LOUISVILLE, Ky. — At 12:40 a.M. March 13, Louisville police officers carried out a “no-knock” search warrant, breaking through the door of Breonna Taylor’s apartment where she and her boyfriend had just been in bed.
Minutes later, Taylor was lying dead in her hallway, shot six times by officers who fired more than 30 rounds after Taylor’s boyfriend shot at them. He later told investigators he and Taylor didn’t realize it was police at the door.
The events eventually ignited a firestorm across the nation, as prominent voices questioned why an unarmed Black woman had been gunned down in her home by white officers.
In the immediate aftermath, the three Louisville Metro Police officers who the department said fired their guns that night — Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and detectives Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove — were placed on administrative reassignment.
Since then, Hankison was fired from LMPD in June by interim Chief Robert Schroeder for “blindly” firing more than 10 rounds into Taylor’s apartment. He also was indicted by a grand jury Sept. 23 on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for bullets he fired that went into a neighboring apartment where three residents were present.
The grand jury did not indict Mattingly or Cosgrove, though Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced following the grand jury’s decision that his investigation had concluded they, not Hankison, fired the bullets that fatally struck Taylor.
The case is still under investigation by the FBI.
Detective Joshua Jaynes, who secured the no-knock warrant for Taylor’s apartment and four other houses that night, also was placed on administrative reassignment. Schroeder announced on June 10 the move would allow questions to be answered on “how and why the search warrant was approved.”.
On Sept. 21, the department confirmed that three additional officers at Taylor’s apartment during the raid — detectives Tony James, Michael Campbell and Michael Nobles — were under an internal Professional Standards Unit investigation for possible policy violations.
That investigation also includes Jaynes, Mattingly and Cosgrove, a department spokeswoman said.
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Here’s what we know about the officers connected to the Breonna Taylor case:.
Who is detective Brett Hankison?
Hankison is the sole officer facing criminal charges among those present at Taylor’s Louisville apartment on March 13, when she was shot and killed.
He does not, however, face charges for her death, but for shooting into an adjoining apartment.
Crime scene photos show a shattered sliding glass door and bullets slicing through walls.
The neighbor whose apartment was shot up previously had filed a lawsuit against Hankison, Mattingly and Cosgrove, saying they went on to “spray gunfire into Chelsey Napper’s apartment with a total disregard for the value of human life.”.
Hankison, 44, was an LMPD officer for roughly 17 years before he was terminated June 23.
The former detective is accused of violating departmental policies on adherence to rules and regulations and use of deadly force. Schroeder noted in a termination letter that Hankison was disciplined for reckless conduct in early 2019.
Hankison has appealed his firing to the Police Merit Board, which will consider whether Schroeder’s decision was justified. If it determines it was not, it can levy its own punishment.
In the appeal, attorney David Leightty wrote that Hankison’s firing was “a cowardly political act.”.
“It would have taken courage and integrity to calmly state: ‘We must wait until the investigations have been completed and the evidence is in hand before making any determinations regarding discipline,'” he wrote.
Cameron’s investigation, he said at a press conference, concluded that there wasn’t evidence to support that Hankison’s bullets struck Taylor.
He didn’t elaborate on what led to that conclusion.
“Again, all the evidence was given to the grand jury, and they made the decision that wanton endangerment was the charge to file, or to indict, against Mr. Hankison,” Cameron said.
Former Police Chief Steve Conrad said Hankison joined the department in 2003.
Before joining Louisville police, Hankison worked at the Lexington Police Department from 1999 through 2002, the Herald-Leader reported.
A transfer log from Hankison’s personnel file shows he worked in LMPD’s 6th Division before joining the narcotics unit in 2016.
Hankison has received commendations for professionalism, his traffic stop and search warrant execution, his work responding to a 15-year-old person threatening suicide and a 2013 instance where he identified a human trafficking victim, among others.
But his personnel file also includes a professional standards unit investigation that found Hankison violated departmental policy in three instances: Improperly charging an individual for having a shotgun in his trunk, failing to notify a superior about third-degree assault and resisting arrest charges filed against someone and failing to call for emergency help for someone after believing the individual had swallowed cocaine.
His file contains his response, in which he disagrees with the findings, calling one “unjust.” He argues he did notify his supervisor of the charges and said he didn’t believe the person suspected of swallowing crack cocaine was in danger.
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“In my extensive experience with drug dealers, the crack, if ingested in a package, will pass through their systems without negatively affecting their health because the packaging doesn’t break down in the digestive system.”.
