The Louisville police officer who shot and killed Breonna Taylor in her home, along with the detective who prepared the search warrant for the deadly raid, were both told on Tuesday that they face dismissal from the force more than nine months after Taylor’s death.
According to NBC News, “Det. Joshua Jaynes was informed that the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department intends to terminate his employment, a department spokesperson confirmed to NBC News, and a lawyer for Det. Myles Cosgrove confirmed he received a letter of termination from the department.”
Both men have been on administrative reassignment.
Cosgrove, who was determined to have fired the fatal bullet that killed the 26-year-old emergency room technician, and Jaynes, who was not present when the search warrant was executed, can still appeal the police chief’s decision before they are officially fired.
“We plan to attend the pre-termination hearing on December 31st, although I expect the result has already been pre-determined,” Thomas Clay, Jaynes’ lawyer, said in a statement to ABC News. “I fully expect Mr. Jaynes will be terminated after the ‘hearing’ no matter what the evidence is to the contrary. We will appeal any disciplinary action taken against Mr. Jaynes because I believe the evidence shows he did nothing wrong.”
BREAKING: In his termination letter, Interim LMPD Chief Yvette Gentry said detective Joshua Jaynes lied in his affidavit for a search warrant for Breonna Taylor's apartment.
— WHAS11 News (@WHAS11) December 29, 2020
LMPD Interim Chief Yvette Gentry accused Jaynes of lying in an affidavit he submitted to the judge who signed the search warrant for Taylor’s home. Jaynes claimed he had “verified through a U.S. Postal Inspector” that a drug dealer had been “receiving packages” there, but an internal investigation by the department concluded that never happened.
The New York Times called the termination notices “the most significant acknowledgment by the department that its officers had committed serious violations when they burst through Ms. Taylor’s door late one night in March, encountered gunfire, and then fired a volley of shots at her and her boyfriend.”
Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, said they were awakened after midnight by police knocking from outside but did not know who was there. He said the couple was walking down a hallway of the apartment toward the front door when it flew off the hinges. Walker claimed he feared for his life and fired his gun at the plainclothes officers thinking they were intruders unlawfully entering his girlfriend’s home. Walker shot Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly in the leg, severing his femoral artery. Three cops returned fire, killing Taylor. Police found no drugs or large sums of money at the scene.
The grand jury declined to pursue criminal charges against Det. Cosgrove or Sgt. Mattingly. However, a third officer, Brett Hankison, was indicted on three counts of wanton endangerment for blindly shooting ten rounds into the apartment, endangering Taylor’s neighbors. Hankison was fired in June for violating the department’s deadly force policy. None of the police officers were wearing body cameras at the time of the shooting death.
Chief Gentry, a black woman who had retired from the force in 2015, was named Louisville’s interim police chief in September. Democratic Mayor Greg Fischer said she was chosen for her desire to “reimagine public safety and address systemic racism.”
I appreciate Yvette Gentry's willingness to be interim @LMPD Chief. She brings unparalleled experience & strong community relationships to lead until a permanent Chief is in place, & she is passionate about helping her city address systemic racism & reimagine public safety. 2/2
— Mayor Greg Fischer (@louisvillemayor) September 7, 2020
“I think our city is at a point of reckoning that only truth can bring us out of,” Gentry said at the time.
According to The New York Times, she “has been clear that she is not interested in a permanent appointment.” Still, the outlet reported the termination notices issued on Tuesday “mark an effort…to achieve the reckoning she promised when she came out of retirement to lead the troubled department.”
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