Fact Check: Breonna Taylor's Boyfriend Does NOT Say That She Opened Fire On Officers

Fact Check

  • by: Victoria Eavis
Fact Check: Breonna Taylor's Boyfriend Does NOT Say That She Opened Fire On Officers Needs Context

Does Breonna Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth "Kenny" Walker, say that Taylor was the one who opened fire on officers? No, that's not true: Walker was questioned on the scene after the raid, he told officers it was Taylor who opened fire. Walker soon admitted that he was the one who fired the shots that wounded on police officers, not Taylor. Walker's lawyer told Lead Stories he initially told the lie because he was "afraid they might actually kill him." The Special Prosecution Unit's (SPU) investigation concluded that Walker was the one to shoot at the officers.

The claim appeared in an article published by lawofficer.com on October 2, 2020, with the headline, "Breaking: Breonna Taylor's boyfriend says SHE opened fire on cops" (archived here). The article opened:

The bombshell claim comes from over 20 hours of Grand Jury testimony released on Friday in the Breonna Taylor case.

Taylor has become the most prominent example from the media, politicians and celebrities that law enforcement must reform from systematic racism.

Much of those claims were already falling apart before today's news. Taylor was not sleeping in her bed as was suggested but next to her boyfriend in the hallway as officers were being shot at.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

https://www.lawofficer.com/breaking-breonna-taylors-boyfriend-says-she-opened-fire-on-cops/

This is not "breaking" news nor does Walker still "say" that Taylor was the one who shot at officers. It falsely implies that Walker is still maintaining that Taylor fired the shots. This is consistent with other social media claims that Taylor was not an innocent victim.

Later the article partly clarified the misleading headline:

Among the recordings released is Officer Brett Hankison's interview with investigators that said Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, had told him 'she was the one who shot at us'.

Walker later confessed that he was the one who opened fire.

The Louisville Courier-Journal also reported that "Officers initially reported Taylor was the shooter because Walker, after leaving the apartment, said she had fired the shot. Walker later admitted it was him and said he had blamed Taylor out of fear."

Hankison told investigators in an interview, that Walker had told him that Taylor was the one who shot at the officers, according to The Daily Mail. Later that night, Walker said that he was the one who opened fire -- right after the 13-minute mark on the recording of Walker's interview with the police department's Public Integrity Unit (PIU), he explains his account of what happened that night. "The door like comes like off the hinges, so I just let off one shot," Walker said. Ever since, he has maintained that he was the only one to shoot at officers that night.

"Walker told the officers who executed the warrant and killed Breonna when he came out of the apartment that she fired the shot. As soon as he was at the police station, he advised the interviewers that although he told officers at the scene that Breonna shot, that he was the one who fired the shot," Walker's lawyer, Steven Romines, told Lead Stories in an email. "He told the PIU officers that he said that to the police at the scene because he was afraid they might actually kill him," Romines continued.

The results of an investigation conducted by the state attorney general's Special Prosecution Unit also stated that Walker was the one to shoot at officers that night.

After Walker clarified that he was the one to shoot at officers and not Taylor in his interview with PIU on the same night of the raid, there have been no statements or evidence to inspire doubt that anyone but Walker shot at officers.

Find previous Lead Stories reports on the Breonna Taylor case here, here, here, and here.

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  Victoria Eavis

Victoria Eavis is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She recently graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. In her last few months at Duke, she was a reporter for a student news site, The 9th Street Journal, that covers the city of Durham, North Carolina. 

Read more about or contact Victoria Eavis

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