Additionally, Hankison is being sued in federal court by a man who alleges that the detective has repeatedly arrested and planted drugs on him as a part of a “vendetta.”.
In the suit filed in October 2019, the plaintiff, Kendrick Wilson, says his mistake was “attracting the unwanted and undeserved attention” of Hankison.
It also says that Wilson and Hankison have had various interactions outside of the arrests, “including over a relationship with the same woman.”.
Hankison has also been accused of sexual assault by multiple women in viral social media posts. The allegations are similar, saying that he offered intoxicated women a ride home from bars before sexually assaulting them.
“We are aware of these posts, and investigators are looking into the allegations,” LMPD spokeswoman Jessie Halladay said in an email. “If anyone has information about these cases, we encourage them to call (502) 574-7144.”.
On June 11, Fischer announced that Hankison would also be investigated by the Kentucky Public Corruption/Civil Rights Task Force, which consists of the FBI, Louisville police, Kentucky State Police and the state attorney general’s office.
Before he was fired, Hankison was an elected member of the Louisville Police Merit Board.
Hankison also has been investigated at least twice by LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit for accusations involving sexual misconduct. Both cases found no wrongdoing.
In 2015, a probation and parole officer told investigators that a parolee had informed her that Hankison told her he wanted to “date her.” In an initial interview, the parolee said he had “come on to her” and said a ticket could be taken care of if she had sex with him.
She later retracted those statements. An investigator, in recommending the case be closed, said no evidence was found, and it was clear she was being “deceptive.”.
In 2008, Hankison was accused of receiving oral sex in exchange for not arresting a woman with an outstanding warrant, but the woman denied it occurred.
She said she wasn’t arrested because she gave information on a drug dealer.
Hankison has collected the highest amount of overtime of the three officers, netting more than $150,530 since 2015.
City data show he regularly collected thousands on top of his base salary while working for the department’s Narcotics Unit. The job switch only slightly bumped his salary, but boosted his overtime by more than $20,000 — a jump that made his 2016 overtime the 23rd highest in LMPD.
The following year, in 2017, he collected $48,046.30 in overtime, nearly doubling his salary of $58,593.60. That overtime payment was the department’s 12th highest.
Who is detective Myles Cosgrove?
Cosgrove, according to Cameron’s investigation, likely fired the shot that killed Taylor.
But, the attorney general said, his investigation also found that Cosgrove, along with Mattingly, were justified in returning gunfire after they were fired upon by Taylor’s boyfriend, Walker.
Both Cosgrove and Mattingly were not indicted by the grand jury.
There were conflicting lab reports after the Kentucky State Police and FBI analyzed ballistics evidence. KSP test was “inconclusive,” Cameron said.
The FBI crime lab, however, found that the fatal shot was “fired by Detective Cosgrove.”.
Those differing findings, Cameron said, created “reasonable doubt” in the evidence as to who fired the fatal shot.
“It certainly creates some issue, in terms of providing that information to the grand jury and providing that at any subsequent prosecution,” Cameron said.
Cosgrove worked in LMPD’s 8th, 4th and 6th divisions before transferring to narcotics in 2016.
His personnel file includes commendations for his handling of a dangerous situation with someone in crisis and his involvement in training division graduation ceremonies.
But it also includes disciplinary actions for poor court attendance and violating “courtesy” policies.
Former police Chief Robert White wrote in a 2009 letter that Cosgrove “failed to exercise patience and diplomacy when dealing with a member of the public,” garnering him a letter of reprimand.
Before that, Cosgrove was sued for excessive force by a man he shot in 2006 at a Speedway gas station in the East End, records show. A federal judge sided with Cosgrove in the case, according to court records.
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The opinion from Judge Charles R. Simpson describes that in December 2006, Cosgrove shot 11 times at a car that backed up as the officer was trying to pull it over. Several rounds struck the vehicle and injured the driver.
The driver and passengers sued, accusing Cosgrove of excessive force and arresting them without probable cause. But the judge found Cosgrove had sufficient facts to pull the car over.
Cosgrove’s police powers were temporarily suspended while that shooting was under investigation, records show, but he returned to work in May 2007.
After moving to the narcotics unit, Cosgrove was one of several officers praised by a resident after a raid on a “dealer” in the resident’s complex. Conrad also commended him in 2015 for turning the “service of an arrest warrant into the dismantling of an active meth lab.”.
“While verifying the identity of the suspect, you observed an empty Coleman camp fuel container in the trash can. Further search of the residence revealed an active, single pot meth lab,” Conrad wrote. “I commend you for a job well done.”.
