(Reuters) – One of the Louisville police officers who shot Black emergency medical technician Breonna Taylor, and the officer that prepared the warrant for the botched raid during which she was killed, were told on Tuesday that the department aimed to fire them.
Taylor’s death when police entered her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky, early on March 13 was one of a string of killings of African Americans that fueled mass protest demonstrations across the United States in 2020.
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.
Lawyers for Detective Myles Cosgrove, one of the officers who shot Taylor, and Detective Joshua Jaynes, who prepared the search warrant, said in a statement quoted by the New York Times that each had received notices of termination.
Their union, the River City Fraternal Order of Police, said it was “aware that two of our members received pre-termination opportunity to respond notices today, outlining the chief’s current intent to terminate their employment”.
Cosgrove and Jaynes have been on administrative reassignment during the investigation, the New York Times reported.
Jaynes’ pre-termination letter, from interim chief Yvette Gentry, accused him of breaching department policies around truthfulness and preparing for a warrant’s execution, according to the Washington Post.
“These are extreme violations of our policies, which endangered others,” Gentry wrote in the letter. “Your actions have brought discredit upon yourself and the Department.”
“We intend to show up to the pre-termination hearing on Dec. 31 and we’re going to contest this action, although I’m not optimistic about Interim Chief Gentry changing her decision,” Thomas Clay, Jaynes’ lawyer, said in a statement to local media.
The Louisville Metro Police Department did not comment when contacted by Reuters.
(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Gerry Doyle and Peter Graff)