LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Ex-Louisville police chief Yvette Gentry testified Tuesday that former Det. Joshua Jaynes admitted to lying when he obtained a search warrant for the fatal raid of Breonna Taylor’s apartment, and she was “completely comfortable” firing him.
“Untruthfulness is a big deal,” Gentry told Louisville’s Police Merit Board. “There are certain policy violations you don’t get a second chance to come back from. They're that serious."
Asked if she considered a lesser penalty after meeting with Jaynes and his attorneys during a pre-termination hearing in late December, Gentry said she did not, and argued that there was no new evidence presented in Jaynes’ favor during that meeting.
Jaynes was also accused of violating standard operating procedure in preparing search warrant forms, but Gentry said that violation alone would have prompted a short suspension or even just a reprimand.
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.
The merit board has reconvened to continue a June 3 hearing over Jaynes' firing. He and his attorney, Thomas Clay, are trying to clear his name and get his job back.
Clay argued that Jaynes used information in the affidavit that was obtained by other officers, which is proper under what is called the "collective knowledge doctrine."
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 acknowledged that he never spoke to the postal inspector.
However, Jaynes and Clay claim the information on the affidavit wasn't untruthful, because he got it from another officer, Jonathan Mattingly, one of the officers involved in executing the search warrant.
But Gentry said Mattingly told Jaynes that Taylor was not receiving packages from Glover.
"It was a "No, she's not receiving packages,'" Gentry said. "He was not given a 'yes.' To make it a 'yes' is a lie."
Gentry said she didn't deny that Jamarcus Glover was a drug dealer and Taylor may have hung out with some "bad guys ... "but you can't cheat.
"She's not the first woman that did that," Gentry said. "She was failed by those men. And she was also failed by Detective Jaynes cheating the system with a desire to get in there, and he used false information to get it."
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."
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.
In his interview with the Public Integrity Unit, "Jaynes emphasized that he did not write that Glover was receiving suspicious packages but was making the point that Glover was receiving … mail at that location," according to a summary.
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, according to police reports. 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.
A Jefferson County grand jury indicted Hankison on Sept. 23 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.
No one was charged in Taylor's death.
The hearing will continue on Wednesday with Clay calling Mayor Greg Fischer to testify.
This story may be updated.
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