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Board upholds firing of ex-police officer who fatally shot Breonna Taylor

Cosgrove, who is white, was fired by Louisville Metro Police in January for violating standard operating procedures in the death of the Black emergency room technician.

A police merit board on Wednesday upheld the firing of former Louisville Police Officer Myles Cosgrove who fatally shot Breonna Taylor, a Black emergency room technician, while executing a no-knock search warrant.

Cosgrove, who was fired in January, fired 16 shots into Taylor's apartment March 13, 2020. Taylor’s home was raided in a narcotics investigation of her former boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover. Her family has said Glover lived in a different part of the city and was already in police custody when Taylor’s home was raided.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said last September that Cosgrove, who is white, fired the shot that killed the 26-year-old.

Taylor was at home with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, when the plainclothes officers entered her apartment in the early morning hours.

Walker, who had a license to carry a weapon, has said that he believed the home was being burglarized, so he grabbed his gun and fired a single shot. Police said he wounded one of the officers, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, in the leg.

Police then returned fire, killing Taylor.

Protesters gather near the memorial for Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., on Sept. 25, 2020.
Protesters gather near the memorial for Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., on Sept. 25, 2020.Eduardo Munoz / Reuters file

In a letter announcing Cosgrove's termination, then-Police Chief Yvette Gentry said he violated standard operating procedures for deadly force and failure to activate his body-worn camera.

She said that the shots he 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 within an apartment,” the letter stated.

Cosgrove filed an appeal in January to get his job back. He and his legal team began meeting with the Louisville Metro Police Merit Board on Nov. 9.

During Wednesday’s merit board meeting, a motion was made to uphold the decision to dismiss Cosgrove based on evidence received. The board voted 5-2 to uphold his termination.

Cosgrove was one of several officers disciplined over Taylor’s death. Joshua Jaynes was fired in January and Brett Hankison was terminated in June 2020. Mattingly retired from the police department.

Jaynes and Hankison also appealed their termination. The board upheld Jaynes' firing. He filed a lawsuit against the board in September alleging that it made an “arbitrary decision not supported by true facts,” according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. Jaynes was not at Taylor’s apartment when the gunfire erupted but had obtained the search warrant.

No charges were ever filed directly related to Taylor's death. Hankison was charged with wanton endangerment after authorities said he fired blindly into the apartment and recklessly endangered Taylor’s neighbors. Hankison’s appeal of his termination is pending until after his trial date in February.