LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Metro Police Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly intends to file civil lawsuits against those who have called him a “murderer” for his role in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, according to his newly hired attorney.
Todd McMurtry posted video to Twitter on Thursday night that appeared to show Mattingly being put onto the back of a truck bed and driven away after he was shot March 13 at Taylor’s apartment.
In the tweet, McMurtry says: “They called him a ‘murderer,’ when all he did was defend himself.”
McMurtry said he represented Mattingly “with regard to affirmative claims he has against people who called him a ‘murderer.’ These statements are defamatory and actionable,” McMurtry told The Courier Journal on Friday.
He said that the intent was to file civil lawsuits related to those statements. He did not specify who they might sue.
Murder is a criminal charge that includes intent to kill. Attorney General Daniel Cameron said Mattingly and another officer, Myles Cosgrove, acted in self-defense after Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired at them. Walker says he didn’t know he was firing at police.
Only one officer involved in the shooting — former officer Brett Hankison — will face criminal charges in state court. None of his three wanton endangerment charges are directly related to Taylor, but rather for shooting into a neighboring apartment where three people were present.
Earlier this week, Mattingly sent an email to more than 1,000 of his colleagues saying he and other officers “did the legal, moral and ethical thing” the night of the shooting.
“You DO NOT DESERVE to be in this position,” he wrote. “The position that allows thugs to get in your face and yell, curse and degrade you. Throw bricks bottles and urine on you and expect you to do nothing.”
During a media briefing Friday, interim Chief Robert Schroeder said the department is aware of Mattingly’s email and is reviewing it to determine “what course of action to take.”
A spokesman for Mattingly’s criminal defense attorney declined to comment on McMurtry’s hiring or how he obtained the video.
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Source: USA Today