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Cop who fatally shot Breonna Taylor wants his job back. Here's when he'll make his case

By |2021-10-21T13:23:52-04:00October 21st, 2021|Breonna Taylor|

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The former Louisville Metro Police detective who fatally shot Breonna Taylor in her apartment last year will soon argue the case as to why he should get his job back.Myles Cosgrove, who was fired from LMPD in January for failing to "properly identify a target" when he shot 16 rounds into Taylor's home, will appear before the Louisville Metro Police Merit Board over five days in November and December.The hearing will begin Nov. 9-10, and continue Dec. 13-15. All dates are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.The FBI concluded Cosgrove fired the shot that killed Taylor, hitting her pulmonary artery. She was 26.In a letter laying out her reasons for firing Cosgrove, former interim Chief Yvette Gentry said his rounds sprayed the apartment without being clear at what he was shooting."The shots you fired went in three distinctly different directions, demonstrating that you did not identify a specific target," Gentry wrote. "Rather, you fired in a manner consistent with suppressive fire, which is in direct contradiction to our training, values and policy."Cosgrove faces a steep battle to get his job back. Since 2015, eight officers — including another detective fired for his role in the Taylor case — have appealed their terminations. They all lost.No one has been criminally charged for Taylor's death.While LMPD fired Cosgrove over the shooting, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron said he and then-Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly were justified in returning fire because Tayor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired his weapon first.Walker has maintained he thought intruders were breaking in, and all criminal charges against him for shooting Mattingly were permanently dropped in March.Cosgrove lambasted LMPD leadership in an all-staff email after his firing, saying they had caved in to "political pressures.""Think about that the next time you put on the uniform and badge," Cosgrove said. "For those of you still doing real police work, it's just a matter of time till you (too) will be a sacrificial lamb. I plead with you, do nothing."A second detective, Joshua Jaynes, was fired alongside Cosgrove for lying on the search warrant that led police to Taylor's apartment that night.Jaynes has maintained he did not provide untruthful information on the warrant and also appealed to return to LMPD, but the board unanimously upheld his firing 4-0. He has since filed suit in Jefferson Circuit Court to challenge the board's findings.LMPD fired a third detective, Brett Hankison, in June 2020 for "blindly" firing 10 rounds into Taylor's apartment through a covered door and window. Some of those rounds entered an adjacent apartment with three people inside, resulting in three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment for Hankison.Hankison has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. His trial is currently set for Feb. 1, 2022 in Jefferson County. He's also appealing to get back on the police force, but will not go before the board until after the conclusion of the criminal case.Reach Tessa Duvall at tduvall@courier-journal.com and 502-582-4059. Twitter: @TessaDuvall.

Louisville selects inspector general finalist to lead civilian review board overseeing police

