Police officer who fired shot that killed Breonna Taylor appeals firing

Mid-South

FILE – This undated photo provided by Taylor family attorney Sam Aguiar shows Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky. Gov. Andy Beshear has signed a partial ban on no-knock warrants, Friday, April 9, 2021, a year after the fatal shooting of Taylor. (Courtesy of Taylor Family attorney Sam Aguiar via AP, File)

(The Hill) — The Louisville police officer who the FBI said fired the shot that killed Breonna Taylor in March 2020 is appealing to get his job back after being dismissed in January, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported. 

Myles Cosgrove, a 15-year veteran of the Louisville Police Department, was one of two officers fired by the force over the raid on Breonna Taylor’s apartment on Mar. 13, 2020. He will now be appealing his dismissal to the Louisville Metro Police Merit Board in hearings that start Tuesday, per the Courier-Journal. 

In Cosgrove’s pre-termination letter, former Louisville interim Police Chief Yvette Gentry wrote that he violated police procedure and neglected to “properly identify a target,” instead firing in “three distinctly different directions.”

The report adds that he submitted his appeal 10 days after his firing on Jan. 10. At the upcoming hearings, which will take place over five days in November and December, members of the merit board will decide if Cosgrove’s Jan. 5 firing should be upheld. 

The second police officer who was fired following the shooting, Detective Joshua Jaynes, already lost his appeal to the board. 

Taylor, whose death helped spark the Black Lives Matter protests that swept the country last summer, was shot after her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, opened fire on police. Walker later said he believed the officers were intruders. The police returned fire, hitting Taylor multiple times. 

“I considered the information you provided at our meeting concerning ‘force science,’ that is, the effect of serious physical threat on an officer’s performance,” Gentry wrote to Cosgrove in January, per the Courier-Journal. “However, despite your years of service, I cannot justify your conduct nor in good conscience recommend anything less than termination.”

In September, the city of Louisville reached a $12 million settlement with Taylor’s family, the largest the city has ever paid in a police misconduct case. 

The settlement also included specific promises for police reforms, including guidance on the proper conduct of no-knock warrants. 

If the board finds Cosgrove’s firing was unfair, it could recommend a different penalty, like a suspension or a demotion.

If the board upholds the dismissal, he could appeal its decision in circuit court.

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