The former Louisville Metro Police detective who was fired after he fatally shot Breonna Taylor is now fighting to get his job back.
Myles Cosgrove lost his job in January for failing to “properly identify a target” when he fired 16 rounds into Taylor’s apartment on March 13, 2020.
On Tuesday, Cosgrove and his attorney began to appeal his case before the Louisville Metro Police Merit Board. The merit board, which consists of seven members (five civilians and two officers), will determine whether Cosgrove’s termination was reasonable.
Cosgrove is one of three officers physically involved in the shooting to be fired. Former detective Joshua Jaynes’ termination was upheld by the merit board after an appeal attempt earlier this summer. His termination letter cited ‘lying’ on the warrant affidavit used to access Taylor’s home.
Cosgrove was one of seven LMPD officers who arrived at Taylor’s apartment around 12:40 a.m. to serve a search warrant.
After police used a battering ram to force open Taylor’s front door, Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired one shot from his legally owned handgun, striking Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly in the leg. Walker later said he did not know he was shooting at police officers, and thought they were intruders breaking into the apartment.
Mattingly fired 6 shots in return, Cosgrove fired 16 shots and a third detective, Brett Hankison, fired 10 shots.
Taylor was struck six times and died in her hallway. Two of Cosgrove’s rounds struck Taylor. An FBI ballistics report said Cosgrove’s bullets killed her.
In Tuesday’s hearing, Jefferson County, Ky., assistant county attorney Brendan Daugherty, who is representing the police department, said that Cosgrove’s behavior on the night of Taylor’s death violated the department’s use-of-force policy.
“The policy explicitly states that the officer must be able to justifiably articulate his or her actions,” Daugherty said. “The policy further requires that the person against whom the force is used pose an immediate threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or another person.”
Scott Miller, Cosgrove’s attorney, argued that Cosgrove’s response was reasonable because believed he saw a “muzzle flash” come from a “shadowy human figure”.
Miller argued that Cosgrove acted in accordance with LMPD’s policy during a “high-stress, rapidly evolving situation in which he was shot at.”
The hearing began Tuesday, continued Wednesday and is scheduled to resume Dec. 13-15.
At the end of the hearing, members will discuss the case and return to the open meeting to cast their votes publicly.
If they determine the firing was not justified, they could create a new penalty. If they uphold the firing, Cosgrove has the right to appeal to circuit court.