Breonna Taylor’s neighbor is suing the Louisville Metro Police Department officers who conducted the raid that killed Taylor after they “blindly fired” shots through her apartment.
The officers who killed Taylor on March 13 "spray[ed] gunfire into Chelsey Napper's apartment with a total disregard for the value of human life," the lawsuit states according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.
At the time of the no-knock warrant execution, Napper, who was pregnant, was sleeping and had a child in the home.
"A bullet that was shot from the defendant police officers' gun flew inches past Cody Etherton's head while he was in the hallway of Chelsey Napper's apartment," the lawsuit, filed in May, states according to WDRB.
The lawsuit states the officers failed to use "sound reasonable judgment" when firing "blind shots into multiple homes."
Bullets struck multiple items in Napper’s home, including bathroom walls, living room curtains and a now-shattered glass door. In addition to almost striking Etherton, police unlawfully attempted to arrest him, the Courier-Journal reported.
Napper and Etherton are seeking damages and a trial by jury against Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and officers Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove, who are also being sued by Taylor’s family for wrongful death and investigated by Louisville Metro Police's Public Integrity Unit and the FBI.
"A message needs to be sent to the police that the city's citizens' right to feel safe in their homes is paramount," said attorney Brandon Lawrence, who is representing Napper.
The lawsuit states that officers approached Taylor’s residence "in a manner that kept them from being detected by neighbors" and entered the residence "without knocking and without announcing themselves as police officers,” despite Mattingly saying they knocked “six or seven times.”
Several neighbors called 911 when they heard gunshots coming from Taylor’s apartment, unaware that police were already on scene and were the ones shooting.
"Y'all need to get over here. They're shooting the hell like crazy,” one woman told dispatchers.
The wrongful death suit filed by Taylor’s family includes charges of excessive force, negligence and gross negligence, according to CNN.
Sgt Jonathan Mattingly, Officer Myles Cosgrove, Officer Brett Hankison. Murders of Breonna Taylor. Protest until they’re all locked up. pic.twitter.com/NnNQBu69ia— Pearl (@pearliaison) May 31, 2020
According to CNN, the FBI announced on May 21 that it would be opening an investigation into the incident. The same day, the LMPD announced it would require all officers to wear body cameras and would be making changes to search warrant procedures. Police Chief Steve Conrad also announced his retirement would go into effect at the end of June, but he was fired June 1 after it was revealed that officers involved in the death of David McAtee did not have their body cameras activated.
The three officers responsible for Taylor's death have not been arrested or charged and remain on administrative leave.