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Officer involved in Breonna Taylor shooting sends email to colleagues ahead of expected announcement

Jon Mattingly, one of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, wrote a letter to his colleagues taking aim at city officials amid speculation that a decision will soon be reached in the case of Taylor’s death.

The letter, which Mattingly confirmed to local media he sent to his colleagues in the wee hours of Tuesday, started off by calling out Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (D) as well Amy Hess, who serves as the city’s public safety chief, and former LMPD Chief Steve Conrad, who was fired in June following the shooting of David McAtee. 

Mattingly wrote that all three officials “failed all of us in epic proportions for their own gain and to cover their asses.” 

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He also went after protesters, some of whom he described as “thugs” in the email, and said he would be praying for his colleagues’ safety this week, hours after LMPD Interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder declared a state of emergency for the department in anticipation of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s (R) expected announcement in the case of Taylor’s death.

“DO NOT give the pencil pushers at the top, you know the ones who are too scared to hold the line, a reason to open investigations on you. The same ones that couldn’t make decisions to save their lives,” Mattingly stated in the letter. “We need leaders that lead from the front and not in a room under a desk. Do what you need to do to go home you your family. Just do it with dignity and make sure you can justify your actions because everything down there is recorded.”

Taylor was a 26-year-old Black EMT who was fatally shot in her own apartment in Louisville in March by local police. Three officers — Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove — had arrived at her home in plainclothes to execute a no-knock warrant as part of drug case.

At the time, Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, had been sleeping. When the officers entered their home, Walker, who is licensed to carry, fired shots, believing that the unidentified officers were intruders. The officers returned fire, fatally striking Taylor. 

The warrant had been obtained as part of a drug investigation targeting Taylor’s ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover. However, no drugs were uncovered at Taylor’s apartment.

Her death and the police killings of George Floyd and other Black Americans have sparked months of protests against police brutality and racial injustice in Louisville and across the country.

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The case has also gotten more publicity in recent months as a growing number of politicians and celebrities have joined public calls for the officers involved in the shooting to be charged.

So far only one officer, Hankinson, has been fired; Mattingly and Cosgrove were put on administrative reassignment.

Reports first emerged earlier this month that Cameron would be presenting findings in the case to a grand jury, though details on the timeline have not been released.

When explaining local restrictions and safety measures being in put place in Louisville this week ahead of expected demonstrations, Schroeder said at a press conference on Tuesday that the department does not have any information regarding when Cameron will be “making any announcements or what any announcements will be.”

“We are merely taking steps will feel are necessary to protect the public, the businesses and the property in the downtown area in advance of any decision,” he said. 

In his letter to his colleagues on Tuesday, Mattingly said he wished he could be there with them "leading the charge" and added, "Regardless of the outcome today or Wednesday, I know we did the legal, moral and ethical thing that night."

“Remember you are just a pawn in the Mayor's political game. I’m proof they do not care about you or your family, and you are replaceable,” he also wrote. 

The Hill has reached out to Fischer’s office for comment. 

Schroeder was also pressed about Mattingly’s email at the press conference on Tuesday.

“It’s a little premature to talk about that. It’s something developing, so we’ll have something out later,” he said.