A Louisville detective has been reassigned as authorities question how a no-knock warrant was obtained in the Breonna Taylor case, a black emergency-room technician who died in a police raid at her apartment in March.
Det. Joshua Jaynes has been placed on administrative reassignment amid an investigation into how he secured the search warrant in the case, Louisville Metro Police Sgt. Lamont Washington.
River City Fraternal Order of Police, the union representing the department, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Taylor, who was a licensed emergency medical technician, was fatally shot by police when plainclothes officers arrived after midnight on March 13 to serve a no-knock warrant in a drug case.
At a March 13 news conference, police Lt. Ted Eidem said officers had knocked on the door several times and “announced their presence as police who were there with a search warrant.” After forcing their way in, they “were immediately met by gunfire,” Eidem said.
Attorneys for Taylor’s family have said her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fearing a home invasion, called 911, grabbed a gun and fired, shooting an officer in the leg. He had a license to carry and kept firearms in the home, and Taylor was unarmed
Taylor’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against three of the officers — Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove — who arrived to execute the warrant, accusing them of “blindly firing” more than 20 shots into the apartment. Taylor was shot eight times and died.
The lawsuit by Taylor’s family — in which Jaynes was not named — also claims that police did not knock or identify themselves before they busted into the apartment.
Taylor and Walker had no criminal history or drug convictions, and no drugs were found in the apartment during the raid, the lawsuit states.
The FBI announced on May 21 that it was now investigating Taylor’s death. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has said that he was asked to serve as a special prosecutor in the case.
The Houston Police Department announced an end to “no-knock” warrants last year after a deadly drug raid killed two suspects and injured five officers. Former narcotics officer Gerald Goines and his partner Steven Bryant were arrested on federal charges in November for allegedly falsifying records in the case. Both Bryant and Goines have pleaded not guilty to the federal charges and they have not yet faced trial.
The search warrants issued in the Houston case were obtained by claims that a confidential informant bought heroin at the home and saw a weapon there, according to police documents. When investigators later tried to find the informant, they were given two names by Goines.
But police documents reveal informants denied working on the case or purchasing drugs from the home.
Bryant was accused of covering up for Goines by falsifying claims in a report that he “had previously assisted Goines” in an investigation of the home, according to an FBI release at the time.
Family and friends of the victims, Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas, denied that the couple ever sold drugs.
The case forced a review on more than 1,400 criminal cases in Goines career and prompted prosecutors to drop 27 pending court cases tied to the two officers last year.