By |2021-10-19T16:24:45-04:00October 19th, 2021|Breonna Taylor, Election 2020|

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A finalist for inspector general has been chosen from more than 100 applicants to lead the city's 11-member Police Civilian Review and Accountability Board, pending approval from Metro Council.Edward Harness, recommended by both the board and mayor, has been the executive director of the city of Albuquerque's Civilian Police Oversight Agency for six years.He'll report to Louisville's civilian review board and be responsible for establishing the internal organization of the office, including policies, procedure, staffing and training."I'll be a staunch advocate for the oversight process," Harness told the board Tuesday. "That means there will be conflict on both sides, but I'll work collaboratively and always be true to the process. I look forward to the challenge."The review board, which was approved by Metro Council about a year ago, is empowered to initiate investigations by a simple majority vote.The inspector general will be able to investigate allegations of police misconduct and review the quality and adequacy of final reports and closed internal affairs investigations into police killings, but the chief will remain the only authority able to discipline officers. More:Will the civilian review board have any power?The board and inspector general also will be able to make recommendations based on the existing policies, operations and procedures. The position will be paid at the level of a Louisville Metro director — making a minimum of $80,000 and a maximum of $171,000. City officials haven't yet disclosed his exact salary.Harness would serve a four-year term and could be reappointed for two additional successive terms by the mayor upon review of the board and Metro Council approval. Louisville officials on Tuesday said Metro Council will likely vote next month. Harness' last day in Albuquerque is Nov. 15. His staff there includes four investigators."My experiences in Albuquerque show me that I need to ensure I'm out and speaking with and listening to members of the community and hearing what their concerns are," Harness told Louisville's civilian review board. "And in the same vein, I will be asking and listening to the same questions from the police department. And then I will move forward with the initiatives as the accountability board wants me to."On Friday, Harness announced his resignation to the Albuquerque police oversight board, condemning members for opening his position to new applicants without consulting him, stakeholders or the Department of Justice, which has been overseeing the city's police department since 2014, the Albuquerque Journal reported.The Albuquerque Journal reported Harness had asked for a third three-year term, but the board wanted the job description to be posted and publicly announced that the current director apply.Harness, when he told the board he was resigning Friday, said his leadership has helped "restored trust to its rightful place as a meaningful oversight body" and that his job isn't a "plug-and-play position."A resume provided by the city shows that Harness worked as an attorney for 14 years before joining Albuquerque's police oversight agency in October 2015. That agency was tasked with investigating civilian complaints and reviewing and monitoring internal affairs investigations, according to his resume.More: 2 protesters nominated for review board 'grilled' for anti-cop social media postsIt also notes that Harness is a "certified practitioner" of civilian police oversight by NACOLE, the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement. A news release from Mayor Greg Fischer's office says Harness worked for 12 years as a police officer in Milwaukee, where he also "provided oversight of law enforcement as a volunteer police commissioner."He's also a former police commissioner of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin. "Ed's leadership background and his set of unique life experiences will no doubt help us to strengthen the trust between our residents and our police officers, and move us a step further in achieving our goals of racial justice and equity," Fischer said in the release.Metro Council member Paula McCraney, who co-led a working group that spent more than six months studying and establishing a framework for the review board, said any of the final three candidates selected by the board would have done a great job, but their first choice was Harness.She said his skill set and experience will be an asset for Louisville."His mannerisms, his coolness, his ability to answer the questions and have that experience he brings to the table is very fortunate for us. I did not think that we would be so lucky," she said.Reporter Darcy Costello contributed to this story.Kala Kachmar is an investigative reporter. Reach her at 502-582-4469; kkachmar@courierjournal.com or @NewsQuip on Twitter. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: www.courier-journal.com/subscribe.

Louisville prosecutors offer Breonna Taylor's ex-boyfriend probation to leave Kentucky

