4 former and current Louisville police detectives federally charged in Breonna Taylor raid | WDRB Investigates

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The U.S. Department of Justice has charged four former and current Louisville police officers with federal crimes in connection with the fatal raid on Breonna Taylor’s home in 2020.

Ex-detectives Joshua Jaynes and Brett Hankison and current officers Kyle Meany and Kelly Goodlett face charges that include civil rights offenses, unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction, Attorney General Merrick Garland said. 

While Jaynes, Hankison and Meany were federally indicted, Goodlett was “charged on information,” which typically means she is pleading guilty. She was charged with one count of conspiracy. 

Hankison previously was the only officer charged in the raid. A Jefferson County jury found him not guilty of wanton endangerment charges earlier this year.

Speaking in Washington, Justice Department officials said a “false warrant” for Taylor’s Springfield Drive apartment set in motion the events that led to her death. 

Jaynes asked a judge to approve a search warrant for Taylor’s home a day before the early-morning raid on March 13, 2020. He claimed in an affidavit that a postal inspector verified that drug suspect Jamarcus Glover, who had dated Taylor, was using Taylor’s home to receive parcels.

“The affidavit falsely claimed that officers had verified that the target of the alleged drug trafficking operation had received packages at Ms. Taylor’s address,” Garland said. “In fact, defendants Jaynes and Goodlett knew that was not true.” 

Garland also accused police of covering up their “unlawful conduct” after Taylor’s death.

He said Jaynes and Goodlett “conspired to knowingly falsify an investigative document” after the shooting and “agreed to tell investigators a false story.”

Jaynes’ indictment says he and Goodlett met on May 17, 2020 in Jaynes’ garage, where Jaynes allegedly told Goodlett “that they needed to get on the same page because they could both go down for putting false information in the Springfield Drive warrant affidavit.”  

The affidavit claimed Jaynes had “verified” through a U.S. postal inspector that Glover had been receiving packages at Taylor’s apartment, adding that it’s not “uncommon” for drug traffickers to receive items at different locations.

But Tony Gooden, a U.S. postal inspector in Louisville, told WDRB News in May 2020 that Louisville police didn’t confer with his office. He said a different law enforcement agency asked his office in January 2020 to investigate whether any potentially suspicious mail was going to the unit.

The local office concluded that it wasn’t. “There’s no packages of interest going there,” Gooden said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen Clarke said “falsified warrants create unnecessary hazards for the public and for the police, who rely on facts that fellow officers report in carrying out their public duties.”

LMPD’s internal investigation found that Louisville officers asked two members of the Shively Police Department to check with a postal inspector. They were told no packages were being sent to Taylor’s home.

In a May 18, 2020 interview with LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit, Shively police Sgt. Timothy Salyer said he asked Sgt. Mattingly about the search warrant affidavit after reading it following the shooting.

“Sgt. Mattingly stated he told Detective Jaynes there was no package history at that address,” Salyer told investigators, according to a summary of the interview.

The summary said Mattingly initially reached out to Salyer and Detective Mike Kuzma of the Shively department in mid-January 2020, at Jaynes’ request, to find out about packages going to Taylor’s apartment. Salyer said he was asked because he had a good relationship with a Louisville postal inspector.

In his interview, Salyer told LMPD investigators that he notified Mattingly that “no packages had been received at the address and the post office did not receive any packages either.”

Salyer said he later was contacted by two other LMPD officers, Det. Mike Nobles and Det. Kelly Hanna, about any packages going to Taylor’s home and said he “told them the same information,” according to the summary.

On April 10, 2020, about a month after Taylor was fatally shot by police, Salyer said he received a text from Jaynes, again asking about any packages going to Taylor’s home.

“(Salyer) told Detective Jaynes there were no packages in months delivered to the address and the location was flagged if any were detected and the Postal Inspector would be notified,” the summary said.

Jaynes also asked if Glover was receiving any “mail matter” and Salyer said he would check.

“Sgt. Sayler (sic) was confused as to why Detective Jaynes contacted him almost a month after the shooting incident inquiring about packages being delivered to the address,” according to the summary.

Nobles said he was confused about the “conflicting information on the affidavit as well,” the summary says.

When asked if she was going to issue a show-cause order as to why Jaynes shouldn’t be held in contempt for providing false information in an affidavit, Judge Mary Shaw, who approved the search warrant, said she was “concerned but deferring to the FBI investigation.”

Jaynes was fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department in January for being untruthful. He appealed to the police merit board, which upheld the termination in June 2021, and then to Jefferson Circuit Court.

A judge also upheld the firing, ruling this June that the “crux of this case is the truthfulness of Mr. Jaynes’ statement in the search warrant affidavit.”

Clay, his attorney, has appealed that ruling.

Meany is accused of lying to the FBI.  

Hankison was indicted on two counts of deprivation of rights for firing into a bedroom window in Taylor’s apartment that was “covered with blinds and a blackout curtain” after “there was no longer a lawful objective justifying the use of deadly force.”

He also faces charges for shooting through a wall of Taylor’s apartment and into a neighboring unit, endangering three people, including a then-3-year-old boy.

This story will be updated.

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