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Charges against Breonna Taylor's boyfriend dropped for now

Taylor was killed by police executing a search warrant. The boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired his weapon, injuring an officer.
Image: Breonna Taylor, Kenneth Walker
Breonna Taylor, Kenneth Walker.Nightly News

The top prosecutor in Jefferson County, Kentucky, on Friday said he asked a court to dismiss attempted murder and assault charges against the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor, a woman killed by police during the execution of a search warrant.

Kenneth Walker, 27, opened fire, striking and injuring a Louisville Metro Police Department sergeant during the March 13 drug raid that was part of an investigation that included Taylor, 26.

Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Wine said he's asking a court to dismiss the pending grand jury indictment against Walker until investigations by the FBI, the U.S. Attorney's office and the state attorney general's office could be completed.

"If after those reviews we believe there is sufficient evidence to present this matter to the grand jury, we will do so," Wine said at a news conference.

The grand jury in the case was not informed by police that Taylor was killed, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported Thursday.

Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump is one of the lawyers representing Taylor's family.

On Friday he said in a statement, "Charges should never have been filed."

Wine on Friday railed against what he called "false information" about the officers' actions while continuing to present arguments against Walker, including audio of investigators' interview with the man and audio of an officer's account of what happened as the couple was awoken early that day.

He said multiple officers testified their presence was announced, and he questioned the credibility of Walker. The audio didn't seem to contradict the claim that police knocked multiple times without identifying themselves.

The officers wore plainclothes during the raid, which was approved by a judge as a "no-knock" warrant. Such a warrant allows police to burst into a location without warning. Kentucky is a stand-your-ground state, which allows deadly force when someone is violently attacked.

The injured officer, Jon Mattingly, described the beginning of the operation: "Banged on the door. No response. Banged on it again. No response. At that point, we started announcing ourselves, 'Police please come to the door. Police, we have a search warrant.'"

Walker said that he was scared and believed an ex-boyfriend who was unwelcome at the home had returned and that whoever was at the door gave "no response." He said he had called 911, fired one shot as the door opened and aimed for the ground.

"I didn’t mean to," Walker said. "Clearly, I was scared."

Taylor's family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against three officers in the raid. The suit claims that Taylor was a secondary target in a drug investigation that already resulted in an arrest.