By |2021-10-19T14:21:09-04:00October 19th, 2021|Breonna Taylor|

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jefferson County prosecutors have offered a plea agreement to Breonna Taylor's ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover, whose connection to the Louisville woman led to police fatally shooting her during a raid at her home last year, that will allow him to serve probation instead of prison time on a slew of drug-related charges.Glover, 31, entered the guilty pleas last week that will resolve his Jefferson Circuit Court cases, with two sentencing hearings scheduled for November, First Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Erwin Roberts said.The guilty pleas to a string of charges mostly related to cocaine trafficking and possession would result in an eight-year prison sentence, Roberts said.But the commonwealth is recommending probation and "has no objection to the Defendant’s probation being transferred to Mississippi," where Glover is from.Other charges that were part of Glover's cases, such as marijuana, meth and opiate trafficking as well as engaging in organized crime, will be dismissed as part of the plea deal, and Glover will forfeit money, vehicles and other items seized by police.Sentencing hearings for Glover's cases are scheduled for Nov. 22 and Nov. 30, according to Roberts, who said he could not comment further on the plea deal since the cases are still pending.Breonna Taylor:Find all of our coverage on the case hereGlover's attorney did not immediately respond to an email and phone call seeking comment.Police showed up at Taylor's home on March 13, 2020, because of her connections to Glover, an ex-boyfriend and convicted drug trafficker who was one of several people arrested in a narcotics investigation focused on several vacant Elliott Avenue properties about 10 miles away in Louisville's West End.The search warrant for Taylor's apartment on Springfield Drive in the South End cited a trip Glover made there in January 2020 and how he left with a "suspected USPS package" and drove to a "known drug house."But the LMPD detective behind the warrant, Joshua Jaynes, also wrote he had verified through a U.S. Postal Service inspector that Glover received packages at her home — which turned out to be untrue.Then-interim police Chief Yvette Gentry fired Jaynes at the start of this year for violating department policy on truthfulness, though Jaynes is appealing his termination in Jefferson Circuit Court.The three LMPD officers who fired their weapons during the raid at Taylor's home after her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a shot that struck one of the officers. He later said he thought intruders were at the door and never heard police announce themselves.None of the three officers remain on the force.Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, who was shot in the thigh, retired from LMPD earlier this year, while Myles Cosgrove — whom the FBI concluded fired the fatal shot that killed Taylor — and Brett Hankison were fired for their actions that night.Hankison was the only officer indicted by a grand jury last fall and faces wanton endangerment charges for his bullets that went into a neighboring apartment. No one has been directly charged for Taylor's death.Sam Aguiar, who has represented Taylor's family in lawsuits against LMPD, told The Courier Journal Tuesday his "gut reaction was that the last thing the administration needed was for (Glover's) case to go to trial.""It would’ve shed more light on the PBI operation and how ridiculous it was," Aguiar wrote in an email, referring to the Place-Based Investigations unit that came under scrutiny in the months after Taylor's death for its narcotics-related work. "It would’ve opened the door to how the detectives lied on more search warrants. It would’ve opened the door to so much more too."LMPD:Louisville selects inspector general finalist to lead civilian review board overseeing policeGlover has been out of jail, though he was arrested last August on charges of drug trafficking and participating in a criminal syndicate, with his attorney saying at the start of this year that he had been in solitary confinement for several months.After he was arrested, Glover said he turned down an offer from Louisville prosecutors to plead guilty and serve 10 years in prison if he would acknowledge Taylor was part of a criminal organization.Glover had told The Courier Journal in an exclusive interview Taylor had no involvement with any illegal drug trafficking and the information in the search warrant was misleading and wrong."The police are trying to make it out to be my fault and turning the whole community out here making it look like I brought this to Breonna's door," he said. "There was nothing never there or anything ever there, and at the end of the day, they went about it the wrong way and lied on that search warrant and shot that girl out there." Reach Billy Kobin at bkobin@courierjournal.com.

Kentucky Rep. Attica Scott is running against U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth for Congress

