During the federal trial of Brett Hankison, a former Louisville officer charged with civil rights violations stemming from the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, explosive testimony came from Myles Cosgrove, another former officer present during the raid on March 13, 2020.
Cosgrove took the stand to recount the harrowing events of the night. He described how he and Jonathan Mattingly, who was wounded, returned fire after Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, shot Mattingly in the leg. As the situation escalated, with Taylor, who was unarmed, standing beside Walker, Cosgrove and the other officers retreated.
Cosgrove’s testimony shed light on Hankison’s conduct, specifically his decision to fire through the patio door of Taylor’s apartment. He expressed concern over Hankison shooting “haphazardly” through the door, which was covered by drapes and blinds, thus obscuring visibility and making target identification impossible. Cosgrove criticized this action as reckless and endangering the lives of all present.
The testimony starkly contrasted Hankison’s emotional account during his previous state trial, where he claimed to be firing at muzzle flashes from within the apartment.
Further details from The New York Times reveal that Hankison discharged 10 rounds through Taylor’s apartment window and sliding-glass door, both obscured by blinds. During the interrogation, Hankison insisted he was aiming at the muzzle flashes he believed to be a threat.
The trial spotlighted Hankison’s dismissal from the police force in June 2020. The then-police chief’s termination letter condemned Hankison for “blindly” firing into the apartment, actions deemed “a shock to the conscience.”
Cosgrove, in his testimony, also provided a personal reflection on the tragic outcome of the raid. He lamented the death of Taylor, stating that the loss of life was never his intention and reiterated his belief that his actions were in defense of his and Mattingly’s lives, a burden he conveyed with somber recognition of the grave consequence of that night.