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Louisville Police To Fire 2 Officers Involved In Breonna Taylor's Death

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Two more Louisville police officers will likely be fired in connection with the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor back in March. Both officers have administrative hearings with the police chief in the coming days. Amina Elahi of member station WFPL in Louisville reports.

AMINA ELAHI, BYLINE: The two officers each had key roles in the Breonna Taylor shooting. Detective Joshua Jaynes acquired the warrant that led officers to her door after midnight, and Detective Myles Cosgrove fired what the FBI described as the fatal shot. Both have been on paid leave for months. Jaynes is accused of falsifying parts of the affidavit for that warrant, while Cosgrove is reportedly accused of violating use-of-force policies. Thomas Clay, a lawyer for Jaynes, says his client did nothing wrong, even though Jaynes admitted part of his sworn affidavit was, quote, "incorrect." Clay says his client provided sufficient evidence to support the warrant.

THOMAS CLAY: I think the outcome has already been predetermined. I think Detective Jaynes is going to be terminated, and we're prepared to do what needs to be done in order to appeal that decision.

ELAHI: A lawyer for Cosgrove declined to comment. This all began when police entered Taylor's apartment by force as part of a botched drug raid. Taylor's boyfriend, fearing they were intruders, fired at police. Police fired back, killing Taylor. Investigators never found anything illegal in the apartment. The potential terminations of Cosgrove and Jaynes come after months of protest and cries for justice.

Shameka Parrish-Wright has been a leader in Louisville's protest movement.

SHAMEKA PARRISH-WRIGHT: If they was fired early on, that would've saved the city a lot of time, a lot of money. That would have saved us a lot of trauma, a lot of sacrifices that we made to be out there in those streets for now 217 days.

ELAHI: She says this is the right thing to do, but the fact that it took so long sends a message about accountability. Louisville's interim police chief, Yvette Gentry, made the call based on findings of an internal investigation into policy violations. They would be the first officers connected to this shooting fired since June. An anonymous grand juror who heard the state's case said the move to fire Jaynes and Cosgrove makes him feel vindicated. He says these officers were wrong and should be taken off the force.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: They skipped over a lot of protocols, and we don't need that. Now, if other charges - criminal charges come up, that'd be great. But you can't walk a mile until you have taken that first step.

ELAHI: Like many others, the grand juror is keen to see what the ongoing federal investigation into the incident produces. The FBI's Louisville field office has been looking into the shooting since May - what led up to it, what happened that night and what's happened since. When complete, prosecutors with the U.S. Justice Department will decide how to move forward.

For NPR News, I'm Amina Elahi in Louisville.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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