It turns out the Louisville cop who requested the no-knock warrant officers used to justify shooting and killing Breonna Taylor lied to obtain the warrant, and the chickens are finally coming home to roost for that lie and the shooting it enabled. Louisville Police Chief Yvette Gentry indicated Tuesday she plans to fire both Detective Joshua Jaynes, who secured the drug warrant, and Detective Myles Cosgrove, who fired the shot the FBI determined killed Taylor, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported. More officers could also be disciplined in the case, the newspaper added.
Attorney Lonita Baker, who is representing Taylor’s family, told the Courier-Journal Gentry did the right thing but in Jaynes’ case, it’s based on information other chiefs were well aware of. Former interim chief Robert Schroeder and former chief Steve Conrad, who were “both armed with the same information,” could have taken the same action “and chose not to,” Baker said.
Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, died on March 13 after officers smashed through her door while she was sleeping. Her boyfriend Kenneth Walker, who was also at Taylor’s home at the time, said he didn’t hear officers identify themselves. He fired what he called a “warning” shot that hit Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly before realizing officers, not intruders, were charging into his girlfriend’s home. Officers Mattingly, Cosgrove, and Brett Hankison fired multiple shots in return, hitting Taylor five times. Hankison, who is accused of blindly firing 10 shots into Taylor’s home during the raid, was fired. Mattingly and Cosgrove have since only been “administratively reassigned,” but Cosgrove did receive a pretermination letter, his attorney Jarrod Beck confirmed with the Courier-Journal Tuesday.
“I believe my decisions have placed the responsibility for the actions taken in this case upon the shoulders of the people … responsible,” Gentry said in an email to officers that the Courier-Journal obtained. “To this point, every officer on this department has unequally borne the burden of decisions that you all did not make and had to work under conditions you did not create.” Gentry, an interim chief, is filling a role vacated when Schroeder retired and Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad was fired following an officer shooting and killing Black Louisville resident David McAtee for a curfew violation, NPR reported.
Gentry is working to fire Jaynes for “untruthfulness” and improper preparation for execution of the warrant in Taylor’s case. Jaynes is accused of cooking up a scheme to prove packages for Taylor’s ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover, a convicted drug trafficker, were going to her home, according to a pretermination letter attorney Ben Crump released on social media Tuesday.
“Detective Jaynes lied when he swore ‘verified through a US Postal Inspector’” that the packages were going to Taylor’s home, Gentry wrote. “Detective Jaynes did not have contact with a US Postal Inspector, he received the information from Sergeant Mattingly, who got it from a Shively Police Officer.
“Detective Jaynes also lied when he swore a US Postal Inspector advised ‘that Jamarcus Glover has been receiving packages'” at Taylor’s apartment.
Gentry called the dishonesty “unacceptable” and accused Jaynes of “extreme violations of our policies, which endangered others.” She wrote: “Your actions have brought discredit upon yourself and the department. Your conduct has severely damaged the image our department has established within our community.”
The chief went on to say she was unwavering in her decision to terminate Jaynes. “I cannot tolerate this type of conduct or untruthfulness by any member of the Louisville Metro Police Department,” Gentry wrote. “I have the utmost confidence in my decision to terminate your employment for the best interest for the Louisville Metro Police Department and our community.”
Gentry also said in the letter that there should have been “better controls, supervision and scrutiny” before the warrant was signed and executed and the failure to do so created “a very dangerous situation” for everyone involved. “You were the officer who conducted the majority of the investigation; however, neither you, your direct supervisor, or his lieutenant were present or available at the scene when the search warrant was executed,” Gentry continued.
Jaynes, who’s been an officer for 14 years, has a closed hearing planned for Thursday that his attorney Thomas Clay said they both will be attending. “Detective Jaynes and I will show up for the pretermination hearing to try to convince acting Chief Gentry that this action is unwarranted,” Clay told the Courier-Journal. “Jaynes did nothing wrong.”
The Georgia runoff is Jan. 5. Click here to request an absentee ballot. Early in-person voting ends Dec. 30.