Two U.S. police officers dismissed over Breonna Taylor's killing, union says

by Reuters
Thursday, 7 January 2021 07:55 GMT

People wear Breonna Taylor t-shirts while members of a Black militia group called the NFAC hold an armed rally in Lafayette, Louisiana, U.S. October 3, 2020. REUTERS/Go Nakamura

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Breonna Taylor was fatally shot when police entered her apartment bearing a 'no-knock' arrest warrant that targeted the wrong house

By Kanishka Singh

Jan 7 (Reuters) - One of the U.S. police officers who shot Black emergency medical technician Breonna Taylor in Louisville and the officer who prepared the warrant for the botched raid during which she was killed in her apartment have been dismissed, their union said.

Taylor was fatally shot when police entered her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky on March 13, one of a string of killings of African Americans that fueled mass protests across the United States in 2020.

Detective Myles Cosgrove, one of the officers who shot Taylor, and Detective Joshua Jaynes, who prepared the search warrant, had been told in December that the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) aimed to fire them.

Their union, the River City Fraternal Order of Police, said the two had been dismissed and described the terminations as "unjustified".

The LMPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside normal working hours.

Taylor's boyfriend, who was with her when police burst into the home, fired once at what he said he believed were intruders. Three police officers responded with 32 shots, six of which struck Taylor, killing her.

"There is certainly no evidence in this case that policies and procedures of the LMPD were violated to the extent that warranted termination," the union said late on Wednesday.

"Interim Chief Gentry not only made the wrong decision but also sent an ominous message to every sworn officer of the Louisville Metro Police Department," the River City FOP said.

Cosgrove was fired for use of deadly force for firing 16 rounds into Taylor's home and failing to activate his body camera, CNN reported, citing a copy of his termination letter.

Jaynes, who had written the search warrant for the raid on Taylor's home, was fired on Tuesday for "failing to complete a Search Warrant Operations Plan form", CNN reported.

On Wednesday, Erika Shields, the former police chief of Atlanta who resigned in June after the fatal shooting of an African-American man by an Atlanta police officer, was appointed head of the Louisville Metro Police Department.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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