ABC’s Michael Strahan and one of the cops involved in Breonna Taylor’s killing went head to head in a tense back and forth over racial profiling and systemic racism in the police as part of the cop’s first interview.
Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly was interviewed by Strahan for a lengthy piece that will air on ABC in full on Wednesday night.
Mattingly told his story for the first time of what happened on the night of March 13, when he and two other Louisville PD officers raided Taylor’s apartment in Louisville with a no-knock warrant as part of a drug investigation into her ex-boyfriend.
She was killed in the crossfire as they exchanged bullets with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.
In their interview, Mattingly challenged Strahan for claiming that if a black person feels a cop is racist, they are, and Strahan criticized him for saying George Floyd was not a ‘model citizen’.
Strahan asked Mattingly: ‘Are you racist?’, to which he replied: ‘No not at all.’
Strahan interviewed cop Jonathan Mattingly for the first time since the shooting. It will air on Wednesday night on Nightline
They then had a tense exchange that went as follows;
Strahan: ‘Do you think there is a racist divide between the community and the LAPD?
Mattingly: ‘I think there are people who stir things up and make it more that. When you’re dealing with a criminal element, you talk about racial profiling, good police anyway, police I’ve worked with, don’t racial profile. You criminal profile.
‘Let’s address the fact that just because you’re black you’re a threat, that’s not the case.
‘I’m not scared of you because you’re black.’
Strahan: ‘Well that’s how black men feel. That’s how black women feel.’
Mattingly: ‘But does that make it real?’
Strahan: ‘If it’s how you feel, then it’s real.’
Mattingly: ‘No, not necessarily.’
Strahan then asked him to explain the difference between criminal profiling and racial profiling.
Mattingly, not backing down, said: ‘Criminal profiling is when you get to know an area, when you work an area long enough, you can tell by people’s demeanor, if you pull up beside somebody and they don’t make eye contact,they swerve off, there’s just different elements of people’s psychological game that they put out, that you can tell when you’ve done something long enough.
Strahan was visibly taken aback with some of the cop’s comments and pushed him at times during the interview
Mattingly fought back at each turn, insisting he was not racist and saying there was not necessarily racism in his police department
Taylor pictured with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker above. The pair were in bed when cops descended on her home. The cops say they announced themselves, Walker says they didn’t
‘It’s not just a feeling. It’s a feeling, that goes along with what you’ve experienced, with what’s in the area, what should and shouldn’t be. You look at George Floyd. What happened to him is tragic. It was horrible.
Mattingly also said that while he didn’t deserve to die, George Floyd was ‘not a model citizen’
‘Everybody looked at that and said, “wrong. bad. disgusting. What happens? They end up getting locked up. In my opinion, I don’t know the ins and outs of the case and I’m very careful not to judge other people but in my opinion that was the right call, whether he died of an overdose or whatever.
‘What happened after that, in my opinion, George Floyd was not a model citizen.’
Strahan, visibly taken aback, argued: ‘It’s very hard for me to sit here and hear George Floyd died of an overdose. He died because someone was kneeling on his neck for minutes. In regards of him being a model citizen, or not, he didn’t deserve that.
‘Nobody deserves that.’
Mattingly stood his ground and said he’d just ‘demonized’ the cops who were responsible.
After the interview, Strahan tweteed: ‘Here is my exclusive interview from earlier this morning on with Jonathan Mattingly, one of the officers who carried out the search warrant at Breonna Taylor’s apartment.
Det. Brett Hankison (left) has been charged with wanton endangerment for accidentally shooting into a neighbor’s home. Neither Mattingly nor Myles Cosgrove (right) has been charged
‘My job is to ask the questions and allow you to form your own opinion.
‘To Breonna’s family…I am always thinking of you and can not imagine the pain you are going through.’
Elsewhere in the interview, Mattingly argued that Breonna would still be alive if her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, hadn’t had time to reach for his gun when the cops ‘announced themselves’.
Walker insists the cops never called out and that he opened fire because he didn’t know who was entering the home.
Mattingly also said that if there was bodycam footage of the incident, all of the cops involved would be exonerated.