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Louisville officer who killed Breonna Taylor hired by police force in nearby county

A ground mural depicting a portrait of Breonna Taylor is seen at Chambers Park in Annapolis, Md., on July 6, 2020.
Julio Cortez
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AP
A ground mural depicting a portrait of Breonna Taylor is seen at Chambers Park in Annapolis, Md., on July 6, 2020.

Myles Cosgrove, a former Louisville police officer who shot and killed Breonna Taylor in March 2020, became a law enforcement officer again in a nearby county, according to various local media outlets.

The Carroll County Sheriff's Office, which is about an hour drive northeast of Louisville, recently hired Cosgrove, Chief Deputy Rob Miller told The Courier Journal on Saturday.

"We think he will help reduce the flow of drugs in our area and reduce property crimes," Miller said. "We felt like he was a good candidate to help us in our county."

This photo released by the Louisville Police shows Louisville Police Det. Myles Cosgrove after a narcotics raid on March 13, 2020.
Louisville Police / AP
/
AP
This photo released by the Louisville Police shows Louisville Police Det. Myles Cosgrove after a narcotics raid on March 13, 2020.

Miller added that Cosgrove had nearly two decades of experience in the police force. The Carroll County Sheriff's Office declined NPR's request for comment.

The hiring has garnered scrutiny in both Louisville and Carroll County.

Chanelle Helm, the lead organizer of Black Lives Matter Louisville, said Cosgrove's return to the police force showed the impunity often afforded to law enforcement.

"The way in which he can go and get a job in the same field should be illegal. For a typical citizen, we aren't able to re-enter certain fields, if we're fired from them. That carries with you," she told member station WFPL.

Cosgrove was one of seven officers involved in the deadly raid inside Taylor's apartment in the middle of the night. Police, who came to serve a no-knock search warrant, barged in — startling Taylor, a 26-year-old ER technician, and her boyfriend. Believing the officers were intruders, Taylor's boyfriend fired a single shot at them. Officers returned 32 shots, half of which were fired by Cosgrove. Two of his rounds struck Taylor.

An FBI ballistics report later showed that it was Cosgrove's bullets that killed her, according to WFPL.

In January 2021, the Louisville Metro Police Department firedCosgrove for violating department procedures on the use of deadly force by failing to properly identify a threat when he fired his weapon. Cosgrove also violated LMPD policy by not wearing a body camera during the raid.

In Cosgrove's termination letter, the interim LMPD Chief Yvette Gentry wrote: "The shots you fired went in three different directions, indicating you did not verify a threat or have target acquisition."

Gentry added, "In other words, the evidence shows that you fired wildly at unidentified subjects or targets located within the apartment."

Cosgrove appealedhis case to get his job back in November 2021, but ultimately the court upheld the department's decision to terminate, local media outlets reported.

The officer has not faced any criminal charges in connection to the killing. Four officers were formally charged by the Justice Department with civil rights violations but Cosgrove was not one of them.

In 2022, the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council voted to allow Cosgrove to keep his police certification, making him eligible to work for other police departments in the state, WFPLreported.

Cosgrove is not the first officer to be removed from a police department after misconduct only to be hired elsewhere. The phenomenonknown as "wandering cops" has been an issue for decades in the U.S. in part because there is a lack of national coordination to keep track of officers with a history of misconduct.

Taylor's death fueled racial justice protests across the country in the summer of 2020. That year, Louisville's city council unanimously votedto ban no-knock warrants.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Juliana Kim
Juliana Kim is a weekend reporter for Digital News, where she adds context to the news of the day and brings her enterprise skills to NPR's signature journalism.