The police officer who fired shots at Breonna Taylor during a “no-knock” search warrant raid of her home in Louisville, Kentucky is retiring.
The announcement was confirmed by police spokesperson Beth Ruoff who said Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly plans to retire from the Louisville Metro Police Department on June 1, the Los Angeles Times reported. Mattingly, who spent 20 years with the department, will be due his full pension.
“I’ve never taken lightly the responsibility that comes along with serving the great citizens of Louisville,” his statement read. “It’s my hope and prayer, that moving forward, our city can heal and unite. My plan was not to move on from this calling, but in the best interest of my family, the time has come.”
“I have great faith in the men and women of LMPD, who selflessly give of themselves, to continue to serve this community in a professional and unbiased manner,” his statement continued.
The Los Angeles Times reported that during the fatal March 13, 2020, encounter at Taylor’s apartment, Mattingly was shot in the leg by her boyfriend Kenneth Walker who said he thought an intruder was breaking in. Taylor, 26, was killed during the crossfire when the officers started firing shots. Mattingly fired six of the 32 shots.
According to the Associated Press, Mattingly had been shot in the femoral artery during the incident but has since recovered.
Taylor’s death sparked immediate waves of protests across the country.
News of the 48-year-old’s retirement comes after Mattingly originally sued Walker, citing “emotional distress.” He’s also recently faced widespread criticism and sparked outrage over the announcement of a book, “The Fight for Truth: The Inside Story Behind the Breonna Taylor Tragedy,” in an effort to detail the deadly incident, as Blavity previously reported. Independent publisher Post Hill said it still intends to release it, according to The New York Times.
To the many people who have protested against and witnessed the recent killings of Black men and women at the hands of police officers in 2020 alone, Mattingly’s announcement is long overdue and may not be enough.
At the end of March, Mattingly was reprimanded by the Louisville police chief for an email he sent to his peers in September 2020, NBC News reported. In the letter, he said he and the other officers “did the legal, moral and ethical thing that night.”
“It’s sad how the good guys are demonized, and criminals are canonized,” Mattingly wrote.
The officer said in his statement announcing his departure from the police force, that the issue “played no role in this decision” to retire.
This week the U.S. Justice Department announced an investigation into the police department, NPR reported.
Two other officers who fired shots the night of March 13, 2020, have since been fired from the police department. One of the officers, Brett Hankison, is facing endangerment charges for firing into Taylor’s neighbor’s apartment.