2 Louisville Officers Connected to Breonna Taylor’s Death Have Been Fired

January 7, 2021Joshua Skovlund
LMPD Myles Cosgrove and Joshua Jaynes fired in Breonna Taylor shooting

Myles Cosgrove and Joshua Jaynes, the two detectives fired from LMPD. Photos courtesy of LMPD, composite image by Joshua Skovlund/Coffee or Die Magazine.

Two Louisville Metro Police Department officers connected with the shooting death of Breonna Taylor in March 2020 were fired Tuesday, according to copies of their termination letters emailed to Coffee or Die Magazine from the LMPD. 

Myles Cosgrove, above left, was the officer believed to have fired the fatal shot that killed Breonna Taylor. Joshua Jaynes, right, was the officer who filed the search warrant application, but he was not present for the search warrant raid carried out at Taylor’s apartment. Cosgrove’s and Jaynes’ termination letters were signed by LMPD interim Chief of Police Yvette Gentry. Both men have 10 days to submit a written request for a review of Gentry’s decision to fire them. 

Cosgrove’s letter shows that he violated LMPD’s standard operating procedures (SOP) in the use of deadly force as well as wearable video system procedures. It further details that Cosgrove violated the use of deadly force SOP because he failed to identify his target before firing 16 shots from his firearm, two of which struck Taylor, including the fatal shot. 

Louisville, Kentucky, law enforcement in riot control gear stand ready during widespread riots and protests throughout the city. Screenshot from YouTube.

“The shots you fired went in three different directions, indicating you did not verify a threat or have target acquisition. In other words, the evidence shows that you fired wildly at unidentified subjects or targets located within an apartment,” Gentry stated in the termination letter. “I note that Sergeant Mattingly, who was shot and critically injured, was able to identify and describe the individual whom he targeted as a threat and against whom he returned fire. Your failure to properly identify a threat and to assess whether an ongoing threat existed is a direct violation of our Standard Operating Procedures.” 

Also, Cosgrove violated the WVS, or wearable video system, procedures because he failed to activate his body camera before participating in the search warrant raid. The letter further acknowledges that despite Cosgrove’s multiple years of service with the LMPD, Gentry could not see any appropriate option outside of termination.

Jayne’s letter reprimands him for being untruthful in his filing of the search warrant application. He violated the SOP both for “Preparation for Search Warrant Execution” and for truthfulness/untruthfulness. Jayne failed to file a “Search Warrant Operations Plan form” before the raid at Taylor’s apartment. He also lied on his search warrant application when he claimed he had verified through a US postal inspector that Jamarcus Glover was receiving packages at Taylor’s apartment.

“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,” Gentry wrote in the letter. “Your sworn information was not only inaccurate; it was not truthful.” 

Because he lied, Gentry said that LMPD would be forced to place him on the “Brady list,” which indicates that an officer may not be trustworthy and would affect his credibility in any future cases for which he might be called into court. Gentry said that the damage to Jayne’s credibility would jeopardize any criminal investigations he takes part in. 

breonna taylor
A protester holds up a sign demanding justice for Breonna Taylor during demonstrations over the summer of 2020. Photo courtesy of Unsplash/Logan Weaver.

Cosgrove and Jayne weren’t the only officers under investigation. Sgt. Kyle Meany received a letter of reprimand for violating the “Risk Assessment Matrix/SWAT Team Response” SOP because he didn’t submit his risk assessment to the chain of command before the raid took place. 

Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Lt. Shawn Hoover were both exonerated of accusations that they had violated procedures. Detective Wes Barton, who like Jayne had been accused of failing to meet the truthfulness SOP, was cleared and will not be reprimanded. 

Detectives Anthony James and Michael Campbell were both found to have violated the procedures for failing to turn on their body camera before the search warrant was executed. Both underwent a day of suspension without pay on Dec. 30, 2020.

Joshua Skovlund
Joshua Skovlund

Joshua Skovlund is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die. He covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. After five years as in paramedicine, he transitioned to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children.

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