LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Louisville police detective Joshua Jaynes is at the center of a Department of Justice investigation into whether he lied on a search warrant used to raid Breonna Taylor’s apartment, but his attorney said the warrant “reeks” of probable cause.
Jaynes has been accused of providing false information in the search warrant affidavit signed by Judge Mary Shaw just hours before the raid that killed Taylor. Jaynes has hired attorney Thomas Clay to represent him in the federal investigation.
The questions surround whether Jamarcus Glover, who was the main target of the Louisville Metro Police drug investigation that led to the raid, was having packages delivered to Taylor’s apartment. In an interview with the department’s Public Integrity Unit in May, Jaynes acknowledged to police investigators that he could have worded the affidavit “differently.”
However, Clay said that is just one piece of the affidavit and that there was reason for the search warrant to be signed even without the questionable information regarding those packages.
“There was ample evidence to support issuing the search warrant for that location,” Clay said. “This search warrant affidavit, in my opinion, reeks of probable cause.”
Louisville police were repeatedly told there were no packages, "suspicious or otherwise," delivered to Taylor's home, according to testimony in an internal LMPD report.
But on March 12, a day before the raid on Taylor's Springfield Drive unit, a warrant affidavit written and signed by Jaynes said he had "verified through a US Postal Inspector that Glover has been receiving packages" at Taylor's home.
Internal police investigative records show that Jaynes did not verify through the Postal Inspector, however, and instead asked Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly to do it for him. Mattingly then proceeded to ask two Shively police officers to check for packages being sent to Taylor’s home because of “bad blood” between LMPD and the Postal Inspector’s office.
Jaynes said Mattingly told him in February that Glover was receiving Amazon or mail packages at Taylor's home, but nothing had been designated as "suspicious" by the postal inspector.
“He is responsible,” Clay said of Jaynes drafting and signing the affidavit. “There is not a question about that. The question is did he unreasonably rely on information provided to him by another officer in the unit?”
Jaynes told LMPD Public Integrity Unit investigators in May that he did not intentionally mislead Shaw but acknowledged that he could have worded the affidavit “differently.”
Questions have also been raised about why Jaynes texted one of the Shively officers to inquire about packages again in May, weeks after the shooting that killed Taylor.
Clay said that was because the investigation into Glover’s alleged drug operation was still continuing and Jaynes was seeking evidence to use as part of a criminal prosecution.
“We know once a person is identified as a target of a narcotics investigation, (police) don’t just drop it,” Clay said.
But Clay said the package issue was just one small piece of the justification for the warrant, and even without it, there was still plenty of evidence for a judge to approve it. For instance, while conducting surveillance on Taylor’s apartment in January, Jaynes observed and took pictures of Glover arriving at her Springfield Drive apartment and then promptly leaving with a package under his arm.
Jaynes also wrote that Taylor’s car was seen on multiple occasions outside of 2424 Elliot Avenue, a home that police believed was the main location for Glover’s drug operation. The affidavit does not list the dates Taylor’s car was seen by officers.
“They went to extraordinary lengths to gather evidence not only for a search warrant on these premises but also criminal prosecutions,” Clay said.
Ultimately, Jaynes said he felt confident in his suspicions that Glover was using Taylor's apartment in his suspected drug trafficking business.
"They get other people involved, and it's usually females," he said in his interview with PIU investigators. "It's usually baby-mamas or one child in common or it's girlfriends that they can trust. They can trust them with their money and their stuff."
Attorney General Daniel Cameron's office did not present evidence on information used to obtain the search warrant during a state investigation into the deadly raid. A federal investigation still underway.
Jaynes said he reached out to the Public Integrity Unit following a WDRB News interview with the Louisville postal inspector in May.
When Shaw was asked if she was going to issue a show-cause order as to why Jaynes shouldn't be held in contempt for providing false information in an affidavit, she said she was "concerned but deferring to the FBI investigation."
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 a search warrant. Taylor was inside the apartment with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker. Walker thought they were being robbed, according to his attorney, and fired at officers when they rushed in, shooting Mattingly in the leg. Officers returned fire, shooting Taylor six times. She died at the scene.
A Jefferson County grand jury indicted Hankison on Sept. 23 on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing into a neighboring apartment where a man, pregnant woman and child were inside but not injured.
No one was charged in Taylor's death.
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