Louisville police officer who got Breonna Taylor warrant in the hot seat
(Yahoo News) - The detective who obtained the search warrant bringing police to Breonna Taylor's door the night she died swore in an affidavit March 12 that he personally verified with a postal inspector that a suspected drug dealer was getting packages at her apartment.
Detective Joshua Jaynes admitted something different May 19 while being questioned by Louisville Metro Police Department investigators looking into Taylor's fatal shooting by police March 13.
Jaynes said he asked another officer, Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, to verify with postal inspectors that Jamarcus Glover, Taylor's ex-boyfriend and the target of a narcotics investigation, was getting packages at her home. According to police records, there were no "suspicious" packages delivered.
"I could have worded a little bit differently in there," Jaynes told investigators about the affidavit he submitted declaring that he had verified the package information. "It was just, uh, in my opinion, that when I reach out to (Mattingly), the end-all-be-all was gonna be from a U.S. postal inspector office or the post office."
The day after Jaynes gave his interview, Sgt. Jeremy Ruoff with the department's Public Integrity Unit filled out a form requesting records from Jaynes' computer. Jaynes has been on administrative reassignment since June.
Public Integrity Unit investigators wrote in their summary July 2 that "wording on the affidavit is misleading" and, "given Jaynes' statement related to the information, should be reviewed for criminal actions."
The interview and PIU summary is part of a massive investigative file in the Taylor case released Wednesday by Mayor Greg Fischer.
Circuit Judge Mary Shaw, who signed Taylor's search warrant, said last week she was concerned that Jaynes had lied to obtain it after reports surfaced indicating LMPD officers had been told no questionable packages had been delivered to Taylor's apartment.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron chose not to make the warrant process part of his case, saying he was deferring to the FBI.
A spokesman said the FBI obtained the Public Integrity Unit file and is “actively investigating all aspects” of Taylor’s death.
No one has been charged in Taylor's death. Cameron's office said the two officers who shot her, Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, acted in self-defense when Taylor's boyfriend shot at them first.
John Dolan, the attorney who represented Jaynes during his PIU interview, did not respond to an email sent Wednesday afternoon or a message left with his law office.
No 'suspicious' deliveries
Jaynes said May 19 in his interview with police investigators, one of dozens of documents in LMPD's investigation released publicly Wednesday, that he had asked Mattingly in January to check whether Taylor's former boyfriend, Glover, was receiving "any dope" or "suspicious" packages.
Glover had been convicted of drug trafficking in Mississippi, and police noted that he had picked up a package at Taylor's apartment.
Glover, who was arrested in a drug raid the same night Taylor was killed, denied Taylor had anything to do with the drug trade, though he was recorded from jail as saying Taylor handled "all my money."
No cash or drugs were found at Taylor's home after the shooting.
Before the search warrant was carried out, Jaynes and Mattingly discussed whether Glover had drugs and money shipped to Taylor's home.
Jaynes told investigators May 19 that Mattingly told him "nonchalantly" that Glover "just gets Amazon or mail packages there."
"I didn't go too in-depth about that 'cause again, what I saw on my own two eyes just reaffirmed that he was getting mail there," Jaynes said. "It's a reasonable assumption that if you see a guy go in the location, come out with a package, that he is getting mail there."
In his sworn affidavit for the search warrant, Jaynes described seeing Glover pick up a package from Taylor's apartment Jan. 16 before Glover went to a "known drug house."
Investigative records show police were told before the raid March 13 that no packages, "suspicious or otherwise," had been delivered to Glover at Taylor's residence for months before the warrant.
An investigative report, previously reported by The Louisville Courier Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network, showed Mattingly asked police in Shively, Kentucky, to inquire with a U.S. postal inspector about Taylor's address and Glover.
Detective Mike Kuzma told Mattingly and two other LMPD detectives there were no packages delivered there.
Sgt. Chris Lane asked Jaynes if he intended to mislead the judge reviewing his warrant request.
No, Jaynes said.
"I didn't need that line in – in there to – to get my PC," or probable cause for the warrant, Jaynes replied. "I just, uh, basically, when I contacted (Mattingly), it just reaffirmed what I saw, the things that I've had."
An investigative report summarizing the investigators' conversations with Shively police included information that the Postal Service no longer worked with LMPD because of an unspecified dispute a few years earlier. No further explanation is given.
'My heart was in my – my throat'
During the interview May 19, Jaynes said Taylor's apartment was, in his view, the "least likely" place for something to go wrong.
Then he heard over the police radio an officer had been shot there.
"When I heard that, you know, an officer got shot, I mean, my – my heart was in my – my throat at that time," Jaynes said. "These are our warrants. We all had a hand in this."
Mattingly was first in the door when officers broke it down shortly before 1 a.m. Taylor's boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a shot.
Mattingly was hit in the femoral artery and required surgery. Walker's shot touched off the volley of return fire that killed Taylor. Walker said he fired because he thought someone was breaking into their apartment.
A shadowy figure, an 'ambush': Officers give jumbled accounts of night Breonna Taylor died
Calling it "unnerving," Jaynes said he would have done "some of our investigation" differently but didn't elaborate and wasn't pressed by investigators to explain.
In interviews after Taylor's death, members of LMPD's SWAT team said they were kept in the dark about the warrant for Taylor's home, despite briefings on other locations searched simultaneously, including where Glover was arrested.
Lt. Dale Massey, a SWAT team commander, said he would have recommended officers not serve the warrant. He called serving multiple warrants at once inherently dangerous and "bad business."
'Man, I really can't remember'
Jaynes told investigators that after the shooting, he followed up with Mattingly in early April to get more information on what he'd heard from the postal inspector.
“He's like, um, ‘Man, I really can't remember,’” Jaynes said, adding that Mattingly gave him two Shively police contacts.
Jaynes asked them to look into Glover receiving mail at Taylor's apartment.
Kuzma, the Shively detective, told Jaynes: "No."
"No, he can't do it?" an investigator asked Jaynes.
"I'm assuming, no, he didn't get anything there," Jaynes said. "He didn't really elaborate."
A day before Jaynes' interview, a Shively police sergeant told Louisville Public Integrity Unit investigators that it was “odd” that a month after Taylor was killed, Jaynes texted him to ask whether packages had been delivered to her boyfriend at her apartment.
“It looks like you’re trying to cover your ass, is what it appears to me,” Sgt. Tim Salyer told investigators May 18.
On May 20, one day after Jaynes' interview with investigators, Sgt. Jeremy Ruoff with the Public Integrity Unit filled out a form requesting the city's information technology services team to begin "monitoring the computer usage" by Jaynes.
"Employee is a PBI (Place-Based Investigations Squad) detective," Ruoff wrote. "I am seeking to obtain any and all documents that were drafted or received by the employee as well as all email correspondence between March 10, 2020, to May 18, 2020."