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Ex-officer who fatally shot Breonna Taylor hired elsewhere in Kentucky

Myles Cosgrove was fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department for excessive use of force during the raid of Taylor's home in March 2020.
Ex-officer who fatally shot Breonna Taylor hired elsewhere in Kentucky
Posted at 7:52 PM, Apr 24, 2023

Myles Cosgrove, the former Louisville Metro Police officer who shot and killed Breonna Taylor in 2020, is back in law enforcement in a nearby Kentucky county. 

Carroll County is about an hour northeast of Louisville, Kentucky. Cosgrove was hired as a deputy for the Carroll County Sheriff's office. 

Monday, there was a small protest outside of the local courthouse aimed at Cosgrove's hiring. 

According to the Associated Press, the Carroll County sheriff's office, "pointed out that Cosgrove was cleared by the state grand jury when speaking of his hiring." 

Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, had been winding down in bed with her boyfriend when she was killed during a botched raid by narcotics detectives. No drugs were ever found, and the warrant used to enter by force was later discovered to be flawed. Four officers, not including Cosgrove, were charged in Taylor's death, but the bulk of the charges surrounded the search warrant used to get into her apartment. Officials said two of the officers charged lied in order to obtain it.

The Department of Justice filed civil rights charges against four other Louisville officers, one of whom was on the scene with Cosgrove and also fired into Taylor's apartment. 

Myles Cosgrove was fired from the Louisville Metro PD for violating its use-of-force procedures and for failing to activate his body-camera during the botched raid of Breonna Taylor's apartment. 

Cosgrove, who reportedly fired 16 rounds into the apartment during the raid, has not faced any criminal prosecution in Taylor's death. 

Being dismissed from one department doesn't necessarily end an officer's career, as some studies from around the country have shown. 

Luis Soberon is an attorney and policy advisor for Texas 2036, a nonprofit political advocacy group. Soberon found over a 10 year period, 566 law enforcement agencies in Texas have rehired more than 1,400 officers who were 'dishonorably discharged' from a previous department. 

SEE MORE: DOJ's Louisville policing probe confirms what Scripps News found there

"If an officer messes up at the agency and moves somewhere else, they still retain their license. So the question is, do we have enforceable standards of conduct that we can take action against the license, so that if they violate these kinds of standards of conduct, they actually can't move on to the next agency," Soberon said. 

A similar study in Florida found about 3% of all officers working in the state — just under 1,100 officers — were previously fired from another agency. More importantly, those officers are more likely to be fired from their next job or to receive a complaint for a "moral character violation." 

"A lot of people had known that these kinds of officers, wandering officers that bounce around, are more likely to be problematic. They take their problems with them is what you hear anecdotally, this paper from 2020 was kind of the first effort to put data behind," said Soberon. 

Soberon says due to privacy laws in Texas, he was not able to track the behavior of "wandering officers" across the Lone Star state. 

There are also many officers who appeal their punishment and are ultimately put back on patrol with the same department. In Washington, D.C. alone a government audit found 36 officers were re-hired by the Metro Police Department and awarded $14 million in back pay. 

Similarly, an analysis of 624 police terminations across the country found 46% of them resulted in reinstatement. 

Back in November, the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council voted not to revoke Myles Cosgrove's state peace officer certification. Allowing Cosgrove to retain his certification cleared the way for him to apply for and accept a new law enforcement position in the state. 

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