'We all had a hand in this': Louisville police officer who got Breonna Taylor warrant in the hot seat
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Louisville detective who obtained the search warrant bringing police to Breonna Taylor’s door the night she died wrote that he personally verified that a suspected drug dealer was getting packages at her apartment.
Except, that wasn’t true.
Detective Joshua Jaynes swore in a March 12 affidavit that he verified the packages with a postal inspector.
But Jaynes admitted something different on May 19 while being questioned by LMPD investigators looking into Taylor’s fatal police shooting during a March 13 search of her apartment.
Jaynes said he actually had 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. And Mattingly had been told indirectly she wasn’t.
“I could have worded a little bit differently in there,” Jaynes told investigators about the affidavit he submitted declaring that he himself had verified the package information postal inspectors.
“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 to obtain records from Jaynes’ computer. Jaynes has been on administrative reassignment since June.
Public Integrity Unit investigators in their July 2 summary wrote 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 the 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.
The discrepancies are believed to be part of the FBI’s ongoing investigation into Taylor’s death. Attorney General Daniel Cameron chose not to make the warrant process part of his case, saying he was deferring to the FBI.
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An FBI spokesman said it is has 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 after Cameron’s office decided that the two officers who shot her, Mattingly and Detective Myles Cosgrove, were acting 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.
The debate over delivered packages
Jaynes said in his May 19 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 if Taylor’s former boyfriend, Glover, was receiving “any dope” or “suspicious” packages.
Glover was a main target in a narcotics investigation centered on Elliot Avenue, about 10 miles from Taylor’s apartment. Glover had been previously convicted of drug trafficking in Mississippi, and police had been watching him, noting that he had picked up a package at her apartment.
Glover, who was arrested in a different drug raid the same night Taylor was killed, has denied Taylor had anything to do with the drug trade.
No cash or drugs were found at Taylor home after the shooting.
Before those search warrants were carried out, Jaynes and Mattingly discussed whether Glover was having drugs and money shipped to Taylor’s home.
Jaynes told investigators during his May 19 interview that Mattingly told him “nonchalantly” that Glover “just gets Amazon or mail packages there.”
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“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.”
Jaynes went on to write in his sworn affidavit for the search warrant for Taylor’s home that he “verified through a US Postal Inspector that Jamarcus Glover has been receiving packages at 3003 Springfield Drive #4.”
He also described seeing Glover pick up a package from Taylor’s apartment on Jan. 16, before going to a “known drug house.”
But investigative records show Louisville police were told before the March 13 raid no packages “suspicious or otherwise” had been delivered to Glover at Taylor’s residence in the months leading to the warrant execution.
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An investigative report, previously reported by The Louisville Courier Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network, showed Mattingly asked police to inquire with the U.S. postal inspector about Taylor’s address and Glover.
A detective, Mike Kuzma, told Mattingly and two other LMPD detectives there were no packages delivered there.
But Jaynes told investigators that he thought Mattingly — coupled with a prior sighting of Glover with a package in his hand exiting the apartment — meant Glover was getting packages at Taylor’s apartment.
“Was … the way that you worded that specific bullet point in your affidavit, was it your intent to mislead the — the reviewing judge?” Sgt. Chris Lane asked Jaynes.
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.”
Sgt. Jason Vance asked Jaynes why he didn’t contact the postal inspector himself.
“I figured I didn’t have, like, direct contact with him,” Jaynes said. “And I know that this is what, uh, (Mattingly) — that’s what (Mattingly) does. He goes to the airport.”
At the time, Mattingly was a member of LMPD’s interdiction squad working on drug cases.
Jaynes added that other detectives in the department use the same process to verify parcels, by going through members of the airport interdiction unit.
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 May 19 interview, Jaynes described that Springfield apartment search, where Taylor lived, 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.”
The officer shot was Mattingly, who was first in the door when officers broke it down shortly before 1 a.m. to serve the search warrant. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired a shot, saying he thought someone was breaking in.
Mattingly was hit in the femoral artery and required surgery. It was Walker’s shot that touched over the volley of return fire from police that killed Taylor.
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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 what he meant.
In interviews following Taylor’s death, members of LMPD’s SWAT team said they were kept in the dark about the warrant executed at Taylor’s home, despite briefings on other locations being searched simultaneously, including on Elliott Avenue, 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 did give him two Shively police contacts.
Jaynes reached out to both to ask them to look into Glover receiving mail at Taylor’s apartment — even though Taylor was already dead — to complete his investigative letter, he said.
Kuzma, the Shively detective, told Jaynes: “No.”
“No, he can’t do it?” an investigator asked Jaynes.
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“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 if 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 begin “monitoring the computer usage” of 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.”
“Does the employee know his or her activity is suspect?” the report asked.
“Employee may have suspicions,” Ruoff wrote.
Follow Darcy Costello on Twitter: @dctello
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Breonna Taylor: What officer who got warrant told Louisville police