The former LMPD detective who got the search warrant that led to the deadly middle-of-the-night raid on Breonna Taylor’s apartment began making his case Thursday for why he should get his job back.
Joshua Jaynes was fired in January, with the department citing “untruthfulness.” His appeal to the independent Louisville Metro Police Merit Board began with opening statements Thursday morning. The hearing is expected to span multiple days.
Arguments centered mostly around one line in the affidavit Jaynes presented to Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Mary Shaw in order to get the warrant. In it, Jaynes says he “verified through a U.S. Postal Inspector” that Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, received packages at her apartment. It was later found that no packages for Glover had been sent to the home, and Jaynes was relying on the word of another officer.
Thomas Clay, Jaynes’ attorney, argued that his client did not intend to deceive the court and could have gotten the warrant without the false statement.
“The reason why we have all of these other exhibits attached to the search warrant and the affidavit is to prove that without sentence nine here, there was more than adequate information to establish the existence of probable cause,” Clay said.
Clay called the termination “unwarranted” and is requesting Jaynes be reinstated “with all back pay and benefits.”
Brendan Daugherty, an assistant county attorney representing LMPD in the case, said the Police Merit Board should uphold Jaynes’ firing. He argued that the former detective violated two internal policies while securing the search warrant: Jaynes failed to fill out a required form, and he lied when he said he verified information with a U.S. Postal Inspector.
“Jaynes represented in his affidavit for the search warrant that he took a very specific action and had a very specific source of information,” Daugherty argued. “But he had never taken that specific action and he did not have that specific source of information. And he knew it.”
Daugherty also called three witnesses to the stand. The first was Jaynes himself.
In testimony, Jaynes said he received the information about Glover from LMPD Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, whom he believed had a source within the post office. Mattingly was one of the three officers who fired their weapons during the raid on Taylor’s apartment, and was shot in the leg. LMPD alleges he was shot by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.
Jaynes also said he never met or spoke with the original source to verify the information.
The other witnesses were former LMPD Interim Chief Robert Schroeder and Sgt. Andrew Meyer, an investigator with LMPD’s Public Standards Unit, which reviews officer conduct for policy violations.
Schroeder, who initiated the internal investigation, said he believed Jaynes would not have been fired had he made clear in his affidavit that he received the information from another sworn officer instead of what he wrote in his affidavit.
“I don’t think we’d be having this hearing,” Schroder said.
Meyer made a similar argument for why he found Jaynes’ statement violated LMPD’s internal policy on truthfulness.
Meyer said he didn’t think the statement was vague or indicated Jaynes had only secondhand knowledge of whether Glover was having packages delivered to Taylor’s apartment. He said the statement would clearly be interpreted by a reader as Jaynes having verified the information personally.
“If I’m reviewing [this statement] there’s no more questions I have to ask, I’ve got it all right here,” Meyer said. “The unfortunate part is that’s not what happened. That’s not the truth of it.”
The Police Merit Board will resume Jaynes’ hearing on June 29 at 9 a.m., beginning with testimony from former LMPD Interim Chief Yvette Gentry, who fired Jaynes and another officer connected to the Taylor case.
The Board could ultimately choose to sustain Jaynes’ firing, or reinstate him with an alternative punishment. All proceedings are expected to be livestreamed on the Board’s Facebook page.