Since 2015, Cosgrove never exceeded $10,000 in overtime in a given year.
Who is Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly?
On the night Taylor was killed, Mattingly was shot in the thigh. He required surgery, with officials saying he was expected to make a full recovery.
Cameron’s investigation identified Mattingly as one of the two officers who fired shots that likely struck Taylor. He is not suspected of having fired the fatal shot.
The day before the announcement he would not be indicted by the grand jury, Mattingly sent a six-paragraph email at 2:09 a.M. To more than 1,000 colleagues, arguing that he and the other officers had done the “legal, moral and ethical thing that night” at Taylor’s apartment.
“I wish I were there with you leading the charge,” he wrote to officers. “I’ll be praying for your safety. Remember you are just a pawn in the Mayors political game. I’m proof they do not care about you or your family, and you are replaceable. Stay safe and do the right thing.
“YOU ARE LOVED AND SUPPORTED by most of the community. Now go be the Warriors you are, but please be safe! None of these ‘peaceful’ protesters are worth your career or freedom.”.
Mattingly joined LMPD as an officer in 2000 and worked in the 2nd, 3rd, 7th and 4th divisions before joining narcotics in 2016.
He also spent three years in the now-defunct VIPER Unit — Violent Incident Prevention, Enforcement and Response — which targeted “hot spots” of violent crime and Louisville’s most wanted criminals.
In 2009, Mattingly was sworn in as a sergeant.
In his 20 years with LMPD, Mattingly has numerous commendations, letters of appreciation and award nominations in his personnel file, including as recently as August 2017.
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Praise for Mattingly includes everything from helping a citizen find their lost dog in 2001 to his roles in multiple drug busts and firearm seizures.
Mattingly also received one reprimand: In April 2017, he failed to complete the proper documentation on the same day that force was used against a suspect. The reprimand came with no further sanctions.
Mattingly has collected $118,878.60 in overtime since 2015.
Who is detective Joshua Jaynes?
Jaynes joined the police department in 2006, and has worked in the 6th and 5th divisions before transferring to narcotics in 2016, his personnel file shows.
Jaynes is a member of the Place-Based Investigations unit, LMPD records show, a new unit meant to target violence in specific locations. The unit is part of the Criminal Interdiction Division, to which Mattingly, Cosgrove and Hankison are also assigned.
In his 14 years with the department, Jaynes has earned numerous commendations from supervisors and notes of appreciation from area residents. The praise includes a letter from a homeowner who said Jaynes made sure the writer’s nephew and pets were safely evacuated from their burning home. He was also recognized as recently as October 2019 for his role in contributing to federal cases.
A 2017 memo shows Jaynes received an oral reprimand for causing an “at fault” accident that February. He was also found to be in violation of the department’s court attendance policy in 2011.
Jaynes applied to Metro Corrections in May 2005 and was offered a position as a corrections officer in August, according to his personnel file. By May 2006, he was a police recruit and officially transferred to the police department as an officer in January 2007.
He also applied to be a police recruit in December 2004, records show.
Who else was on-scene to serve the warrant?
Louisville Metro Police have only identified the officers who fired their weapons at Taylor’s apartment and were under internal investigation.
But Mattingly, in a police interview after the shooting that’s been made public, identified four additional officers present as the warrant was being served: Shawn Hoover, Mike Campbell, Tony James and Mike Nobles, along with Hankison and Cosgrove.
A whiteboard police used to plan the night’s warrants shared by Wine in a May press conference showed that Taylor’s apartment was to be staffed by eight officers, plus a police dog.
In addition to Mattingly, Campbell, James, Cosgrove and Hankison, that list included Knobles (employment records don’t show a Knobles employed by LMPD, so this may be a reference to Nobles), “Doerr” and “King.”.
That list does not include Hoover at any of the locations.
In a recent court filing, Taylor’s attorneys sought location information through cell phone data for five officers, including Kimberly Burbrink, who leads the Criminal Interdiction Division that executed the search warrant.
The others were:.
The department has since said that Mattingly, Campbell, James, Cosgrove and Nobles are under internal investigation into whether they broke any departmental rules in connection with the Taylor raid.
Hoover, however, who was identified in crime scene photos as present at Taylor’s apartment on March 13, is apparently not part of the investigation.
Darcy Costello: 502-582-4834; [email protected]; Twitter: @dctello. Reach Tessa Duvall at [email protected] and 502-582-4059. Twitter: @TessaDuvall. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: www.Courier-journal.Com/darcyc.