By |2021-10-12T14:22:51-04:00October 12th, 2021|Breonna Taylor, Election 2020|

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — State Rep. Attica Scott is challenging U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth in next year's 2022 Democratic primary for the only congressional seat their party holds in Kentucky. She formally announced her candidacy Wednesday morning for the commonwealth's 3rd Congressional District, which covers most of Jefferson County and has been represented by Yarmuth since 2007. Yarmuth:Rep. John Yarmuth will not run for reelection"I am running for Congress for the Louisvillians who have asked me for years to run, including the Black women who have never had a representative from Kentucky in Congress who looks like us," Scott said in a virtual campaign launch she held over Zoom."We often talk about being a diverse, inclusive and welcoming city. Imagine what it would mean to celebrate, elevate and recognize that diversity with our vote," she said. "We still have large geographic and racial differences that persist across our city. But right now, we have an opportunity to change that by changing the people who are in office. We have work to do, y'all."Scott's decision isn't a total surprise. She recently told The Courier Journal she was "definitely thinking" about running against Yarmuth.Now it's official: The three-term state representative will face off against Louisville's eight-term congressman, who's also chairman of the notable House Budget Committee on Capitol Hill. Scott spoke Wednesday about what it was like for her growing up in Louisville, and stressed how her experiences are shared by so many other people who've dealt with hardship in this city. "I grew up in the Beecher Terrace housing projects. I experienced busing and went to school with kids from the East End, South End and West End," she said. "My mother struggled with addiction. She died from an overdose when I was 16 and my brother was 12. My father was trapped in the cycle of incarceration."When my constituents and neighbors tell me about their lived challenges, they know that I will listen with empathy and take action because those have been my challenges, too."Sign up:On Kentucky Politics newsletter delivered to your inbox weeklyScott is a progressive Democrat and former Louisville Metro Council member. She joined the Kentucky House of Representatives in 2017 after she defeated former state Rep. Tom Riner, who had been in office since the 1980s and was socially conservative, in her party's 2016 primary.She was the first Black woman elected to the state legislature in 20 years and was a highly visible participant in last year's protests in Louisville over the police killing of Breonna Taylor. Police arrested Scott during those ongoing protests in September 2020, although the charges against her were eventually dismissed. Scott recently filed a lawsuit alongside her daughter Ashanti Scott and Shameka Parrish-Wright, a significant local activist and candidate for Louisville mayor, saying law enforcement violated their constitutional rights by arresting them all on that night last September. "I am running for the 900 people who have been unfairly arrested for protesting police violence in the past year," she said Wednesday. "We marched in the streets. And we take our cries for justice to the halls that hold political power because protest to policy is the pathway to sustainable change."More:Why most protesters arrested by Louisville police will never be convicted of a crimeScott mentioned her experience getting arrested during last year's protests and featured a mural depicting Taylor in a campaign video she posted Wednesday. That video also included footage of Scott holding a megaphone emblazoned with the words 'Say her name' — a phrase prominently used to raise awareness about Taylor and other Black women whom police officers have killed.However, Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, plans to back Yarmuth instead of Scott in 2022."I look forward to supporting John Yarmuth in his campaign for re-election to U.S. Congress, and as he continues to push for legislation supporting police reform," Palmer said Wednesday in a statement her attorney provided. Scott has actively advocated against police violence and for racial justice during her time as a state lawmaker, and she has attracted attention for her efforts on that front.However, she has had trouble advancing her proposals in Kentucky's Republican-controlled General Assembly. None of the 80-plus bills she has filed since she joined the legislature have passed, or even gotten a vote on the House floor. (It's generally difficult, though not impossible, for Democrats to get their bills approved with the GOP in charge.)More:8 of Kentucky Democrats' 200 bills have advanced this year. Why haven't more moved forward?By joining the 2022 primary for Kentucky's 3rd Congressional District, Scott is setting herself up for a tough race against Yarmuth, a longtime incumbent who has amassed some significant influence in Washington, D.C. As House Budget Committee chairman, Yarmuth helped shepherd President Joe Biden's nearly $2 trillion American Rescue Plan Act through the House and was even listed as the coronavirus relief package's top sponsor.Even though Yarmuth was a Republican decades ago before he switched parties in the mid-'80s, he has aligned himself with House Democrats' progressive wing, especially in recent years.Yarmuth won a tough race when he defeated former Rep. Anne Northup, a Republican who represented Louisville in Congress for a decade, in 2006. Since then, though, his reelections have been much easier affairs. More:How one-time GOP colleagues Mitch McConnell and John Yarmuth ended up fierce opponentsYarmuth spokesman Christopher Schuler said in an email Wednesday: “Chairman Yarmuth isn’t thinking about the 2022 campaign season right now. He just got the American Rescue Plan enacted, he's continuing to work closely with President Biden as his committee advances the White House's FY2022 Budget proposal, and there's a potential infrastructure reconciliation package on the horizon which he will also lead."There will be a time to discuss reelection, but right now he’s completely focused on doing his job and continuing to deliver for Louisville."Scott didn't directly criticize Yarmuth during her campaign launch Wednesday morning. She did acknowledge some people might wonder why she decided to jump into this particular primary battle, though."Why, after beating a 30-year incumbent from my own party and then holding that seat successfully with no challenges for three terms — why would I choose to take on this challenge?" she said. "Why wouldn't I choose the most comfortable route and stay put or, as some might say, stay in my place?"My public service is about answering the call of the people. Our people are struggling," she went on. "A shift is happening all over our country, and now is the time to choose bold leadership over complacency."When asked why voters should ditch a House committee chairman for a freshman representative, Scott said voters need someone with a broad vision who can address many issues beyond the admittedly important federal budget.She called Wednesday for ending qualified immunity from civil lawsuits for police officers, for abolishing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency and for decriminalizing marijuana, among other policies. As for what her strategy is for trying to beat Yarmuth next year, she said she'll meet people where they are and run a campaign that's "deeply rooted in community.""We're going to do the work as we always do," she said. "We're going to lift up the folks who have felt powerless and voiceless but who have power and voice."In an interview with The Courier Journal Wednesday, Yarmuth stressed — as his spokesman did — how his focus is on his legislative work. However, he did indicate he expects he'll be able win next year's Democratic duel. "I'm confident that I can win a primary and be the nominee, but I've got too much work to do right now to worry about that," he said. Reporter Joe Sonka contributed to this story. Reach reporter Morgan Watkins: 502-582-4502; mwatkins@courierjournal.com; Twitter: @morganwatkins26. 

