Former Louisville Metro Police Det. Joshua Jaynes has filed a lawsuit against the police merit board, arguing members ignored the law when upholding the termination of Jaynes for being untruthful in a search warrant used to raid Breonna Taylor’s home.
The lawsuit, filed Friday in Jefferson Circuit Court by attorney Thomas Clay, relies heavily on the three days of testimony heard by the merit board whose findings allegedly “included false facts … which resulted in an arbitrary decision.”
Jaynes, who was fired on Jan. 5, is requesting he be reinstated.
Jaynes wrote in the search warrant affidavit, under oath, that Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, was receiving packages at her apartment on Springfield Drive and said he confirmed the information through the U.S. postal inspector — one of the key justifications for the warrant.
In May 2020, a U.S. postal inspector in Louisville said Metro police did not use his office to verify that information. Jaynes has admitted he never spoke to the postal inspector.
Instead, Jaynes and Clay argued he relied on information from another officer, Jonathan Mattingly, one of the officers who executed the search warrant at Taylor’s South End home on March 13, 2020.
Among the key complaints in the lawsuit is that former Chief Yvette Gentry, who fired Jaynes, did not understand the doctrine known as “collective knowledge,” which means Jaynes did not need to directly speak to the postal inspector and properly relied on information provided to him by another officer.
“Once Gentry was apprised of the Doctrine and its applicability to searches under the Fourth Amendment, she made admissions which compromise her credibility and her decision to terminate Detective Jaynes for being untruthful,” according to the suit.
The lawsuit claims Mattingly told Jaynes that Taylor was receiving packages from Glover and he took the “statement at face value and relied upon it,” as he was “entitled to do” under the doctrine, according to the lawsuit.
And the lawsuit argues that the only alleged false information included in the entire search warrant is Jaynes saying he “verified” information through the postal inspector.
But in her testimony, Gentry contended that Mattingly told Jaynes that Taylor was not receiving packages from Glover.
Jaynes’ partner, Detective Kelly Goodlett, testified that she heard Mattingly verify to Jaynes that Glover was getting packages at Taylor’s home.
Gentry said, “I can’t speak to what Kelly Goodlett knew or understood,” according to her testimony.
Goodlett testified she and Jaynes also saw Glover pick up a package from Taylor’s home in January. A short time later, she heard Mattingly verify the information. However, she thought he had gotten the information through the postal inspector.
Instead, Mattingly submitted the request through the Shively Police Department, which serves as a liaison between LMPD and the postal inspector because of “bad blood” between the two agencies.
In an interview with Louisville police investigators, Shively police Sgt. Timothy Salyer said he and Shively Detective Michael Kuzma got a text from Mattingly on Jan. 17 asking they check with a postal inspector to see if packages were being sent to Taylor’s home for Glover.
Both Shively officers say the postal inspector told them there were no packages being sent to Taylor’s home and that information was promptly and accurately relayed to LMPD.
After Taylor’s death, both Salyer and Kuzma became concerned when they read the warrant affidavit written by Jaynes. Salyer asked Mattingly about what Jaynes said in the affidavit.
“Sgt. Mattingly stated he told Detective Jaynes there was no package history at that address,” Salyer told investigators.
Mattingly has said, through an attorney, that he never told Jaynes that Glover was having packages delivered to Taylor’s apartment.
Gentry testified that Jaynes admitted to being untruthful in obtaining a search warrant for the fateful raid of Taylor’s apartment and was “completely comfortable” in firing him.
Gentry served as interim chief for several months until earlier this year, when Chief Erika Shields formally took over the police department’s top job.
Detective Brett Hankison, along with Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, with LMPD’s Criminal Interdiction Division, burst into Taylor’s Springfield Drive apartment around 1 a.m. March 13 to serve the search warrant. Taylor was inside the apartment with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.
Taylor, 26, was shot six times and died at the scene.
Walker thought they were being robbed, according to his attorney, and fired at officers when they rushed in, hitting Mattingly in the leg.
Cosgrove and Hankison were fired.
A Jefferson County grand jury indicted Hankison on Sept. 23 last year on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing into an apartment near Taylor’s unit where a man, pregnant woman, and child were at the time. His case is pending.
No one was charged in Taylor’s death.