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Monday, June 24, 2024 | Back issues
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Louisville Fires Two Cops Involved in Breonna Taylor Raid

Two Louisville detectives were fired Wednesday for their roles in the raid that left Breonna Taylor dead, while Kentucky’s largest city also announced the hiring of Atlanta’s former police chief as the new head of its force.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (CN) — Two Louisville detectives were fired Wednesday for their roles in the raid that left Breonna Taylor dead, while Kentucky’s largest city also announced the hiring of Atlanta’s former police chief as the new head of its force.

Detectives Myles Cosgrove — who fired the shot that killed the 26-year-old Black woman, according to the FBI — and Joshua Jaynes became the second and third members of the Louisville Metro Police Department to be fired in the wake of the March 2020 shooting, which spurred protests and civil unrest throughout the city.

Officer Brett Hankison, who allegedly fired 10 rounds into Taylor’s apartment, was fired last June, but was later charged only with wanton endangerment.

Hankison was the only officer involved in the raid to face criminal charges following a lengthy investigation by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

Cameron, a Republican, was criticized heavily after his decision not to charge any of the officers with the murder of Taylor, and the lack of charges also compelled one of the grand jurors involved in the case to speak out publicly.

Cosgrove and Jaynes were informed of the city’s decision last week, and met with interim Chief Yvette Gentry to present mitigating information before the decisions were made official Wednesday.

Cosgrove was fired for his failure to use his body camera during the raid, as well as violations of the department’s use of force policy. Jaynes lost his job for violations of the department’s policies on truthfulness and search warrant preparation. The detectives have 10 days to appeal their firings to the Police Merit Board.

Following the decision, Cosgrove sent a blistering email to the entire police department that accused Gentry and other leaders of sacrificing him and Jaynes to save face.

“For those of you still doing real police work,” the email reportedly states, “it’s just a matter of time till you will be a sacrificial lamb.”

Cosgrove told his fellow officers that city officials “aren’t afraid to perform hatchet jobs on you either.”

The firings of Cosgrove and Jaynes appear to have been the final act of Gentry as interim chief of the department, which announced on Wednesday the hiring of ex-Atlanta police chief Erika Shields.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer called Shields an “experienced, progressive, reform-minded leader” in a press conference, but the move drew criticism because of the circumstances of her departure from Atlanta.

Shields resigned her position on June 13, 2020, just hours after an Atlanta police officer shot and killed 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks, a Black man, in the parking lot of a Wendy’s restaurant.

FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2020, file photo, protesters march in Louisville, Ky. Hours of material in the grand jury proceedings for Taylor’s fatal shooting by police have been made public on Friday, Oct. 2. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

The officer involved in the shooting was eventually fired and charged with felony murder, and the Wendy’s was damaged in a fire set by protesters in the weeks that followed Brooks’ death.

Shields will be the fourth person to head the LMPD in the tumultuous 10-month period since the shooting death of Taylor.

Taylor, a Black woman, was shot after police executed a no-knock warrant at her apartment in the hopes of finding evidence related to a drug-trafficking enterprise allegedly run by her ex-boyfriend.

Detectives claimed the ex-boyfriend sent packages to the apartment, a fact that was later disputed and even denied by some members of the police force.

Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a single shot that struck Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly when the warrant was executed. He was charged with assault of a police officer, but the charge was later dropped.

Mattingly, who fired six shots and wounded Taylor after being shot by Walker, was exonerated by interim chief Gentry for his role in the incident. In a statement, Kent Wicker, Mattingly’s attorney, said the officer is “pleased that LMPD has recognized that he acted properly in responding to the shot fired by Kenneth Walker.”

Taylor’s estate filed a wrongful death suit against the city of Louisville, and settled for more than $12 million in September.

The settlement, whose monetary payout was the highest in the city’s history, also included numerous police reforms like an increase in random drug testing for officers and an “early warning system” to allow the department to investigate officers deemed a risk for the use of excessive force.

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Categories / Civil Rights, Employment, Government, Regional

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