Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine on Friday dismissed attempted murder and assault charges against Kenneth Walker, the man who injured a police officer when cops raided the apartment of his girlfriend, Breonna Taylor. Walker claims that he never heard officers identify themselves as police, and believed he was firing in self-defense when the front door of Taylor’s apartment was breached. Officers returned fire and killed Taylor, and the ensuing case has kicked off a storm of controversy in the city that’s led to charges of racism against the Louisville Police Department, helped lead to the retirement of the chief of police, and called into question the controversial practice of no-knock raids.
Wine says that after investigations by the FBI and the Kentucky Attorney General’s office into the shootings are completed, he could go back to a grand jury and ask for a new indictment, but added that if he does, Walker will be allowed to testify, which wasn’t the case when the case was first presented to a grand jury.
Wine also denied allegations of Walker’s lawyer, Rob Eggert, that prosecutors acted unethically when they failed to disclose to the grand jury that indicted Walker that he had told police he didn’t know the intruders were police officers.
The Courier Journal reported Thursday that a police sergeant who presented the case didn’t mention that or that Taylor was killed. But Wine noted that state law and the U.S. Supreme Court have held police do not need to present exculpatory evidence to a grand jury.
Still, Wine told reporters that more information on Walker’s statement to police should have been presented. And Wine said if the case is offered to a grand jury again, Walker will be invited to testify.