Four Police Officers Charged with Contributing to the Death of Breonna Taylor

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The FBI detained Joshua Jaynes, a former detective with the Louisville Metro Police who had been fired after first being sent to administrative duty for falsifying information on a search warrant related to the tragic raid on Breonna Taylor’s residence in Louisville, Kentucky, in March 2020. According to Courier Journal, three other people were also detained, including Brett Hankison, the only cop involved in the case who was charged by the state but eventually cleared.

Federal charges are being brought against Jaynes, who was detained on Thursday. Federal charges are also pending against the former detective Hankison and two other LMPD officers, Kelly Hanna Goodlett and Kyle Meany.

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced the accusations at a press conference on Thursday. According to CNN, Jaynes, Goodlett, and Meany conspired to make up a false cover story in an effort to avoid accountability for their parts in writing the warrant affidavit that contained false information. As a result, they were charged with conspiracy for violating Taylor’s Fourth Amendment rights by submitting a false affidavit to search Taylor’s home. Hankison was charged with two counts of civil rights infringement on Thursday.

During the raid on March 13, 2020, police fatally shot Taylor, a Black woman and 26-year-old emergency room technician, as she dozed off in bed. Nationwide protests were provoked by her murder.

In his sworn declaration for the warrant search of Taylor’s residence, Jaynes made a statement that then-interim Chief Yvette Gentry discovered to be untrue, leading to his termination in January 2021. He claimed in the affidavit that he had confirmed through a U.S. Postal Inspector that Jamarcus Glover, a suspected drug dealer, was making narcotics deliveries from Taylor’s apartment. In her house, no narcotics were discovered. However, Jonathan Mattingly, another officer, provided the information to Jaynes; neither had received postal inspector confirmation.

According to Garland, the Department of Justice claims that Jaynes, Meany, and Goodlett, who were engaged in obtaining the search warrant for Taylor’s residence, did so with knowledge that the police lacked probable cause to conduct the search. He continued by saying that the police were aware that the affidavit used to justify the request was inaccurate, deceptive, and omitted crucial details.

Garland further said that Jaynes and Goodlett met in May 2020 and planned to willfully falsify a document used in an investigation and to deceive the federal, state, and local officials looking into the incident.

Hankison was fired for his part in Taylor’s death along with another officer, Myles Cosgrove, who both discharged their weapons during the raid. Cosgrove and Mattingly were not charged by the state, and Mattingly later quit. According to Garland on Thursday, the officers who eventually carried out the search at this Taylors department were not involved in the writing of the request and were not aware of its fraudulent and deceptive claims.

On three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, Hankison was found not guilty in state court earlier this year.

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