Documents that were recently released from the Louisville Metro Police Department’s internal investigation into the death of Breonna Taylor show that the police department was reportedly actively gathering negative information about Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, after her shooting.
The department was reportedly still collecting the information about Walker while it was also investigating its own officers for shooting and killing Taylor, and even after the case was turned over to the office of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron.
The police department released the documents related to its internal investigation into the shooting on Wednesday, nearly a week after the release of the grand jury recordings. The documents were part of thousands of pages and hundreds of hours of audio and video released to the public, and NBC News reported that the documents show an officer involved in the raid continued searching for a justification for it after Taylor’s death.
The investigation was conducted by the department’s Public Integrity Unit. According to the police, the results of the investigation included reports, search warrants, interview transcripts, investigative letters, police personnel files and other information. There is also bodycam footage from officers who were on the scene the night the 26-year-old Black woman was killed by LMPD during a drug raid at her home in March. Louisville police officers shot her six times while executing a warrant for her ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, who did not live at her address.
According to police, Walker fired a shot at the front door, hitting an officer, and he says he believed the raid was a home invasion. Walker was then arrested and taken in for questioning. According to the reports, he told investigators he once owned another gun aside from his licensed firearm, and that he smoked marijuana from “time to time.”
An investigative memo dated July 2, part of the newly released documents, shows that an investigator from the Public Integrity Unit began examining pictures and text messages from Walker’s phone in late May. According to that memo, there were two pictures in Walker’s phone that show Walker and Taylor with an AR-15. Internal affairs officers also reportedly found text messages indicating that Walker was selling drugs from October 2019 through March. In the memo, they concluded that Walker’s potential drug selling and an alleged robbery “may have contributed to Walker’s actions on March 13, 2020.”
The attorney representing Walker in a civil suit against the police department, Steven Romines, is questioning the motives behind the uncovering of the information, asking how any of it is relevant to the investigation. Romines also denied that his client had dealt drugs or committed a robbery.
“It’s just a cover-up,” the lawyer said. “And it reflects the fact that over two months into the investigation of Breonna Taylor’s death, LMPD [was] more interested in including unsupported allegations to smear Kenny Walker than it [was] in actually finding the truth.”
“All they are trying to do is smear him after the fact to justify their actions,” he added.
The investigation of Walker’s phone and into his alleged drug dealing came only after internal affairs began to uncover serious problems with the warrant for Taylor’s home and how it was executed.