Kentucky cop fired for shooting Breonna Taylor hired as sheriff’s deputy

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – The ex-cop who lost his job on the Louisville, Kentucky, police department after firing the gunshot that killed Breonna Taylor in her home, helping stoke mass protests against racial injustice in 2020, has returned to the ranks of law enforcement.

The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, serving a rural area of northern Kentucky about 50 miles (80 km) from Louisville, hired former police detective Myles Cosgrove last week as a deputy on its force, County Executive David Wilhoite said on Monday.

Cosgrove was one of three white Louisville police officers involved in a botched “no-knock” raid on Taylor’s apartment in March 2020 in which Taylor, a Black a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, was slain in a hail of gunfire.

She and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were in bed when police launched the nighttime raid as part of a narcotics investigation. Walker, reacting to what he believed was a break-in, fired a single shot that struck one officer in the leg, prompting all three officers to return fire, authorities said.

State Attorney General Daniel Cameron later said investigators determined Cosgrove alone fired 16 shots, including the bullet that took Taylor’s life. But Cameron declined to charge Cosgrove, finding he was justified in using deadly force when police came under fire from Walker.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said a federal grand jury declined to indict Cosgrove because he played no part in drafting the falsified search warrant that was the basis for the raid.

Still, Cosgrove was terminated by the Louisville police for violating use-of-force procedures and failing to activate his body camera.

Taylor’s death, like the police killing of George Floyd two months later in Minneapolis, became a rallying cry in nationwide protests against police brutality and racial bias in the U.S. criminal justice system.

Carroll County’s chief deputy, Robert Miller, told the Louisville Courier Journal newspaper that Cosgrove passed a sheriff’ office background check.

Miller also cited Cosgrove’s two decades of law enforcement experience, adding that Cosgrove was never charged in Taylor’s death and that the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council did not act to revoke his police certification, the Courier Journal said.

A small group of protesters rallied on Monday outside the county courthouse in Carrollton.

Wilhoite declined comment on Cosgrove being made a local deputy, except to say that the county executive’s office has no authority over the sheriff’s personnel decisions.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Stephen Coates)