The fired Kentucky officer indicted on minor charges in the Breonna Taylor case told investigators that the EMT's boyfriend initially claimed she was the one who shot at officers when they entered her apartment, grand jury testimony reveals.
About 20 hours of audio from secret grand jury proceedings related to the Taylor case was released for the first time on Friday.
Among the recordings is Brett Hankison's interview with investigators in March after the 26-year-old black woman was killed when he and two other officers opened fire in her Louisville apartment.
Hankison told investigators, in an interview heard by the grand jury, that Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, had told him 'she was the one who shot at us'. Walker later said that he was the one who opened fire.
One of Taylor's neighbors also told investigators that police had told her that 'some drug-dealing girl shot an officer'.
Officers had a 'no-knock' warrant to search Taylor's apartment for drugs the night she was killed. Police have said they knocked repeatedly before opening fire after the first officer inside her door was struck by a bullet.
The fired Kentucky officer indicted on minor charges in the Breonna Taylor case told investigators that the EMT's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, initially claimed she was the one who shot at officers when they entered her apartment, secret grand jury testimony reveals
Hankison told investigators that he believed the gunfire came from an AR-15 rifle. He could be heard on radio calls saying one of his fellow officers had just been shot with an 'AR'.
Police later discovered that the weapon was a 9 mm handgun.
Hankison said that he saw 'intense fire' flashing through the curtain and 'lighting up the room'. He said he thought that even though he was wearing his protective vest 'there is no way we can challenge this guy with an assault rifle'.
Hankison's account of the March 13 raid on Taylor's apartment was contained in hours of recordings made public in a rare release for proceedings that are typically kept secret.
Officer Brett Hanksion was one of the three officers on the scene when Taylor was shot and killed. He has been charged with wanton endangerment
A court ruled that the content of the proceedings should be made public after the grand jury's decision not to charge the officers with Taylor's killing angered many in Louisville and around the country and set off renewed protests.
Hankison, who was fired in the aftermath, was charged with wanton endangerment after his bullets entered a neighboring apartment.
The material released on Friday does not include juror deliberations or prosecutor recommendations and statements, none of which were recorded, according to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, whose office carried out the investigation.
Cameron, a Republican and the state's first black attorney general, has acknowledged that he did not recommend homicide charges for the officers involved.Police who shot dead Breonna Taylor say knocked on her apartment door three times and yelled 'police' before they said 'let's go, let's breach it'
Other audio played to the grand jury included testimony from at least two other officers that they knocked repeatedly and identified themselves for a minute or more before using a battering ram to enter Taylor's apartment.
Taylor's boyfriend maintains he did not hear officers announce themselves. Whether or not officers announced themselves has been a key issue in the case because Walker said he only fired at police because he feared they were intruders.
'We knocked on the door, said police, waited I don't know 10 or 15 seconds. Knocked again, said police, waited even longer,' Louisville, Kentucky, police Lt. Shawn Hoover said in an interview recorded the day Taylor was shot.
'So it was the third time that we were approaching, it had been like 45 seconds if not a minute,' Hoover said.
'And then I said, 'Let's go, let's breach it'.'
About 20 hours of audio from the grand jury proceedings related to the Breonna Taylor case was released on Friday after Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, whose office led the investigaiton, was ordered to by a court
Officers, who had a 'no-knock' warrant, testified that they knocked three times and identified themselves before they breached her apartment
Detective Myles Cosgrove, one of the three officers who fired at Taylor, told investigators that a neighbor came out during that time and yelled at Officer Hankison to leave Taylor alone.
He said the neighbor yelled 'something about leave her alone, there was some girl there'.
Cosgrove said during the time they were knocking on Taylor's door it went from 'gentle knocking' to 'forceful pounding' as they yelled 'police'.
Police said they used a battering ram to enter the apartment, hitting the door three times before getting inside.
Detective Michael Nobles said officers made so much noise that an upstairs neighbor came outside and had to be told to go back inside.
According to the grand jury recordings, detective Jonathan Mattingly got shot as soon as he leaned inside the apartment.
Mattingly said in testimony, some of which was previously released, that he fired four gunshots as he fell on his backside.
Hankison told investigators that moments after the doors was broken down he saw darkness and then 'immediate illumination from fire'.
'What I saw at the time was a figure in a shooting stance and it looked as if he was holding, he or she was holding, an AR-15 or a long gun, a rifle,' he said.
Hoover said he believed Walker and Taylor were lying in wait for the officers.
'We were, in my opinion, we were ambushed,' Hoover said. 'They knew we were there. I mean, hell, the neighbors knew we were