The Louisville Metro Police Department has moved to fire two off the officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor when police executed a “no-knock” search warrant at her home earlier this year.
Taylor was shot six times and killed during the March 13 raid. Officers had returned fire after Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, shot his gun mistakenly believing he and Taylor were the targets of a robbery. Police suspected that Taylor’s apartment was being used to traffic drugs, but no drugs or money were found during the search.
The incident quickly ignited public outrage and fueled anti-police brutality protests around the country as well as raised questions about the efficacy and morality of no-knock warrants.
The two officers — Detective Joshua Jaynes and Officer Myles Cosgrove — were notified of their termination on Tuesday and will answer the notices in a forthcoming hearing with the department’s chief, ABC News reported.
“We plan to attend the pre-termination hearing on December 31st, although I expect the result has already been pre-determined,” Thomas Clay, Jaynes’ lawyer, said. “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.”
Jaynes was not physically present at the shooting but is the officer who prepared the search warrant for Taylor’s apartment.
Cosgrove, on the other hand, was present at the shooting. A ballistics analysis reportedly determined that he fired the shot that proved fatal for Taylor. His lawyer, Jarrod Beck, likewise confirmed that he had received a pre-termination notice.
In a statement, Louisville’s River City Fraternal Order of Police said, “The FOP is aware that two of our members received pre-termination opportunity to respond notices today, outlining the chief’s current intent to terminate their employment. In the near future both members will have an opportunity to have a hearing before the chief of police and respond to the information contained in the notices. After those hearings, when the chief makes her final determinations, our members have the right to appeal any discipline that may be issued.”
To date, only one officer involved in the incident has received disciplinary action. Brett Hankison was fired by the department in June. He was also indicted by a grand jury in September on three counts of wanton endangerment for recklessly spraying bullets into the building and nearby apartments.
The department has not fired Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, who also was there and fired into the apartment. Mattingly was shot in the leg by Taylor’s booyfriend during the raid.