Patrons trying to enjoy their dinner at a Kentucky restaurant this week were shocked to find a Republican sorority using the location to host one of the officers involved in the 2020 police raid involving Breonna Taylor was killed, according to the local NAACP chapter and two patrons who spoke to news outlets.
At one point, graphic video footage of the robbery was reportedly played loudly in the restaurant, where other diners said they could hear it.
“You could hear the gunshots in the footage,” one diner, 34-year-old Cayce Johnson, told The Washington Post. “Our dinner was completely hijacked. We couldn’t hear ourselves at the time.”
The NAACP’s Bowling Green-Warren County chapter said it was “outraged” and “deeply appalled” by Tuesday’s incident at Anna’s Greek Restaurant in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
The Republican Women’s Club of South Central Kentucky was forced to find a new venue for its event, with former Louisville Police Sgt. John Mattingly, after their original country club location dropped them, NBC News reported.
Mattingly was one of several officers involved in Taylor’s murder in March 2020. The officers executed a no-knock warrant at Taylor’s Louisville apartment late one night, leading the black medical technician and her boyfriend, who was armed, to to startle. He then shot Mattingly in the leg. Officers retaliated with a hail of gunfire on the pair, killing Taylor.
The man the officers were looking for, an ex-boyfriend of Taylor’s, was not in the apartment at the time.
Mattingly was allowed to retire just over a year later. He has since become a right-wing pundit and critic of the police reform movement.
According to a now-deleted Facebook post from the Republican Women’s Club, Mattingly would “share what really happened during the raid that killed Breonna Taylor, what he saw, and how the media’s narrative has been corrupted and twisted into a false, shaken-up movie. storyline,” reported LEX18, a local NBC News affiliate.
The Greek restaurant, which sits in a former church, was open to the public while the event took place upstairs, according to the local NAACP chapter. Because Mattingly had access to the restaurant’s speaker system, the group said, footage of the robbery and his commentary could be heard throughout the room.
Another patron took to Facebook to express her disgust. She described the Republican event as “kind of a loud tribute/gathering” for Mattingly, saying, “They were talking really loud into a microphone.”
After a glowing review of the restaurant that Mattingly posted on Facebook drew criticism, Mattingly began feuding with the commenters.
Johnson, the diner who later spoke to The Washington Post and The New Republic, filmed a restaurant manager responding to questions about why the event was allowed. The man is seen shrugging his shoulders.