Jonathan Mattingly, 37, sent a six-paragraph email to more than 1,000 of his fellow Louisville Metro Police Department officers at 2:09 a.m. on September 22, 2020. In the message, he defended his actions on March 13, 2020 when he and his colleagues Brett Hankison, 44, and Myles Cosgrove, 42, raided Breonna Taylor‘s apartment in southwest Jefferson County in Kentucky, United States.
Taylor is African-American while Mattingly, Hankison and Cosgrove are white. Her death is one of the factors that ignited the Black Lives Matter protests in the U.S. while the country is battling against the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We all signed up to be police officers,” Mattingly wrote to his colleagues. “We knew the risks and were willing to take them but we always assumed the city had your back. We wanted to do the right thing in the midst of an evil world to protect those who cannot protect themselves, to enforce laws that make it possible to live in a peaceful society.”
“We as police do not care if you are black, white, Hispanic, Asian, what you identify as… this week,” Mattingly continued. “We aren’t better than anyone. This is not an us against society but it is good versus evil. We are sons, daughters, husbands, wives, partners, brothers, sisters, dads and moms. We are human beings with flaws, feelings and emotions.”
While trying to search Taylor’s apartment, Mattingly, Hankison and Cosgrove fired their weapons after her boyfriend Kenneth Walker, 27, fired a shot. In the process, she was killed while Mattingly was shot in the leg.
For Mattingly, what he, Hankison and Cosgrove did that night was “legal, moral and ethical.” Despite being condemned by Black Lives Matter protesters, he is still proud to be a police officer but he is sad because “criminals are canonized” while “the good guys are demonized.”
In the email, Mattingly accused Louisville mayor Greg Fischer, Louisville public safety chief Amy Hess and former Louisville Metro Police Department chief Steve Conrad of failing all of the department’s police officers “in epic proportions for their own gain and to cover their asses.” Mattingly sent the email to his colleagues to express “his support for them and their work in these difficult times” and he is “hopeful this process moves forward quickly and that his fellow officers and the people of Louisville remain safe,” his lawyer Kent Wicker told the Louisville Courier Journal.