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Police investigative file into Breonna Taylor shooting released

The documents were released Wednesday afternoon, nearly a week after the release of the grand jury recordings.
Image: Breonna Taylor
Breonna Taylor during a graduation ceremony in Louisville, Ky.Courtesy of Family of Breonna Taylor / AFP - Getty Images

The Lousiville Metro Police Department released files related to its internal investigation into the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was killed in March during a police raid at her apartment.

The documents were released Wednesday afternoon, nearly a week after the release of the grand jury recordings.

The investigation was done by the police department's Public Integrity Unit. The massive investigative file contains interview transcripts, investigative letters, reports, police personnel files, search warrants, and other information, according to the police.

It also includes body camera videos from officers who were on the scene of the fatal March 13 shooting. NBC News is reviewing the files.

Taylor, 26, an emergency medical technician, was killed after police with a no-knock warrant broke down the door to her apartment seeking evidence in a narcotics investigation. The target of the probe was an ex-boyfriend of Taylor's, who lived at a different address.

Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a shot at the front door after officers forced their way in. Walker, a licensed gun carrier, said he believed it was a home invasion.

Police said the bullet from Walker's gun struck an officer in the leg; his attorneys have disputed this.

Three officers fired their weapons the night of the raid. They are Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, Detective Myles Cosgrove and former officer Brett Hankison. In September, a grand jury declined to indict them in Taylor's death.

Hankison, who was fired by the police department in June, was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment for bullets that went into a neighboring apartment.

Among the files released Wednesday is body camera footage from the SWAT team's arrival at Taylor's apartment. The footage shows a medic first reaching Taylor's body, which was blurred by police, at 1:08 a.m., just over 20 minutes from when Walker called 911.

An officer is heard telling the SWAT team what happened in the apartment and that Walker told officers that Taylor was the one who shot at the door. The officer also told SWAT that the officers announced "three times" before the "f----- shot."

Walker later changed his statement, saying that he was the one who fired the shot. In an interview with police, Walker explained that he said Taylor fired the shot because he was scared.

The body camera footage also shows Hankison being shooed away from the scene by SWAT after he tried to get into the apartment.

"I just need to know were there any guns visible?" Hankison asked the SWAT team, asking whether it was a long gun.

The SWAT team member responded that there was no gun visible at the time and that the only casings appeared to be from a 9mm gun. Hankison said that he thought at the time of the raid that the person inside the apartment was shooting what appeared to be a military-style rifle, according to the grand jury recordings.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said at a news conference following the grand jury's decision that Cosgrove and Mattingly "were justified in their return of deadly fire after having been fired upon" by Walker.

The Louisville police department said the investigative file "does not contain any material/documents from Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s or the FBI’s independent investigations into this event; LMPD does not have access to those files."

"Therefore, there may be additional evidence that was presented to the grand jury or used in the prosecution of Brett Hankison that is not in the PIU file."

Some of the information in the files have been redacted for privacy and legal reasons, police said.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said it was important to release the files "as quickly as possible to the public."

"Much of the information in these files was included in records from the Grand Jury proceedings that were released last week," he said in a statement.

Cameron filed a motion in court Wednesday to dismiss a petition from an anonymous grand juror to be allowed to speak on the jury proceedings as a matter of public interest. The petition also asked to have the sealed transcripts and records released "so that the truth may prevail."

The state attorney general said in a statement Wednesday that he had concerns about jurors making "anonymous and unlimited disclosures" about the process.

"The grand jury process is secretive for a reason, to protect the safety and anonymity of all the grand jurors, witnesses, and innocent persons involved in the proceedings," Cameron's statement said. "Allowing this disclosure would irreversibly alter Kentucky’s legal system by making it difficult for prosecutors and the public to have confidence in the secrecy of the grand jury process going forward."