Even after his outrageous behavior in the no-knock raid of Breonna Taylor’s home — and ultimately firing the shot that killed the 26-year-old emergency room technician — Myles Cosgrove believes he still deserves a place on the Louisville Metro Police Force.
NPR’s Jonathan Franklin reported that Cosgrove is fighting to get his job back. He was fired from the department for his role in Taylor’s death in spring 2020 when police invaded her apartment with no warning as part of a supposed drug-trafficking investigation involving her boyfriend.
According to Franklin, “Cosgrove and his attorney began to appeal his case before the Louisville Metro Police Merit Board on Tuesday, Nov. 9, with at least one more session on Wednesday and more days in December, if needed. The merit board, a seven-member body of civilians and officers, will determine whether Cosgrove’s Jan. 5 termination by then-Chief Yvette Gentry was reasonable.”
“Cosgrove and other officers were carrying out a search warrant on the night of March 13, 2020, waking Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker,” Franklin said. “Walker fired one bullet at the officers from a gun that he owned legally. Walker said later he thought the officers were intruders. The officers returned 32 shots, with Cosgrove firing half of those. Two of Cosgrove’s rounds struck Taylor. An FBI ballistics report said Cosgrove’s bullets killed her.”
Following Taylor’s death, her name — along with George Floyd — became a rallying cry for social justice and police reform. In January 2021, following an ongoing investigation into his actions, Cosgrove was fired from the Louisville Metro Police for “failing to properly identify a threat” when he fired into Taylor’s apartment.
In preliminary motions during the board hearing, Cosgrove was cited for violating his department’s body camera policy (he didn’t have his activated the evening Taylor was killed) and for breaking the department’s use-of-force policy.
“The policy explicitly states that the officer must be able to justifiably articulate his or her actions,” said Brendan Daugherty, the assistant county attorney in Jefferson County, Kentucky, who is representing the police department in the hearing. “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.”
Cosgrove’s defense attorney, Scott Miller, claimed that Cosgrove saw a “muzzle flash” during the raid, making his response “reasonable.”
“Breonna Taylor’s death was tragic. We all know that,” Miller said, adding that he believed his client acted responsibly in a “high-stress, rapidly evolving situation in which he was shot at.”
After concluding the hearing, the board will have three options: to overturn Cosgrove’s termination, let it stand, or issue new additional punishments against the former officer.