world by the Black Lives Matter movement, amid wider calls for police reform.

The incident took place in March during a night-time drugs raid by police on an apartment in Louisville, Kentucky where Ms Taylor was staying with Mr Walker.

In an interview with police, Mr Walker said he believed at the time that Ms Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, had broken in, according to the New York Times.

image copyrightFacebook

image captionBreonna Taylor, 26, was a decorated emergency medical technician

Ms Taylor’s family sued Louisville authorities in May and reached a $12m (£9.4m) settlement.

What does the latest lawsuit say?

In a statement, Mr Mattingly’s lawyer alleged that his gunshot wound nearly killed him, and as a result he was “entitled to, and should, use the legal process to seek a remedy for the injury that Walker has caused”.

Mr Mattingly is one of three Louisville Metropolitan Police officers who prosecutors say were cleared of murder charges by a grand jury last month. One officer has been indicted and fired from the police force.

media captionBreonna Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker describes the night she was killed by police

Mr Walker was initially arrested and charged with attempted murder, but the suit was later dropped. He is currently suing Louisville police and seeking immunity from prosecution under Kentucky’s “Stand Your Ground” law.

The controversial legislation grants people the right to defend themselves, with lethal force if necessary, if they believe they are under the threat of bodily harm or death.

“If Kenny can be sued for defending himself, make no mistake, all lawful gun owners’ rights are at risk. And that should scare everyone,” his lawyer told the Louisville Courier Journal newspaper.

Why did officers storm the home?

On the night of the raid, police were executing a search warrant as part of a drugs investigation.

The warrant obtained by police included Ms Taylor’s name and address. Authorities believed Mr Glover was involved in a drug ring and had used her apartment to hide narcotics.

No drugs were found at the property, though Jefferson County Prosecutor Thomas Wine said the search was cancelled after the shooting.

image copyrightReuters

image captionThe grand jury ruling last month reignited protests in Kentucky

Mr Glover was arrested for drug possession on the night of Breonna Taylor’s death.

He has said that prosecutors pressed him to name Ms Taylor as a “co-defendant” in the case against him.

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