Detective Myles Cosgrove, the former Louisville police officer who fatally shot Breonna Taylor in her home in 2020, wants his old job back.

The ex-cop was fired in January, when an internal Louisville Metro Police Department investigation found he failed to  “properly identify a target” while shooting into Taylor’s apartment 16 times. 

According to a report in the Louisville Courier Journal, Cosgrove will begin the process of appealing his termination later this month and into December, when he will appear before the city’s Police Merit Board. 

Detective Myles Cosgrove Seeking Reinstatement 

Detective Myles Cosgrove was one of three plainclothes LMPD officers who forced entry into Breonna Taylor’s home on March 13, 2020, reportedly to execute a search warrant related to a drug trafficking investigation that police said involved Taylor’s ex-boyfriend. 

Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker were in bed when the officers beat down the front door with a battering ram. Walker — who has since said he did not know the intruders were police officers — fired a shot from his legally-owned handgun toward the officers in the doorway. 

The three officers returned fire, reportedly shooting into the apartment 32 times. Breonna Taylor, who was unarmed, was struck six times and died at the scene.

A subsequent federal investigation determined that Cosgrove fired 16 shots, including the one that killed Taylor. 

Breonna Taylor was shot by Louisville police in her home in 2020. Detective Myles Cosgrove was fired for his involvement in the killing.
Breonna Taylor was shot by Louisville police in her home in 2020. Detective Myles Cosgrove was fired for his involvement in the killing. Photo credit: Facebook

In a letter written before Cosgrove was terminated, LMPD Chief Yvette Gentry said the detective had failed to “properly identify a target” and had fired in “three distinctly different directions” on the night of the killing. 

“I considered the information you provided at our meeting concerning ‘force science,’ that is, the effect of serious physical threat on an officer’s performance,” the chief wrote. “However, despite your years of service, I cannot justify your conduct nor in good conscience recommend anything less than termination.”

An internal LMPD inquiry also found that Cosgrove violated the department’s use-of-force policies and had failed to wear a body camera while entering the apartment. 

In turn, Cosgrove’s lawyers have argued that he was not required to wear the camera because he was a narcotics officer, and have noted that Jonathan Mattingly, another officer involved in the shooting, was not fired from the department. 

“This is underscored by the fact that another officer who discharged his weapon after being confronted with the same threat identified by Detective Cosgrove was exonerated of any violation of the department’s use of deadly force policy, while Detective Cosgrove has been terminated,” his lawyers said in the appeal notice filed just after his termination.  

Ex-Louisville Detective Myles Cosgrove was fired for the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in 2020. He is seeking reinstatement in an appeal hearing this month.
Ex-Louisville Detective Myles Cosgrove was fired for the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor in 2020. He is seeking reinstatement in an appeal hearing this month. Photo credit: LMPD

Cosgrove to Face Police Merit Board

The Louisville Police Merit Board will hear Detective Myles Cosgrove’s appeal over five days in November and December, the Courier Journal reported

The body is comprised of five mayoral appointees and five members selected by the Metro Council. In cases of police discipline, two extra appointees hand-picked by the police department are added to the Board as full members.

According to the Courier Journal, Police Merit Board hearings “resemble trials,” with both sides making opening statements and presenting their arguments to members. The board then deliberates in private before returning to the hearing room for members to cast their votes publicly. 

Louisville Detective Myles Cosgrove was fired for shooting Breonna Taylor in her home in 2020. Now, he wants his job back.
Louisville Detective Myles Cosgrove was fired for shooting Breonna Taylor in her home in 2020. Now, he wants his job back. Photo credit: Shutterstock

The board may vote to overturn Cosgrove’s firing and to issue a revised penalty. If members decide to uphold Cosgrove’s termination, he can appeal again to a circuit court, the newspaper reported

The board seems unlikely to rescind Cosgrove’s firing. Since 2015, the Courier Journal found, all eight officers who appealed their terminations failed to convince the board to reinstate them — including Joshua Jaynes, the third officer involved in Breonna Taylor’s killing.