Jonathan Mattingly — one of the Louisville Metro police officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor — sat down with Michael Strahan on Tuesday (Oct. 20) for an exclusive interview with ABC News. After months of protests for Taylor and other victims of police brutality, the sergeant denied that the 26-year-old’s shooting death was about race.
“It’s not a race thing like people want to try to make it out to be. It’s not,” he told Strahan. “This is a point where we were doing our job, we gave too much time when we go in, I get shot, we returned fire.”
“This is not relatable to George Floyd. This is nothing like that,” he added. “It’s not Ahmaud Arbery... This is not us going [and] hunting somebody down. This is not kneeling on a neck. It’s nothing like that.”
Mattingly was the cop who investigators say Taylor’s boyfriend — Kenneth Walker — shot in the leg after believing the police were intruders. Mattingly, Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankison returned fire, fatally hitting Taylor six times. Only Hankison was a indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment last month.
During the interview, Mattingly recalled first knocking on Taylor’s door. “[We] didn’t announce” after the first knock, he said. “[We were] just hoping she would come to the door.”
Then, he says he yelled, “Police; search warrant… probably three times with each bang.” Mattingly claimed that “all seven” officers yelled to announce themselves before bursting through the door.
Strahan pointed out that Walker maintains he never heard police announce themselves; nor do the majority of Taylor’s neighbors.
“Maybe he didn’t,” said Mattingly. “Those 11 neighbors also said we didn’t knock. Walker says we knocked. The other witness says we knocked.”
The cops’ claim that they announced themselves and knocked was corroborated by one unidentified witness, Daniel Cameron’s investigation found last month.
Speaking about what the officers could have done differently, Mattingly said, “We would have either served the no-knock warrant or we would have done the normal thing we do, which is [wait] five to 10 seconds. To not give people time to formulate a plan; not give people time to get their senses, so they have an idea of what they’re doing. Because if that had happened... Breonna Taylor would be alive, 100 percent.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Mattingly speculated about the death of George Floyd, saying it was the “right call” for the officers involved to be arrested, “whether he died of an overdose or whatever.” He then appeared to disapprove of the protest efforts that were spurred by Floyd’s death, saying, “In my opinion, George Floyd was not a model citizen.”
“It’s very hard for me to sit here hearing, ‘George Floyd died of an overdose,’” Strahan responded. “He died because someone was kneeling on his neck for minutes. In regard to him being a model citizen or not, he didn’t deserve that. No one deserves that.”
Later on, Strahan said Mattingly’s comments about Floyd were out of “left-field.” Watch a clip from the interview below.