The former Louisville Metro Police Department detective who applied for the search warrant for the fatal raid on Breonna Taylor’s apartment is appealing a police employment board’s decision to uphold his firing.
Joshua Jaynes was fired from LMPD in January for “untruthfulness” after investigators found he lied in the warrant application for Taylor’s apartment. Jaynes wrote he “verified with a U.S. Postal Inspector” that Taylor’s ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover, a man police suspected of dealing drugs, received packages at her address. An internal investigation later found Jaynes did not personally verify the information, instead relying on another officer’s word, which proved to be false. After a three-day hearing in June, the LMPD Police Merit Board voted unanimously to deny Jaynes’ appeal and uphold his termination.
Thomas Clay, Jaynes’ lawyer, filed an appeal of the merit board’s decision with the Jefferson County Circuit Court on Friday. Clay told WFPL News last week that he is arguing, among other things, that Jaynes believed the statement to be true when he filed the warrant application hours before officers broke down Taylor’s door during a middle-of-the-night raid. Taylor’s boyfriend fired one shot at the entrants, not knowing they were police, and they responded with dozens of bullets, some of which struck and killed Taylor.
Clay said Jaynes didn’t know the information he was provided was inaccurate until April 2020, weeks after the March 13 raid on Taylor’s apartment.
“[Former interim Police Chief Yvette Gentry] kept talking about, ‘The answer came back no from Shively about Jamarcus Glover receiving packages there,’” Clay said. “To me, it was just incredible because it came back ‘No’ in April … So how the hell is he supposed to go back and un-serve the search warrant?”
Clay said he thinks the board made an error in siding with LMPD, and he hopes the court finds the same. He said he will be “quoting extensively from the testimony” at the Police Merit Board hearing.
“The testimony, to me, is incredible,” he said. “I just don’t see how they could base any disciplinary action and the board upholds it based on what the testimony was during those three days.”
During the June hearing, arguments centered almost exclusively around the single line in an affidavit Jaynes attached to his warrant application.
Lawyers representing LMPD argued Jaynes made false representations to Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Mary Shaw when he wrote that he verified information with the U.S. Postal Inspector. Jaynes admitted in testimony that the information was secondhand, coming from Jonathan Mattingly, a detective who retired from LMPD on June 1, 2021.
Investigative files showed no one from LMPD ever spoke to a U.S. Postal Inspector. Instead, Mattingly asked Shively Police Department detectives to use their sources within USPS to verify whether Glover had received packages at her apartment on Springfield Drive. Sgt. Tim Salyer and Det. Mike Kuzma of Shively PD told investigators that their source told them Glover was not sending packages there and they relayed that information to Mattingly.
In her testimony, Gentry, who fired Jaynes, described his actions as “turning a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’.”
Clay argued throughout the hearing that what the former detective put in the warrant application was proper under the law. Clay repeatedly pointed to a legal principle known as the “collective knowledge doctrine,” which allows officers to act on the knowledge of another officer when making a stop, search or arrest.
“Nobody up the chain of command apparently ever heard of the collective knowledge doctrine, which is widely accepted both in state courts and federal courts,” Clay said during a recent interview with WFPL. “I think that makes the statement he put in the warrant application true.”
The Jefferson County Circuit Court could decide to uphold the merit board’s ruling and Jaynes’ firing, or find that the decision was not supported by the evidence or is contrary to the law. The Circuit Court’s decision could be appealed further to the Court of Appeals.