In a letter to Louisville Metro Police Department officers, one of the officers involved in Breonna Taylor's death, sergeant Jonathan Mattingly, called her killing "legal, moral and ethical."
Vice News journalist Roberto Aram Ferdman shared a copy of the letter on Twitter, writing that it was from one of his sources within the Louisville Metro Police Department. The email was apparently sent out at 2:09 a.m. Tuesday morning.
New: LMPD Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly (who is being investigated as part of Breonna Taylor’s case) sent an email to around 1,000 officers at 2am that calls protestors thugs, complains about the government enforcing civil rights violations, and claims this is "good versus evil” pic.twitter.com/VcuyPDP790— Roberto Aram Ferdman (@robferdman) September 22, 2020
The letter is full of violent rhetoric, criticism of police leaders and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, as well as excuses for why he, detective Myles Cosgrove and ex-detective Brett Hankison fired more than 20 shots into Taylor's apartment on March 13.
The letter was shared days ahead of an expected announcement by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron on whether charges will be filed against the three men for killing Taylor. Much of it is directed toward officers who will be dealing with the protests after the announcement.
"Regardless of the outcome today or Wednesday, I know we did the legal, moral and ethical thing that night. It's sad how the good guys are demonized, and criminals are canonized," Mattingly wrote.
Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly – one of the officers involved in the police killing of #BreonnaTaylor – said “I know we did the legal, moral and ethical thing that night.”— AJ+ (@ajplus) September 22, 2020
In an email to around 1,000 officers, he called protesters “thugs” and said “it is good versus evil.” pic.twitter.com/xPDhwy9uuF
"I wish I were there with you leading the charge. I'll be praying for your safety. Remember you are just a pawn in the Mayors political game. I'm proof they do not care about you or your family, and you are replaceable," he added.
In his letter, Mattingly called protesters "thugs" and said, "the Mayor, Amy Hess and Chief Conrad failed all of us in epic proportions for their own gain and to cover their asses."
He admits that the letter is rambling but says officers "do not deserve to be in this position."
"The position that if you make a mistake during one of the most stressful times in your career, the department and FBI (who aren't cops and would piss their pants if they had to hold the line) go after you for civil rights violations. Your civil rights mean nothing, but the criminal has total autonomy," he wrote.
"This is not an us against society, but it is good versus evil. With that being said these next few days are going to be tough. They are going to be long, they are going to be frustrating," he added.
As Blavity previously reported on Tuesday, the current police chief of the Louisville Metro Police Department, Robert Schroeder, released a letter on Monday afternoon declaring a state of emergency in advance of Cameron's announcement. The city has since boarded up windows and shut down courthouses in anticipation of protests resulting from the announcement.
The letter came hours before it was announced that Mattingly and five other officers will face internal investigations due to their actions during the raid on Taylor's home.
Mattingly was placed on administrative duty after the shooting but only one officer involved in the raid, Hankison, has been fired for his actions.