Detective Jaynes falsely claimed that he checked with the US post office to confirm that packages were being delivered to Breonna's house.
Trigger Warning: The story has details of police brutality and racial violence that readers may find disturbing
Two Louisville police officers have been fired for their involvement in the death of Breonna Taylor. Officer Myles Cosgrove and Detective Joshua Jaynes were dismissed from the department on Tuesday. Cosgrove is ascertained to have fired the shot that killed Breonna as per a ballistics analysis, while Detective Joshua Jaynes had prepared the search warrant that eventually cost the healthcare worker her life, reported Good Morning America. Their terminations were handed to them in writing from interim Police Chief Yvette Gentry, following a closed-door hearing with the officers and their attorneys on Monday.
Breonna Taylor was killed in the dead of the night by cops while executing a drug warrant on March 13. Taylor's family accused the cops of arriving at 1 a.m. in plain clothes and unmarked vehicles before raiding her home, which led to Breonna Taylor being killed. The lawsuit filed by her family alleges that Louisville police broke into the apartment unannounced. Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who assumed someone was breaking into the home, fired a bullet from a licensed gun in self-defense. Responding to him firing in self-defense, the cops fired wildly, pumping eight bullets into Taylor and killing her, reported The Washington Post.
Cosgrove, who fired 16 rounds into her apartment, was found to have violated the use of deadly force procedure. Of the 16 shots, two rounds hit Taylor, with one proving to be fatal. Interim Police Chief Yvette Gentry said Cosgrove "did not describe target/threat isolation or target/threat identification but instead you describe flashes that you did not properly evaluate as a threat." In Cosgrove's termination letter, Gentry noted that Standard Operating Procedure says the "person against whom the force is used must pose 'an immediate threat of death or serious injury.'" She also pointed to his shots that went in three different directions as proof that he "did not verify a threat or have a target acquisition." Gentry added that he had also failed to activate his body-camera. "Despite your years of service, I cannot justify your conduct nor in good conscience recommend anything less than termination," wrote Gentry.
There is no revelation here. Thanks to the assertion of Louisville postal inspector Tony Gooden, we’ve known for 7+ months the warrant executed in the Breonna Taylor case was based on lies. Her death was the direct result of lies, corruption, and complete malfeasance by @LMPD.— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) December 30, 2020
Joshua Jaynes was fired for preparing the search warrant without verifying crucial information. Jaynes, who wasn't at the shooting, wrote that he had verified through a U.S. postal inspector that Taylor's ex-boyfriend had been receiving packages at Taylor's address. Gentry said he didn't personally verify it and had been untruthful and thus violated the Standard Operating Procedure for truthfulness. "You did not have contact with a US Postal Inspector. You did not 'verify' this statement you swore to in the affidavit," wrote Gentry in his termination letter. "I acknowledge that you believe you prepared the search warrant in good faith. However, you failed to inform the judge that you had no contact with the US Postal Inspector. Your sworn information was not only inaccurate; it was not truthful."
BREAKING: Louisville police fired 2 officers for their roles in the police killing of #BreonnaTaylor, reports @courierjournal.— AJ+ (@ajplus) January 6, 2021
Myles Cosgrove fired the shot that killed Taylor and committed "extreme violations" of policy. Joshua Jaynes secured the warrant for the raid. pic.twitter.com/oXHQjBWRnN
Louisville's River City Fraternal Order of Police stood by the two police officers and called their firings "unjustified." Both of them will be appealing their terminations. "There is certainly no evidence in this case that policies and procedures of the LMPD were violated to the extent that warranted termination," said Fraternal Order of Police in a statement. "Interim Chief Gentry not only made the wrong decision, but also sent an ominous message to every sworn officer of the Louisville Metro Police Department." Jaynes' lawyer also confirmed they would be appealing the decision. "I fully expect Mr. Jaynes will be terminated after the 'hearing' no matter what the evidence is to the contrary. We will appeal any disciplinary action taken against Mr. Jaynes because I believe the evidence shows he did nothing wrong," said the lawyer.