Emergency room technician Breonna Taylor died during the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. But her death had nothing to do with the deadly virus.
Taylor was killed by policemen in Louisville, Kentucky, United States on March 13, 2020. She was 26.
At 12:43 a.m. that day, three plainclothes cops from the Louisville Metro Police Department namely Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove raided Taylor’s apartment in southwest Jefferson County in Kentucky, according to The Courier Journal. She and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker were asleep at the time.
During the raid, Mattingly, Hankison and Cosgrove were not wearing body cameras because they were using a no-knock warrant, which was obtained by LMPD detective Joshua Jaynes. They were conducting an investigation centered on Adrian Orlandes Walker, who is not related to Kenneth, and Taylor’s on-and-off boyfriend Jamarcus Cordell Glover.
The LMPD put a GPS tracker on Glover’s car, which showed him making regular trips to Taylor’s apartment complex. He and Adrian were suspected of selling drugs in a Russell neighborhood house on Elliott Avenue, which was more than 10 miles from her apartment.
With a battering ram, Mattingly, Hankison and Cosgrove entered the apartment. Taylor and Kenneth thought they were being broken into since the three LMPD cops were not in uniform.
A licensed gun owner, Kenneth wanted to protect Taylor so he grabbed a gun and fired in self-defense, hitting Mattingly in the leg. Mattingly and Cosgrove returned fire while Hankison blindly shot through the apartment’s window and patio door and some of the gunshots entered other apartments nearby.
No drugs were found there during the raid. Taylor was shot eight times and died in the hall of the apartment at 12:48 a.m.
After Taylor was shot, Kenneth made a two-minute 911 call, which was obtained by WLKY. He told the dispatcher, “Somebody kicked in the door and shot my girlfriend.”
“I don’t know,” Walker replied when the dispatcher asked him where Taylor had been shot. “She is on the ground right now. I don’t know. I don’t know.”
Both Kenneth and Taylor had no felony charges prior to the incident. They were not mentioned in the arrest warrant held by the cops who raided her apartment.
By 1 a.m. on that day, Kenneth was arrested and charged with first degree assault and attempted murder of a police officer. However, the prosecutors needed more evidence so the charge was dropped on May 22, 2020.
Both Hankison and Cosgrove are detectives while Mattingly is a sergeant. They are all white.
The fact that Taylor and Kenneth are African-American ignited issues surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement. Here are 13 facts about the late COVID-19 frontliner:
- She was born to Everett Taylor and Tamika Palmer in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. Palmer is a dialysis technician.
- In 1999, her father was convicted of murder after shooting a man who had failed to pay for a rock of crack cocaine. Since her father has been in jail since she was young, she was raised by her mother and her mother’s boyfriend Trory Herrod.
- In 2011, she graduated from Western High School in Louisville. In the same year, she attended the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky.
- In 2012, she and Kenneth started exchanging messages on Twitter. They started dating in 2016. In the same year, she started seeing Glover.
- In 2016, she worked at Frazier Rehabilitation Institute, part of the University of Louisville Health Hospital in Louisville as a patient care assistant. She also worked as an emergency medical technician for the city of Louisville from January 2016 to November 2016.
- She paid at least $7,500 in bail for Glover and an associate in 2017 and in 2019.
- From 2016 to 2020, she received 48 jailhouse calls from Glover and other prisoners. She told him during a phone call on January 3, 2020, “I was sleeping. I am so sorry.”
- In 2018, her younger sister Ju’Niyah Palmer moved in with her in Louisville and stayed in the second bedroom of her apartment. When she was shot to death, Ju’Niyah was in California, USA.
- Glover called her from jail after an arrest in January 2020. In the same month, she bought a new car, a Dodge Charger. The car was seen on multiple occasions at a trap house on 2424 Elliott Avenue, which the LMPD was investigating. She also planed to buy a house and have a baby with Kenneth.
- She was photographed in front of the trap house on 2424 Elliott Avenue in February 2020. In the same month, she cut ties with Glover and committed to Kenneth.
- An aspiring nurse, she enjoyed working in healthcare and had plans to further her studies. Helping with the COVID-19 response, she worked as a full-time ER technician for the University of Louisville Jewish Hospital in Louisville and as a pro re nata (PRN) nurse for Norton Healthcare in Louisville.
- In the evening of March 12, 2020, she and Kenneth had dinner at Texas Roadhouse on 3322 Outer Loop in Louisville before spending the rest of the night in her apartment. She was expecting a call from work at 11:00 p.m. but it did not come. In the apartment, she baked cookies, played Uno and watched “Freedom Writers” with Kenneth before they fell asleep.
- She was laid to rest at Spring Valley Funeral and Cremation in Louisville. Aside from her parents, her sister and her boyfriend, she is preceded in death by her grandmother Juanita Palmer, step-grandfather Darryl Frazier, aunt Shiesha Holloway, uncle Derrick Cannon and her cousin Preonia Flakes.