2 More Cops Involved in Breonna Taylor’s Death Receive Termination Letters
Two more Louisville, Kentucky, police officers who were involved in the drug investigation that led to Breonna Taylor’s death last March received termination letters yesterday. Interim Police Chief Yvette Gentry said Detective Joshua Jaynes lied in the affidavit he used to obtain a no-knock search warrant for Taylor’s apartment and was careless in planning the raid. Gentry also announced her intent to terminate Detective Myles Cosgrove, who according to the FBI fired the round that killed Taylor. The police chief said Cosgrove fired 16 rounds without properly identifying a target.
Police broke into Taylor’s apartment around 12:40 a.m. on March 13, when the 25-year-old EMT and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were in bed. Walker, who said he believed the intruders were dangerous criminals, grabbed a handgun and fired a single round, which hit Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly in the leg. Mattingly, Cosgrove, and Detective Brett Hankison responded with a hail of 32 bullets, six of which struck Taylor. The case, which has been highlighted by Black Lives Matter, figured prominently in this year’s protests against police abuse.
Hankison, who faces three charges of wanton endangerment, was tentatively dismissed in June because he blindly fired 10 rounds from outside Taylor’s apartment. “Your actions displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life when you wantonly and blindly fired ten (10) rounds into the apartment,” Robert Schroeder, Gentry’s predecessor as interim police chief, wrote in his termination letter to Hankison. “These rounds created a substantial danger of death and serious injury to Breonna Taylor and the three occupants of the apartment next to Ms. Taylor’s….I find your conduct a shock to the conscience. I am alarmed and stunned you used deadly force in this fashion.” Hankison appealed his termination to the Police Merit Board, which “will hear his appeal when his criminal case is completed,” the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.
Hankison and the other officers were serving a warrant obtained by Jaynes, who suspected that Taylor was involved in an ex-boyfriend’s drug trafficking operation. In his search warrant affidavit, Jaynes falsely claimed he had “verified through a U.S. Postal Inspector” that the ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, was receiving packages at Taylor’s apartment. “Affiant knows through training and experience that it is not uncommon for drug traffickers to receive mail packages at different locations to avoid detection from law enforcement,” Jaynes added. “Affiant believes through training and experience, that Mr. J. Glover may be keeping narcotics and/or proceeds from the sale of narcotics at [Taylor’s apartment] for safe keeping.”
As Gentry notes in her letter to Jaynes, the detective actually obtained the information about the packages from Mattingly, who in turn relied on a police officer in Shively, a Louisville suburb. “Detective Jaynes lied when he swore ‘verified through a US Postal Inspector,'” Gentry writes. “Detective Jaynes did not have contact with a US Postal Inspector….Having an independent, third party verify information is powerful and compelling [evidence]. The inclusion of this in
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