'I can really bring people together': Meet Louisville's newest candidate for mayor

By |2021-10-12T06:25:18-04:00October 12th, 2021|Breonna Taylor|

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The newest candidate for mayor wants to use her administration to bring people together, united under a bold vision.But she says that can't happen until Louisville is honest with itself. "We're not going to be able to move forward until we're honest about the fact that we're the city of Breonna Taylor. People are hurting. And we just can't move past this moment," Carla Dearing told The Courier Journal in an interview. What would that honesty look like?Dearing, a Democrat, said it would start with having "everyone" at the table — Black, brown and LGBTQ, plus other stakeholders and experts — to ensure their "collective voices" are part of the decision-making process. From there, she said, her administration would focus on: Creating safety in every neighborhood, mindful that those solutions may not look the same across town and responsive to the needs of those communities; Strategic investment and growth, particularly in "low-income neighborhoods that have been held back"; and"Unleashing the potential" of the city's artists and entrepreneurs. Dearing — who joins a race for mayor with at least four Democrats actively competing — argued she's best suited to navigate the city forward given her experience working in the finance, business and nonprofit worlds, where she said she mastered innovation and management. A look at the field:Who's in, who's out, who's on the fenceHer strategy: attract talent, bring people together, create a shared strategy, get it funded and implemented, then hold everyone accountable and communicate."Right now," she said, "I'm in a place where I can really bring people together. I wouldn't have joined the race if I thought that was already happening from somebody else."Other Democrats who have announced campaigns for mayor include Craig Greenberg, an attorney and businessman; David Nicholson, Jefferson County's circuit court clerk; Shameka Parrish-Wright, an activist and bail fund manager; and Timothy Findley Jr., a pastor and organizer. Greenberg and Nicholson, along with current Jeffersontown Mayor Bill Dieruf, a Republican, have already reported collecting six-figure amounts in campaign fundraising. More:Here's who is raking in the cash so far in the Louisville race for mayorDearing said she is undeterred by those dollar figures — adding that she was spurred to run by the idea that the status quo might continue, or that the city might try to move past being the city of Breonna Taylor without listening to residents. "We're not starting from scratch here at all, but if those voices are not heard and brought to the center of the decision-making. … Honestly, my mind just shifted," Dearing said, explaining what changed to make her run. She spoke to a Courier Journal reporter from Hartford Plaza on the campus of Jefferson Community and Technical College, where she has served on the foundation board for years and was "head of place-making." The plaza, recently redesigned, features a turf field with soccer goals, a space for a small food vendor, tables for people to gather and fresh artwork from local artists. Dearing used conversations she had with those artists — what they want for the city, what they dream about — as an example of how she plans to listen to the community and to use her experience to bring people together."You have to work hard to be in diverse settings in Louisville," she said, "and I have been for a long time. I celebrate that."From July:Craig Greenberg is pulling away in Louisville mayor race. But don't 'anoint him,' some sayThe Michigan native, the middle child of eight kids who grew up in a family she described as living paycheck to paycheck, came to Louisville 21 years ago to raise her own kids — relocating after stops that included New York City and London.Dearing said she decided "early on" in life she wanted to dedicate her career to "creating opportunities for others" — and went on to take jobs with financial services company Morgan Stanley, as CEO of the Community Foundations of America, in the University of Louisville's health affairs area and with Stephen Reily's International Marketing Concepts company. She also co-founded a financial wellness app that is being acquired and began her own company, Velo Group, which does consulting on strategy, growth and raising capital.More recently, she's served on TARC's board of directors and focused on development in west Louisville. She said she was involved, for instance, in creating a long-term operating model for the Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center, the track and field complex developed by the Louisville Urban League.The Democratic primary for Louisville mayor will be held in May 2022, followed by a general election in November. Mayor Greg Fischer cannot run for a fourth consecutive term in office, leaving the city's top job without an incumbent in the race for the first time in more than a decade.Darcy Costello: 502-582-4834; dcostello@courier-journal.com; Twitter: @dctello.

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