Officer Involved in Breonna Taylor Shooting Calls Protesters 'Thugs,' Blasts Mayor in Late-Night Email

One of the Louisville, Kentucky, Metro Police Department officers under investigation for his role in the shooting death of Breonna Taylor emailed nearly 1,000 officers just after 2 a.m. Tuesday, labeling protesters "thugs" and saying the LMPD is in a battle of "good versus evil."

Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly is at the center of the investigation into Taylor's March 13 death, which occurred as several officers executed a no-knock search warrant at the home of her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Mattingly, who was among three officers who fired their weapons in the incident, was shot in the leg and has been on administrative assignment for months. In an email sent early Tuesday morning, Mattingly blasted Mayor Greg Fischer and former LMPD Chief Steve Conrad for failing the involved officers "for their own gain and to cover their asses."

The six-paragraph email told fellow officers that "your civil rights mean nothing, but the criminal has total autonomy." Mattingly went on to write, "It's sad how the good guys are demonized, and criminals are canonized.... Don't put up with their s***, and go home to those lovely families and relationships."

He went on, "You DO NOT DESERVE to be in this position. 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." Mattingly was referencing the numerous and ongoing protests that have rocked the city—and many cities across the country—as demonstrators have demanded justice for Taylor.

Mattingly's late-night email, obtained by journalist Roberto Ferdman, continued, "We all signed up to be police officers. We knew the risks and were willing to take them, but we always assumed the city had your back. We wanted to do the right thing in the midst of an evil world to protect those who cannot protect themselves.... We as police DO NOT CARE if you are black, white, Hispanic, Asian, what you identify as."

On Tuesday, Louisville police declared a "state of emergency" and placed barricades to block traffic ahead of an anticipated announcement by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron regarding the investigation into Taylor's death.

Mattingly's email, sent at 2:09 a.m. Tuesday, warned that the department brass and the FBI "aren't cops and would piss their pants if they had to hold the line" on real police duty. He also criticized an FBI civil rights investigation, as well as an internal probe by the LMPD, into the officers' actions during a "stressful" incident.

The LMPD officers who are under investigation by the LMPD's Professional Standards Unit include Detective Myles Cosgrove as well as Mattingly, who fired their weapons into Taylor's apartment, according to statements from department officials. Detective Joshua Jaynes was also present during the execution of the no-knock search warrant, which sought access to four other homes on the same night of Taylor's death. Detectives Tony James, Michael Campbell and Michael Nobles are also under investigation.

The state attorney general's office has repeatedly declined to give a timeline for the investigation, but Cameron has said the ultimate goal is to present evidence to a grand jury to decide whether to indict three of the officers, including Mattingly.

Around 12:40 a.m. on March 13, Mattingly, Cosgrove and then-Detective Brett Hankison exchanged shots with Walker after entering the apartment. Taylor was struck five times and died in the hallway.

Newsweek reached out to Cameron's office and the LMPD for comment about Mattingly's email but did not hear back in time for publication.

jonathan mattingly lmpd breonna taylor
Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly is at the center of the investigation into Breonna Taylor's March 13 death in Louisville Kentucky. Screenshot: LMPD Website
Officer Involved in Breonna Taylor Shooting Calls Protesters 'Thugs,' Blasts Mayor in Late-Night Email | News