LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Myles Cosgrove, the former Louisville Metro Police Department detective who was part of the deadly shooting of Breonna Taylor, spoke publicly about the incident while testifying in front of the Louisville Metro Police Merit Board Tuesday.
“I’ve had to relocate. I’ve had to take my kids out of school. We receive death threats to this day,” he said. “We get hate mail. My kids were stalked. My (police) department disowned me.”
According to the FBI, Cosgrove was the officer who fired the shot that killed Taylor on March 13, 2020. Officers executed a no-knock warrant at Taylor’s apartment — although the officers involved say they announced themselves prior to entering — and Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a single shot. Cosgrove returned fire 16 times, according to the FBI.
Cosgrove and two others officers, Jonathan Mattingly and Brett Hankison, fired shots that night. Hankison is the only one facing criminal charges.
“It’s powerful to have taken a life, and to have to live with that, it’s — it’s not — I can’t explain to you how regretful and how much grief it has caused me,” Cosgrove said.
The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office cleared Cosgrove of any criminal charges in September 2020, but former LMPD interim chief Yvette Gentry fired him in January for violating the department’s policy on using deadly force, and for failing to turn on his body camera.
Cosgrove appealed his firing to the merit board, which resumed its multi-day hearing into the matter Tuesday.
Cosgrove told the board he was acting in self defense.
“I do take responsibility for those shots, but I believed that my life and Jon’s life was in imminent danger,” Cosgrove said.
LMPD attorney Brendan Daugherty pushed back on Cosgrove’s testimony:
Daugherty: “There would be no reason for you to hold back information—“
Cosgrove: “I’m not a liar.”
Daugherty: “I’m not calling you a liar; I’m asking you, there’s no reason for you to hold back information about what you perceived that evening?”
Cosgrove: “I think I’ve answered your question. I haven’t lied anywhere here.”
Cosgrove said he saw a threat, which he described as a "shape" and a "shadowy figure" near a muzzle flash, and fired his weapon in accordance with LMPD rules.
“This is a department that has a thousand people, with a thousand people that would do a thousand different things,” he said. “And I think 99.9 (percent) of them would do what I did that evening — would address that threat; would save their life and protect Jon Mattingly’s life.”
Merit board member Sherryl Anderson asked Cosgrove why he wants to get his job back after saying earlier in the hearing that LMPD disowned him.
“It’s a matter of principle. LMPD just can’t go around randomly doing things and having the narrative fit how they want to believe,” Cosgrove said. “I deserve to have my job not taken away to fit their narrative.”
Testimony continues Wednesday and is expected to wrap up this week.