LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Two more officers have been fired who were involved in Breonna Taylor’s deadly shooting – one investigator allegedly shot dead with a deadly shot and another seeking a search warrant for a deadly raid – authorities said on Wednesday.
The announcement came moments after city officials said Atlanta police chief Taylor would soon take over the Louisville Police Department after months of unrest over Taylor’s death. Erika Shields served in Atlanta for 25 years, including more than three years as a manager. His term of office is over when he resigned in June after Atlanta officers shot dead a black man named Rayshard Brooks in a restaurant parking lot.
Detectives Myles Cosgrove, who shot Taylor, and Joshua Jaynes, who requested the March 13 drug raid, were notified of their shooting on Tuesday. Their dismissal follows Officer Brett Hankison, who was fired in September after being charged by a large jury on charges of endangering Taylor’s neighbors by firing bullets that passed through her home and adjoining apartment.
Taylor, a 26-year-old black emergency medical technician, was killed when officers tried to carry out a knock-out order. None of the three white officers shot dead in his home were charged by the mortal jury.
Investigators said Cosgrove fired 16 shots into the apartment after police broke into the front door and Taylor’s friend fired at them. Federal ballistics experts believe the shot that killed Taylor came from Cosgrove.
In a letter of dismissal from Cosgrove, interim Chief of Police Yvette Gentry wrote that the detective violated the department’s violent policy by firing 16 shots without identifying a target and not activating her body camera. Gentry quoted Cosgrove’s statements to internal investigators that he began firing at a “distorted shadowy crowd” after Taylor’s friend fired a single shot at the officers.
“The shots you fired went in three different directions, indicating that you didn’t control the threat or didn’t get a target,” Gentry wrote.
Jaynes, the detective who applied for a drug license leading to the raid, was “untrue” in how she obtained some information about Taylor in the order, Gentry wrote. Jaynes was not on the scene the night Taylor was shot.
In an interview with Louisville police investigators in May, Jaynes admitted that he had not personally checked to see if a drug trafficking suspect had received a letter at Taylor’s apartment, despite saying in an earlier statement. Jaynes said he relied instead on information he received from an officer.
“I acknowledge that you made the order in good faith,” Gentry wrote in a letter to Jaynes. – However, he failed to inform the judge that he had no contact with the U.S. Postal Inspector.
Jaynes and Cosgrove underwent an administrative transfer, with another officer involved in the raid, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly.
Mattingly’s leg was shot by Taylor’s friend, who said he thought an intruder was breaking into the home. Mattingly said in October he wanted to retire.
In September, Attorney General Daniel Cameron of Kentucky, who took on the role of special prosecutor in the case, said Cosgrove and Mattingly had not been charged with murdering Taylor for acting to protect themselves. The decision disappointed and angered protesters who have been demanding justice for Taylor for six months and vowed to stay on the street until all officers involved were fired or someone was charged with murder.
Three great jurors have appeared since he told you that Cameron did not allow the Grand Jury to consider the murders committed against officers as a result of Taylor’s death. Anonymously, jurors said they thought they would have prosecuted the officers if they had had the opportunity.
For months, Taylor’s name has provoked hatred for activists who have protested against police killings of black men and women. Famous musicians, actors, athletes and politicians have called for the arrest of officers.
The trust between many in the police and the city’s black community has eroded since Taylor’s death, which blew up the city’s longtime leader, Steve Conrad. Two temporary bosses, including Gentry, the first black woman to head the department, have served since Conrad’s June dismissal.
Shields will be the fourth person Taylor was shot by police in Kentucky’s largest city.
“I commit myself to starting my work here, which is focused on restoring community trust, and I think it weakened even before Breonna Taylor was killed,” Shields said. He also promised to end armed violence in the city, which had a record 173 homicides in 2020.
Shields said he was “sick” from the Brooks shot and that keeping him in leadership in Atlanta would have been a distraction. Shields told Louisville residents who might be upset about his recruitment that he was “just asking people to step back, take the time to see what I accomplished, what I believe in, and how I led the class.”
Shields will begin work on January 19th.
A day earlier, a Wisconsin prosecutor had denied charges against a white policeman who shot a black man in the back in Kenosha in August. The wounding of paralyzed Jacob Blake has also sparked protests over police brutality and racism. Authorities concluded that they could not refute the office’s claim that he had acted in self-defense for fear of being stabbed by Blake.