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Breonna Taylor: Former police chief defends decision to fire officer who fired fatal shot

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 5:11 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2021 at 6:22 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - As former LMPD detective Myles Cosgrove continued his fight to get his job back, on Wednesday he came face to face with the former Chief who fired him.

Former Chief Yvette Gentry told members of the police merit board that she was confident in her decision after investigation revealed Cosgrove fired the fatal shot that killed Breonna Taylor.

“It’s tough that I took his [Cosgrove’s] job,” Gentry said. “But you know, he can get another job. And he can go work somewhere else.”

Cosgrove lost his job in January because he fired into Taylor’s apartment 16 times without properly identifying a target. One of his bullets took Taylor’s life.

In a parting email, Cosgrove bitterly suggested Gentry “caved” to pressure when she fired him. Gentry told board members that Cosgrove was not the only one on her mind when she fired him.

“Policing is so hard, not everyone can do it,” Gentry said. “But Breonna Taylor was mine too. Every citizen is yours as a police chief. So this whole notion that Cosgrove fired off this email to all the officers saying... don’t work, don’t do anything because I got fired, she caved into this and she did that… I did nothing of the sort. I did nothing of the sort.”

For about four hours, Gentry fielded questions, many from Cosgrove’s attorneys seeking details on what influenced her decision. There were also many questions from Board members about possible political pressure.

Gentry acknowledged how the case had brought out many opinions, but she said the final decisions was hers alone.

“So I clear out all the opinions out of my head, I look at the evidence, I look at the totality and I accept the responsibility to make the tough decisions,” Gentry said. “And that’s what I did.”

Testimony will resume in December as the Board expects to hear from Cosgrove and an expert provided by Cosgrove’s attorneys.

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