Tyler Perry Donates $100K to Legal Defense Fund for Breonna Taylor's Boyfriend Kenneth Walker12/13/2020
Tyler Perry donated a total of $100,000 to the GoFundMe page to support Kenneth Walker.
PEOPLE confirms Perry, 51, helped Walker and his legal team exceed their goal of $100,000 by making two donations of $10,000 as well as $50,000 and $30,000 contributions.
Walker is the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old Black woman who was killed after officers executed a no-knock search warrant at her apartment. The shooting took place while police were executing a search warrant for an investigation into a suspected drug dealer, who police alleged had once retrieved a package at Taylor's home. But the suspected drug dealer didn't live at Taylor's apartment — and had, in fact, just been arrested at a different location.
No drugs were found in Taylor's apartment.
Following Taylor's death, one of the officers involved in the fatal shooting filed a lawsuit against Walker for "battery, assault and emotional distress" on the night of the March 13 incident.
In documents, previously obtained by PEOPLE, Louisville Police Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly claims he experienced "severe trauma, mental anguish and emotional distress" on the night, during which Walker, a licensed gun-owner, grabbed his firearm and ultimately fired it. (Walker has long maintained that he believed someone was trying to break into the apartment.)
"Donations will go towards Kenneth Walker’s legal expenses in his defense against Mattingly’s lawsuit and related litigation," reads a statement on the GoFundMe page in support of Walker, which was created by Jacob Romines, who is the "son of Steve Romines, Kenneth's attorney in his suit against" the Louisville Metro Police Department.
"Louisville was outraged. The nation was furious. Kenneth, who had been dealing with grief, pain, and anger for months, could hardly believe it. The injustice was and is staggering. And then, on top of all that, Jon Mattingly sued Kenny," the GoFundMe page said in a separate statement. "Enough is enough. From the moment officers falsely obtained the warrant through lies and perjury until today, Kenny has been suffered one injustice after another."
In September, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron asserted that Walker's bullet struck an officer, and officers returned fire with 32 shots, six of which struck Taylor.
Walker was initially charged with attempted murder for allegedly hitting an officer in the thigh when he fired his gun. Those charges have since been dismissed, and Walker has since filed a civil suit against the department.
Mattingly, via the countersuit, is seeking a jury trial, damages and attorney/medical fees after being shot in the thigh on the night of the incident.
"Sgt. Mattingly was shot and nearly killed by Kenneth Walker. He’s entitled to, and should, use the legal process to seek a remedy for the injury that Walker has caused him," Mattingly's attorney, Kent Wicker, said in a previous statement to PEOPLE.
Meanwhile, Walker's attorney, Steve Romines, previously told PEOPLE, "This is the latest in a cycle of police aggression, deflection of responsibility, and obstruction of the facts in what is an obvious coverup. The counterclaim just brings it full circle. If Kenny can be sued for defending himself, make no mistake, all lawful gun owners' rights are at risk. And that should scare everyone. We intend to defend Kenny —once again— from baseless charges intended to harm, intimidate, and cover up the events of March 13, 2020."
On Sunday, Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, wrote on Instagram: "Nine months since Breonna was murdered by Lmpd, Nine months and still no justice 💙💙💔💙💙 #JusticeforBre #BREEWAYY #BreonnaTaylor."
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
- ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
- National Cares Mentoring Movement provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.
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