LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The termination letter given to the detective who fired the shot that killed Breonna Taylor stated he was fired for “excessive force.”
According to the document obtained by WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters, LMPD Interim Chief Yvette Gentry said Det. Myles Cosgrove failed to properly identify the threat during his interviews following the shooting.
The letter went on to explain that Cosgrove’s description of why he fired during interviews was not enough to justify him firing back.
“You did not describe target isolation or target identification and instead described flashes that you did not properly evaluate as a threat,” Gentry wrote. “Had you evaluated the threat accurately, you would have likely stopped firing once the gunfire had stopped.”
During the deadly raid on Taylor’s apartment in March, Cosgrove fired 16 shots rounds once his partner, Sgt. John Mattingly, was shot in the leg by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Gentry noted that Walker fired once.
Gentry went on to quote portions of Cosgrove’s voluntary statement to the department’s Public Integrity Unit and to its Professional Standards Unit.
“In a follow-up interview with PSU, you stated ‘the target I’m firing at is this ... is the muzzle flash followed by human, I think, I said, like abnormal or distorted human form at the end of the hallway,’” Gentry quoted Cosgrove.
Gentry told Cosgrove that according to department policy, the “person against whom the force is used must pose ‘an immediate threat of death or serious injury.’”
“It appears you fired without properly identifying a target and not continuing to assess if the target posed an immediate threat of death of serious physical injury,” she wrote in the letter.
Mattingly, who was standing next to Cosgrove when the officers used a battering ram to get into Taylor’s apartment, was shot in the femoral artery, prompting the pair to fire back at Walker. According to the FBI’s description of the scenario, Taylor was standing next to Walker in the hallway of her home when Walker fired.
Tuesday, WAVE 3 News was first to report that Gentry also gave Det. Joshua Jaynes a letter of termination.
Jaynes has been under investigation related to the warrant he secured, allowing the raid to occur at Taylor’s home on March 13.
At issue is a statement in the warrant affidavit in which Jaynes said he verified with the U.S. Postal Inspector that Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, convicted drug trafficker Jamarcus Glover, was receiving packages at Taylor’s apartment. Nine months later, there are still conflicting reports over what the U.S. Postal Inspector told investigators about those packages.
“Detective Jaynes lied when he swore ‘verified through a US Postal Inspector,’” Gentry wrote in his termination letter. “Detective Jaynes did not have contact with a US Postal Inspector, he received the information from Sergeant (Jon) 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 3003 Springfield Drive #4.’”
Jaynes’ attorney, Thomas Clay, said surveillance pictures of Glover, obtained before Jaynes wrote the affidavit, showed Glover picking up what appeared to be a USPS package at Taylor’s home. The pictures were taken by investigators on the Taylor case before the affidavit was written.
Clay said the pictures prove Jaynes did not lie to obtain the warrant, adding that there was enough probable cause to search Taylor’s apartment without that statement.
In a letter to her officers that WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters obtained from multiple sources, Gentry told them that she respects what they do.
“I will support any actions you take in good faith to protect yourselves and others,” Gentry wrote. “Bringing closure to this case is important not only for the families impacted but for all of you to stop working under a cloud of suspicion.”
The officers are entitled to pre-termination hearings, according to state law and the Supreme Court. Those were originally scheduled for Thursday, but they’ve both been moved to next week at an undisclosed location.