LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Former Louisville police detective Myles Cosgrove is expected to seek reinstatement during hearings that begin Tuesday. The FBI determined the terminated officer fired the shot that ultimately killed Breonna Taylor during a March 2020 narcotic raid at her apartment. Team members returned fire from Taylor’s boyfriend as they made entry to the residence.
Cosgrove who worked for the Louisville Police Department for about 15 years. He will appear before the Louisville Metro Police Merit Board to appeal his termination.
The hearings will occur across five days spread out in November and December before the board members determine whether his termination on Jan. 5 by former Louisville interim police Chief Yvette Gentry was justified, the Louisville Courier Journal reported.
Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly was shot in the leg during the raid. Investigators determined that Kenneth Walker, Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, had a 9mm handgun at the scene. He has admitted firing at police, Law Officer reported.
Gentry determined that Cosgrove violated department procedures for use of force and failing to use a body camera during the search.
In a pretermination letter, Gentry said Cosgrove failed to “properly identify a target” and he fired in “three distinctly different directions.”
Cosgrove was among the seven plainclothes Louisville Metro Police officers assigned to execute a narcotics-related search warrant around 12:40 a.m. on Taylor’s apartment. After police used a battering ram to force entry, Walker fired one round from his handgun, striking Mattingly.
After Walker deployed his weapon, ballistics determined that Cosgrove fired 16 times, while Mattingly fired six rounds, and a third detective, Brett Hankison, fired 10 rounds. Taylor was struck six times in a hallway.
Cosgrove and his lawyer, L. Scott Miller, participated in a pretermination hearing but ultimately the interim chief followed through with firing the detective, Fox News reported.
“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 said in her letter addressed to Cosgrove, according to the Journal. “However, despite your years of service, I cannot justify your conduct nor in good conscience recommend anything less than termination.”
Miller argued the ex-detective was not required to wear a body camera because he was a narcotics officer and this violation was not consistent with standard operating procedure at the time. He also noted that Mattingly was not punished for the same alleged offense.
“This is underscored by the fact that another officer who discharged his weapon after being confronted with the same threat identified by Detective Cosgrove was exonerated of any violation of the department’s use of deadly force policy, while Detective Cosgrove has been terminated,” Miller wrote in the appeal notice.
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During the internal investigation, Cosgrove said he was “overwhelmed” by intense darkness interspersed with white flashes of light, described having tunnel vision seeing Hankison and Mattingly, who was shot. He also recounted loss of hearing and muteness, Fox reported.
There are five members on the merit board appointed by the mayor and approved by Metro Council, according to the Courier Journal. Under state law, two police officers, who have been elected for two-year terms, also serve on the board for disciplinary cases and retain voting powers.
If the board finds Cosgrove’s firing was not justified, it could recommend a lesser punishment, such as a suspension or a demotion. If the board does not rule in his favor, he retains the option to appeal in circuit court.