LMPD :: Louisville Metro Police Department

Louisville police fire 2 detectives, others disciplined, in Breonna Taylor shooting


The Louisville Metro Police Department has officially fired two detectives and sanctioned others for their actions surrounding the raid that left Breonna Taylor, 26, dead in her apartment.

Detectives Myles Cosgrove and Joshua Jaynes, who were fired Tuesday, are the latest detectives the department has terminated in connection with the fatal police shooting of Taylor.

A third detective, Brett Hankison, was fired in June for "blindly" firing 10 rounds into her apartment.

Cosgrove, who the FBI concluded fired the shot that killed Taylor, violated procedures for use of force and failing to use a body camera during the March 13 search warrant.

Jaynes, the officer who secured the search warrant for Taylor's apartment, was found in violation of department policy for truthfulness and search warrant preparation.

Additionally, Interim Chief Yvette Gentry disciplined the following officers Dec. 30:

  • Sgt. Kyle Meany of the Place-Based Investigations unit that pursued the search warrant for Taylor's apartment was found in violation of the department policy guiding risk assessment and SWAT Team response for a search warrant. He received a letter of reprimand.
  • Detective Anthony James received a one-day suspension for violation of body camera policy during the search. James wore a body camera but failed to activate it.
  • Detective Michael Campbell also received a one-day suspension for violation of the department's body-camera policy.

Gentry exonerated the following officers in the investigation:

  • Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, the officer who was wounded during the attempted search warrant execution, was exonerated for use of deadly force and de-escalation violations. Mattingly fired six times after he was shot, striking Taylor.
  • Lt. Shawn Hoover, the commanding officer on scene during the warrant, was exonerated of violating procedures concerning the responsibilities of commanding officers.
  • Detective Wes Barton was exonerated for a truthfulness allegation for his role in preparing for the search.

LMPD released the final action letters into the officers' conduct Wednesday morning but did not provide the full Professional Standards Unit file Gentry used for her decisions.

That file, a LMPD spokesman said, will be released "in the coming days."

Thomas Clay, an attorney for Jaynes, said they plan to appeal to the Police Merit Board.

"This action by the chief was certainly anticipated," Clay said. "The pretermination hearing was a charade because the decision had already been made to terminate him.

"Nothing could have been said to change that decision."

Kent Wicker, Mattingly's attorney, said in a statement his client is "pleased that LMPD has recognized that he acted properly in responding to the shot fired by (Taylor's boyfriend) Kenneth Walker."

In an exclusive interview in October, Mattingly told The Courier Journal and ABC News that Taylor's death was a tragedy but it should not be lumped in other high-profile cases of slain Black Americans that have stirred public outrage and coast-to-coast protests.

"It's not a race thing like people wanna try to make it to be. It's not. This is a point where we were doing our job, we gave too much time when we go in, I get shot, we returned fire," Mattingly said.

On Tuesday night, Cosgrove sent an email to fellow officers lambasting LMPD's leadership for succumbing to "political pressures," writing that leaders "aren't afraid to perform hatchet jobs on you either."

"Think about that next time you put on the uniform and badge," Cosgrove wrote. "For those of you still doing real police work, it's just a matter of time till you (too) will be a sacrificial lamb. I plead with you, do nothing."

Cosgrove and Jaynes each received pretermination letters last week outlining the findings against them from interim Chief Yvette Gentry, who ultimately upheld her decision after meeting with each officer and his respective attorney.

Those pretermination meetings were a chance for the officers and their legal defense to present "additional information or mitigating factors in their favor."

Gentry weighed the defense put forth by the detectives and their attorneys but was not swayed.

"I considered the information you provided at our meeting concerning 'force science,' that is, the effect of serious physical threat on an officer's performance," Gentry wrote to Cosgrove. "However, despite your years of service, I cannot justify your conduct nor in good conscience recommend anything less than termination."

To Jaynes, Gentry acknowledged he believes he prepared the warrant in good faith, but he used information that was "not only inaccurate; it was not truthful."

"During your pretermination meeting, the FOP president (Ryan Nichols) suggested that the solution in the future was for better training," Gentry wrote. "I fully appreciate that training is good; the more the better. However, I heard nothing to suggest that you had been improperly trained on procedures for obtaining search warrants.

"More significantly, I do not believe officers can or need to be trained to tell the truth under oath."

Additionally, Gentry said Jaynes will be placed on the department's "Brady" list - which denotes officers with credibility issues - which will "jeopardize any criminal investigation in which you are involved."

Under Kentucky state law and their union contract, Cosgrove and Jaynes can appeal their firings within 10 days to the Police Merit Board.

The merit board could uphold the firing, or set aside the chief's finding and create a new penalty.

An officer has the right to appeal the merit board's decision within 30 days to a circuit court judge.

Hankison appealed his termination to the Police Merit Board, which will hear his appeal when his criminal case is completed.

He has pleaded not guilty to three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment after several rounds went into an occupied apartment next to Taylor's unit.