The FBI arrested the former Louisville Metro Police detective who was fired for lying on the search warrant that led to 2020 murder raid at Breonna Taylor apartment along with three others, including the only officer to face state charges in connection with Taylor’s fatal shooting.
Joshua Jaynes was taken into custody by the FBI on Thursday morning and incarcerated at the Oldham County Detention Center, according to attorney Thomas Clay, who represents Jaynes.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that Jaynes, former Officer Brett Hankison, Sgt. Kyle Meany and Officer Kelly Hanna Goodlett are the four defendants facing new federal charges in connection with the investigation that led to the March 13, 2020 death of Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman and ER technician. whose name was a rallying cry for protesters across the country during the 2020 protests against police brutality and systemic racism.
The LMPD said in a statement after the DOJ announcement that Chief Erika Shields began termination proceedings against Meany and Goodlett on Thursday.
“While we should refer all questions regarding this federal investigation to the FBI, it is critical that any unlawful or improper actions by law enforcement be addressed comprehensively in order to continue our efforts to build trust between police and law enforcement. community,” the department said in a statement. .
One of the new indictments announced Thursday by the DOJ relates to the deceptive actions Haynes, Meany and Goodlett took to obtain the search warrant for Taylor’s apartment.
In a separate indictment, Hankison is accused of using “unconstitutional excessive force during the raid on Ms Taylor’s home” due to firing 10 shots into an occupied neighboring apartment “without a legitimate objective justifying the use of deadly force,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Civil Rights Division announced at a press conference Thursday morning alongside Garland in Washington, D.C.
Hankison was acquitted by a Jefferson County jury earlier this year on the charges of wanton endangerment related to the shots fired in the apartment, which came close but did not injure any of Taylor’s neighbors.
It was not immediately clear whether all of the officers except Jaynes had attorneys to comment on their behalf. An attorney who represented Hankison in his state case, Stew Mathews, said he was not yet sure whether he would represent Hankison in the new federal case. There is no link in the federal system, court dates are not yet available in online records.
“Breonna Taylor should be alive today,” Garland said at the press conference at Justice Department headquarters.
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Nationally known civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represented Taylor’s family along with local attorneys Lonita Baker and Sam Aguiar, said after Thursday’s announcement that it was “a great day to arrest Breonna’s killers. Taylor”.
‘Thank goodness Attorney General Daniel Cameron did not have the final say in the death of Breonna Taylor,’ Crump added at a press conference in Jefferson Square Park, the hub of protests in 2020 over the murder. by Taylor.
Cameron, the Republican Kentucky attorney general, angered protesters and Taylor’s family in 2020 after announcing that only Hankison and no other LMPD staff would face state charges related to the case. .
“Today was a big step toward justice,” Crump, Baker and Aguiar said in a joint statement. “We are grateful for the diligence and dedication of the FBI and DOJ as they investigated what led to Breonna’s murder and what happened afterward. The justice Breonna received today wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of Attorney General Merrick Garland or Assistant AG for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke.
“We hope this announcement of a guilty plea sends a message to all the other officers involved that it’s time to stop covering up and accept responsibility for their role in the death of a beautiful young woman. innocent black.”
During Thursday’s announcement, Garland said the federal charges focused on the conduct of LMPD Territorial Investigations Unitwho lawyers for Taylor’s family called in a 2020 lawsuit a “rogue” group that targeted people and drugs in Louisville’s West End.
The PBI unit issued five search warrants related to suspected drug trafficking in 2020, four of which were served at properties in the West End and one at Taylor’s flat which was about 10 miles from the others on Springfield Drive in the South End.
Jaynes, Meany and Goodlett were involved in the arrest warrant for Taylor’s home, DOJ officials said.
Garland said the DOJ alleges members of the PBI unit “tampered with the affidavit used to obtain the search warrant for Ms. Taylor’s home,” which violated federal civil rights law and “resulted in Mrs. Taylor’s death”.
Jaynes, Meany and Goodlett requested the warrant for Taylor’s home “knowing that the officers had no probable cause for the search,” Garland said, and they knew the affidavit in support of the warrant “contained false and misleading information and that it omitted important information.”
Garland then described several details that had already surfaced when Jaynes was fired last year, namely that in the affidavit, which he swore before a judge, Jaynes wrote that he had checked through of an American postal inspector that Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, an alleged drug dealer, was having packages delivered to her apartment.
But Jaynes had actually spoken to another officer, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, who got information from the Shively police, not the post office inspector. According to these Shively agents, postal inspectors said there was no package. Police found no drugs or money in Taylor’s apartment after the fatal shooting.
The new allegations Garland shared on Thursday include that Jaynes and Goodlett met in a garage in May 2020 and “conspired to knowingly falsify an investigative document” and “conspired to mislead federal, state and local authorities who were investigating the shooting.
Mattingly was shot in the raid by Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker, who legally owned his gun and said he believed intruders were breaking into the apartment.
Two other officers who fired their weapons during the raid – Myles Cosgrove, who fired the shot that killed Taylor, and Hankison – were also previously fired by the LMPD for their actions, while Mattingly was cleared but resigned from the department.
“The officers who ultimately conducted the search in this department of Taylor were not involved in the drafting of the warrant and were unaware of the false and misleading statements contained therein,” Garland noted Thursday.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in a statement Thursday that the indictments “are a critical step in the process of bringing justice to Breonna Taylor.”
“My thoughts are with Mrs. Tamika Palmer, Breonna’s mother, and everyone who loved and cared for Breonna,” Fischer said. “While we cannot reverse her tragic death, we can and must continue to seek justice for her. I deeply appreciate the hard work of the federal government to tirelessly pursue this case. And, while I know some may feel that this process has taken too long, as I have said from the beginning, there can be no shortcut to due process, no shortcut to justice.”
“Today is an important day in this process and in the journey to justice,” added Fischer, a Democrat. “And, I promise my city that my administration will continue to be tireless in our work to pursue that justice and create a more equitable, safe and compassionate city for all Louisvillians.”
Earlier this year, a jury found Hankison not guilty of charges of wanton endangerment this involved bullets he had fired into an occupied neighboring apartment during the raid on Taylor’s apartment. He was the only officer charged at the state level in connection with the case.
The FBI has been investigating Taylor’s death since May 2020, when it opened his “color of the law” file which focuses on allegations of police officers or other officials misusing their authority, including excessive force, false arrest or obstruction of justice.
Last year, the DOJ also opened a “models and practices” investigation in the LMPD and the Louisville Metro government. The charges announced Thursday against the four defendants are separate from the ongoing “patterns and practices” investigation, according to the DOJ.
Garland said last year that the investigation would focus on several areas, including whether the department:
- Used unreasonable force, including during peaceful protests;
- Participation in unconstitutional stops, searches and seizures, including unlawful executions of search warrants at private residences;
- Discriminated against people on the basis of race; and
- Failed to provide utilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The DOJ, as part of its investigation, also completed a comprehensive review of the LMPD’s policies and training, as well as an assessment of the effectiveness of its agent oversight and accountability system, including its investigations. on faults.
This story has been updated.
Contact Billy Kobin at email@example.com