Two Kentucky police detectives involved in the raid that left Breonna Taylor dead, including the one who shot her, were scheduled Tuesday to face a termination hearing. After months of unrest over the fatal shooting, Detectives Myles Cosgrove and Joshua Jaynes received notice last week from Louisville Police interim Chief Yvette Gentry that she intended to dismiss them from the department.
Taylor, 26, was killed March 13 by police executing a “no-knock” narcotics search warrant. Cosgrove and two other officers who fired into Taylor’s apartment were not charged in her death by a grand jury in September. Investigators noted that Cosgrove fired 16 rounds into the apartment after the front door was breached and Taylor’s boyfriend fired a shot at them.
Federal ballistics experts said they believe the shot that killed Taylor came from Cosgrove.
“I commit to begin my work here with a focus on rebuilding community trust, trust that I believe was already eroding prior to Breonna Taylor’s killing,” Erika Shields, the unanimous pick to become Louisville’s new chief, said. She also pledged to tackle gun violence in the city, which had a record 173 homicides in 2020. “The last year has shown that we in law enforcement have a long way to go.”
Shields starts the job on Jan. 19.
Investigators said Cosgrove fired 16 rounds into the apartment after the front door was breached. According to media reports of the letter, which has not been released, Cosgrove failed to “properly identify a target“ when he fired, while Jaynes was not at the scene the night of the shooting but sought the warrant that sent police to Taylor’s home. Gentry said Jaynes lied about how he obtained some information about Taylor in the warrant.
Jaynes would later acknowledge in a May interview with Louisville police investigators that he didn’t personally verify that a drug trafficking suspect, Jamarcus Glover, was receiving mail at Taylor’s apartment, even though he had said in an earlier affidavit that he had. Jaynes said he relied instead on information from a fellow officer.
Since then, Cosgrove and Jaynes have been on administrative reassignment, along with another officer who was at the raid, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly. Brett Hankison, an officer who, according to then-interim Police Chief Robert Schroeder, “wantonly and blindly” shot 10 rounds of gunfire into Taylor’s apartment. His termination letter said Hankison violated the rule against using deadly force.
Mattingly said in October that he intended to retire from the department.