In their first joint interview since Breonna Taylor‘s fatal police shooting in 2020, the Taylor family appeared on the latest episode of Facebook’s “Red Table Talk” (RTT).
“Red Table Talk” hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield Norris sat down with Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, her sister Ju’Niyah Palmer, and her boyfriend, Kenny Walker, to discuss the shooting and their efforts for justice on Wednesday (Oct. 12).
Walker was with Taylor when she was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers who executed the no-knock search warrant. In speaking of the fateful night, he said both he and Taylor felt it was “weird” that the officers would not identify themselves. “So, you know, someone’s knocking on your door at 1:00 a.m. in the morning, that’s weird. When I say, ‘Who is it?‘ at least give some type of brief explanation of what’s going on. She said, ‘Who is it?’ There’s no response. There’s nothing on in this apartment but the TV, which is low because we were planning to go to sleep anyway,” he explained.
He added, “There [are] no other lights on. There [are] no other sounds. So, just like we can hear someone knocking on the door, they should be able to hear her asking, ‘Who is it?‘ A couple of seconds go by. Now we’re getting up, trying to put on some clothes and, you know, go see who’s at the door. There’s another bang at the door. She says, ‘Who is it?’ again. But still no answer. So I’m like, ‘Now it’s getting even weirder,’ like, just say it’s the police. So now, I was thinking that the police is way out of the question after you’ve banged on the door twice and not said, ‘It’s the police.'”
After Taylor was shot, Walker says he didn’t know it was the police who killed her. In his account, officers were yelling for him to come outside. He feared police would shoot him when they saw him — but he had to seek help for his girlfriend as soon as possible. “I’m not a criminal, a felon, she’s not a criminal or felon,” he expressed. “So we have no reason not to open the door even if it may have been the police, which we don’t have a clue who it is at this time.”
The 26-year-old aspiring nurse who worked as an EMT was shot on March 13, 2020 after LMPD fired more than 20 rounds into the home she shared with Walker, striking her six times. She died on the scene. Following her death, she became a face of the Black Lives Matter movement. Two months later, protests against police brutality and racial injustice erupted throughout the country in response to her killing and George Floyd’s.
Below is the full “Red Table Talk” interview with Breonna Taylor’s family: