Feds Charge 4 Louisville Cops Tied to Breonna Taylor Killing

Breonna Taylor

A photo of Breonna Taylor was placed at Black Lives Matter Plaza on Saturday, July 30, 2022, in Washington, DC. Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Frontline Action Hub.

Federal prosecutors in Kentucky have hit four Louisville Metro Police officers with criminal charges in connection with the early-2020 killing of emergency room nurse Breonna Taylor.

“Among other things, the federal charges announced today allege that members of LMPD’s Place-Based Investigations Unit falsified the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant of Ms. Taylor’s home, that this act violated federal civil rights laws, and that those violations resulted in Ms. Taylor’s death,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said at a Thursday, Aug. 4, press conference, shortly after the indictments were unsealed in Louisville. “Breonna Taylor should be alive today.”

Garland’s prosecutors charged ex-detective Joshua Jaynes, 40, and current Sgt. Kyle Meany, 35, with federal civil rights and obstruction of justice crimes for allegedly preparing and approving a fake search warrant affidavit that led to 26-year-old Taylor’s death in a hail of gunfire.

A former detective, Brett Hankison, 46, faces civil rights violations for allegedly firing blindly into Taylor’s apartment through a draped window and covered glass door. Prosecutors said that was an unjustified use of force.

Authorities also accused an ex-detective, Kelly Goodlett, with not only conspiring with Jaynes to falsify the search warrant affidavit, but also with working with him to cover up their crimes.

LMPD officers

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

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

Attempts to reach the four defendants were unsuccessful. Either their current contact information remains unlisted, or the suspects and their civil attorneys didn’t respond to Coffee or Die Magazine’s requests for comment.

No criminal defense attorneys are listed for the defendants in the federal court docket.

The criminal complaints filed in federal court paint a confusing scene at Taylor’s Springfield Drive apartment shortly before 1 a.m. on March 13, 2020. Prosecutors contend that Louisville’s Place-Based Investigations Unit relied on a bogus warrant when they kicked in the door to Taylor’s residence.

Her boyfriend. Kenneth Walker, believed intruders were breaking in, so he fired one shot with his pistol, which he lawfully possessed.

The round hit the first plainclothes officer through the door.

Breonna Taylor

A protest march on June 26, 2022, in New York featured a sign recalling the death of Breonna Taylor. Photo by Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images.

A pair of cops unleashed a barrage of 22 bullets, one of which punctured Taylor’s chest, but they missed Walker, according to the indictments.

Authorities accused Hankison of then moving toward a sliding door into the flat to fire 10 rounds into Taylor’s apartment.

Those rounds failed to hit anyone but ripped through Taylor’s walls, putting three other lives in an adjoining apartment at risk, prosecutors said.

Neither Taylor nor Walker was a target of the search warrant. The warrant spun out of a probe into narcotics trafficking at a Louisville location 10 miles from her residence, according to the indictments.

“On March 13, 2020, Breonna Taylor should have awakened in her home as usual, but tragically she did not,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said. “Since the founding of our nation, the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution has guaranteed that all people have a right to be secure in their homes, free from false warrants, unreasonable searches and the use of unjustifiable and excessive force by the police. These indictments reflect the Justice Department’s commitment to preserving the integrity of the criminal justice system and to protecting the constitutional rights of every American.”

Editor’s Note: This is a breaking story and Coffee or Die Magazine will continue to update it.

Read Next: Kentucky Militia Leader Going to Prison for Flagging Cops With Rifle

Carl came to Coffee or Die Magazine after stints at Navy Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He served in the Marine Corps and the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. His awards include the Joseph Galloway Award for Distinguished Reporting on the military, a first prize from Investigative Reporters & Editors, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Prosecutors say Agent Thomas Hartley defrauded government while deployed as New Jersey Army National Guard soldier.
The Air Force grounded its fleet of CV-22 Ospreys, the service’s primary aircraft for inserting and recovering special operations forces, after two troubling mechanical failures in six weeks.
Muhammad Masood pledged his support to terrorists in Syria and contemplated attacking the US.
An RPG-launcher-carrying robot “dog” shown off at a Russian technology show is made in China and has a battery life of about an hour.
Marie LeClair defrauded her union, spending local funds on cell phone bills, a spa visit, and other perks.
Members of the Biloxi chapter of the Air Force Sergeants Association found eight bricks of cocaine, wrapped in tape and plastic for smuggling and labeled with “Dior” stickers, washed up on a Biloxi beach.
A Florida veteran who faked a limp, wore an adult diaper to his VA appointments, and lied about getting PTSD from combat is going to prison.
While citizens in Ukraine’s capital are no longer hunkered in bomb shelters, the war is far from over.
The arrest of the Gab user follows federal warnings about a rising sea of threats against law enforcement following the FBI’s raid on Donald Trump’s Florida resort mansion.
Michael Dwight Clay was wanted for murder, carjacking, and aggravated assault allegedly committed after his release.