Breonna Taylor's Boyfriend Kenneth Walker Says Officer Told Him It Was 'Unfortunate' He Wasn't Shot
By CBS News
CBS This Morning
Breonna Taylor's boyfriend Kenneth Walker said the pair had been watching a movie in bed when police raided the apartment as part of a narcotics investigation, and shot Taylor dead.
"To the world she's just a hashtag, a picture, and all of that," he told CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King. "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. That was my best friend… The most important person pretty much to me on Earth. And they took her."
Neither Walker nor Taylor have criminal histories, and no illegal drugs were found at the scene. The officers had been investigating Taylor's ex-boyfriend, who did not live at her address. On the night of March 13 they entered the apartment using a no-knock warrant.
He recounted the events leading up to Taylor's death in painstaking detail.
"It was a normal day… you know, we went on a date, we went out to eat," Walker recalled. He said they had gone back home to play Uno and watch a movie.
Later, according to Walker, there was "a loud bang at the door."
"Nobody was responding, and we were saying 'Who is it?' You know," he said.
Walker said they repeated the phrase several times but got no answer.
"I'm a million percent sure that nobody identified themselves," he said. "if they had knocked on the door and say who it was, we could hear them. It was dead silent."
Feeling "deathly afraid," Walker said they got up to put on clothes amid heavy knocking to make themselves "decent to answer the door."
"Then I grab my gun," he said.
A licensed gun owner, Walker said the moment was "the one time" he had to use it.
"If it was the police at the door and they just said, 'We're the police," me or Breonna didn't have a reason at all not to open the door to see what they wanted," Walker said.
The door flew off its hinges. Walker fired a single shot, thinking he was defending the apartment during a home invasion.
Then police opened fire. Walker said he never heard so many gunshots at the same time.
"I've never been to war. But I assume that's what war probably sounds like," he said.
Three officers combined fired 32 shots into the apartment, with "bullets coming in every direction," Walker said.
He had been holding Taylor's hand during the gunfire when he heard her scream.
"I pulled her down to the ground. But, you know, she was scared so she just didn't get down," he said.
When the gunfire stopped, Walker said Taylor was alive and bleeding. He called his mother as he held her.
"I told her that somebody just kicked in the door and shot Breonna. And she's freaking out at this point. But she told me to call 911. So I did," Walker said.
The gut-wrenching 911 call has since been made public. Walker's voice can be heard telling the operator that someone "kicked in the door" and shot his girlfriend.
He said if he knew it was the police who broke in, he would not have called the police for help.
"That doesn't even make sense," he said.
Walker said he hung up on 911 and called Taylor's mother.
"I don't think I realized that it was the police until I was on the phone with Breonna's mom," Walker said. "I thought they was, you know, coming for help. 'Cause I called 911."
Thinking the people outside were their rescuers, Walker went to them, only to face guns drawn and threats of "dogs and whatever else."
Walker said an officer asked him if he was hit with any bullets. When he said no, the officer replied "That's unfortunate."
"I didn't know what to think, and I really wasn't worried about me," he said. "Only reason I'm even out here is because only way for her to get help in there is for me to be out here."
Body camera footage from that night shows Walker outside with police, telling them he and Taylor were scared and did not know who was at the door. Officers, ignoring his pleas, ordered him to "Walk."
He said they dragged him down the street barefoot to the squad car "on gravel, rocks and everything." Walker said he still has the scabs on his feet.
Rather than being taken to the police station, the car pulled over in what Walker calls "a random parking lot." He said they were met with an unmarked car and a plainclothes officer, who addressed him in a tone that was "way different" than the officers at the scene.
The officer told Walker there had been a "miscommunication." He asked him if there was anything Walker needed.
At the station, Walker was permitted to walk freely without handcuffs on — he said that was the point he knew "something's wrong."
"You don't allegedly shoot a police officer… and they take the handcuffs off," he said.
Rather than being surprised to hear he was accused of shooting an officer, Walker was concerned about whether Taylor was okay.
Police charged him with attempted murder of a police officer, but never told him directly that Taylor was killed. Those charges against Walker have since been dropped.
"I was in the cell and it was, like, on the news… And they said one, you know, female dead," 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
Months later, a grand jury did not charge any of the officers involved directly in Taylor's death. One officer, Brett Hankison, was charged with wanton endangerment for stray bullets that penetrated a neighbor's walls. Hankison plead guilty to all three counts.
Walker said he never knew the condition Breonna Taylor was in when he was taken away, but said body camera footage that has since been released shows law enforcement "did nothing" as she died.
SWAT team video shows officers calling the area "a crime scene."
"Let's go ahead and move out. Alright, she's done," an officer can be heard saying.
"They're still, like, casing the apartment with her laying right there on the ground," Walker said. "Disrespectful."
Taylor's death at the hands of police sparked nationwide outrage, and was one of a series of recent documented police shootings of Black Americans that prompted Black Lives Matter protests across the country.
However, Walker believes that if he had been killed alongside Taylor that night, the public would "definitely not" be hearing her story.
"You probably wouldn't even know about it. If I didn't live, you probably wouldn't even know about Breonna Taylor," he said.
Asked what he wants the world to know about Breonna Taylor now, Walker answered that "she would have done anything for anybody."
"She took care of a lot of people," he said. "So a lot of people, they need her bad right now, including me."
This story was originally published by CBS News on Oct. 14, 2020 at 11:24 a.m. ET.