River City FOP sign

A sign at River City FOP Lodge 614, which represents almost all Louisville Metro Police officers. (WDRB file photo) 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The president of the union representing Louisville Metro Police officers criticized a Metro Councilwoman Thursday for her comments this week calling the boyfriend of former EMT Breonna Taylor a “hero” for firing at officers who killed Taylor during a March raid at her home.

Jessica Green, chairman of the public safety committee, also said at a hearing Wednesday that the attempted murder charge against Kenneth Walker should be dismissed as he was allegedly protecting himself and Taylor from what he believed was intruders.

"To say that I was disgusted and appalled by that statement is a dramatic understatement," River City FOP president Ryan Nichols said at a press conference. "Calling someone that shot an on duty police officer in the official performance of his officials duties a hero is a slap in the face" to police everywhere.

"Statements like this can not be tolerated by city leaders."

He called on Green to apologize to police. 

In her own press conference, Green did not apologize for her comments. 

"What I said yesterday is that I believe that Kenneth Walker was a hero because he acted to defend himself and significant other due to threats unknown," she said. "I stand by that statement." 

Louisville Metro Police shot and killed Taylor, an emergency room tech and former EMT, during an early morning raid March 13. The shooting of Taylor, a black woman, has drawn national scrutiny and calls for an independent probe.

Walker thought they were being robbed, according to his attorney, and fired at officers when they rushed in, hitting an officer in the leg. Walker has been charged with attempted murder.

The department's investigation into the shooting death has been turned over to Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron for review.

Nichols said the FOP wants a "thorough investigation" and for "all the facts to be presented."

However, Nichols said he wanted to clear up some incorrect information he says has been reported about the case.

He said that police were not at the wrong house and Taylor’s name was on the search warrant.

In addition, Nichols said police knocked and announced their presence and 'were immediately met with gunfire."

Police had requested a "no-knock" warrant from a judge, which gives approval to burst into a home, day or night, without giving the homeowner any notice. Some council members have called for police to stop using these type of warrants.

When asked why police would have knocked and announced their presence after asking for a no-knock warrant, Nichols said the situation could have changed and there may have been no need to burst in.

"Prior to the execution of the search warrant, (officers) verify that those circumstances that allowed them to get that search warrant legally obtained from a judge still exists," he told reporters."If there's some change in those circumstances, they don’t not execute the warrant. They simply knock and announce."

He also said Taylor was not shot while sleeping in her bed or even while she was in her room.

"Statements of that nature are simply inflammatory," Nichols said. "We must come together as a community and let this investigation be completed … so we know all of the facts."

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Digital Reporter

Jason Riley is a criminal justice reporter for WDRB.com. He joined WDRB News in 2013 after 14 years with The Courier-Journal. He graduated from Western Kentucky University. Jason can be reached at 502-585-0823 and jriley@wdrb.com.