Sheriff’s Office in Rural Kentucky Hires Detective Who Killed Breonna Taylor

CARROLLTON, Ky. — The former police detective who fatally shot Breonna Taylor during a chaotic raid on her apartment in Louisville, Ky., has been hired by a small county sheriff’s office in the state, prompting protests from people who remain outraged that he was never charged in her death.

Myles Cosgrove, one of two officers who shot Ms. Taylor in March 2020, was hired in recent days by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, according to the county executive, David Wilhoite. Carroll County is about an hour’s drive northeast of Louisville.

Mr. Cosgrove, who is white, was fired by the Louisville Police Department in the aftermath of the nighttime raid, which prompted a wave of protests across the country in the spring and summer of 2020. An F.B.I. report found that he had fired the shot that killed Ms. Taylor, a Black 26-year-old emergency room technician who had hoped to become a nurse.

Myles Cosgrove was fired by the Louisville Police after the raid that left Breonna Taylor dead. Credit…Louisville Metropolitan Police Department

About two dozen demonstrators protested the hiring outside the Caroll County courthouse on Monday, including Morgan Zeyak, who said she feared that the department had hired a “trigger-happy” officer.

“I hope we get him out of his position,” said Ms. Zeyak, 21, who is Black and lives in Carrollton, the county seat. “I don’t feel comfortable with him on the police force.”

About 11,000 people live in Carroll County, and 94 percent of them are white, according to the Census Bureau. County business at the courthouse was shut down on Monday because of the demonstration, and deputies advised people arriving at the building to come back another day.

The raid on Ms. Taylor’s apartment was conducted when the Louisville police were looking for evidence of drug dealing by a former boyfriend of Ms. Taylor. A detective involved in obtaining the search warrant for the raid admitted last year that the police had misled the judge who authorized it. In fact, the former detective said, the connection between Ms. Taylor’s former boyfriend and her apartment was much more tenuous than the police had indicated.

When police officers rammed open the apartment door, Ms. Taylor’s new boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired one shot at the doorway, striking an officer in the leg. Mr. Walker said later that he believed the officers were intruders and that he had not heard them announce themselves.

Three officers returned fire, with two firing shots that hit Ms. Taylor. Neither Mr. Cosgrove nor the other officer whose shot hit Ms. Taylor has been criminally charged. Prosecutors have said that the officers did not know at the time of the raid that the search warrant was based in part on false information.

The Justice Department filed federal charges last year against four officers involved in the raid. Mr. Cosgrove was not among them.

Three of the officers were charged with presenting false information to a judge in order to get a warrant to raid the apartment, and a fourth officer, Brett Hankison, was charged with violating the rights of Ms. Taylor’s neighbors by recklessly firing bullets that flew through Ms. Taylor’s apartment and into theirs. Mr. Hankison was the only officer to face state charges in the case; a jury found him not guilty of endangering the neighbors.

One of the officers charged in relation to the warrant, Kelly Goodlett, pleaded guilty last summer and admitted that she had not objected to filing an application for a warrant even though she knew that the application contained false and misleading information. A trial date has not been set for the case against the other two officers, Joshua Jaynes and Kyle Meany.

Kevin Williams reported from Carrollton, Ky., and Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs from New York.

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