In the aftermath of the Breonna Taylor tragedy, the man who was responsible for delivering the fatal shots is now appealing to the Louisville Metro Police Merit Board to get his job back.
Myles Cosgrove and his attorney took the first steps on Tuesday, Nov. 9, with at least one more hearing on Wednesday, Nov. 10, and more days in December if needed.
He and another officer were originally fired in connection with the incident.
The merit board, which consists of a seven-member body of civilians and officers, will determine whether Cosgrove’s Jan. 5 termination by then-Chief Yvette Gentry was reasonable.
Following the hearings, the board could decide whether to uphold his termination or overturn it and issue a new punishment, according to WFPL.
On the night of March 13, 2020, Cosgrove and other plainclothes officers were carrying out a search warrant, waking Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker. The latter fired one bullet at the officers from a gun that he owned legally. Later, Walker revealed that he thought the officers were intruders.
In return, the officers fired 32 shots at Taylor and Walker, with Cosgrove firing half of those.
Two of his rounds struck Taylor. An FBI ballistics report said that those were the two bullets that fatally killed her.
Cosgrove was later fired in January for failing to properly identify a threat when he fired into the apartment.
At Tuesday’s hearing, attorneys for Louisville Metro and Cosgrove agreed beforehand that the latter violated LMPD policy by not activating his body camera during the raid on Taylor’s apartment. Assistant County Attorney Brendan Daugherty, who represents the police department, says that Cosgrove’s behavior on the night of Taylor’s death violated the department’s use-of-force policy.
Per WFPL, Daugherty described to the merit board the information police officers are supposed to know before using their firearm.
“The policy explicitly states that the officer must be able to justifiably articulate his or her actions,” Daugherty said. “The policy further requires that the person against whom the force is used pose an immediate threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or another person.”
On the other end, Scott Miller, Cosgrove’s attorney, argued that he believed he saw a “muzzle flash” along with a fellow officer who was down, saying that his response was “reasonable.” “Breonna Taylor’s death was tragic, we all know that,” Miller said, arguing that Cosgrove did not violate LMPD’s policy.
Miller says that Cosgrove acted in accordance with LMPD’s policy during a “high-stress, rapidly evolving situation in which he was shot at.”
With no decision declared, if the LMPD Merit Board decides to reinstate Cosgrove, it could severely insult Breonna Taylor’s memory and disrespect her name, which became a rallying cry, along with George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Jacob Blake, and other Black Americans who were killed or seriously injured by law enforcement in 2020.