One of the first cops to face federal charges in connection with the death of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman who was killed in 2020 in a botched raid by Louisville police officers, pleaded guilty on one count of conspiracy this afternoon.
Former Louisville officer Kelly Goodlett was charged for her role in a scheme in which two other officers, Joshua Jaynes and Kyle Meany, provided false information in the affidavit used to secure the no-knock warrant that preceded the hail of bullets in which Taylor died. Goodlett then met up with Jaynes after the shooting in an attempt to concoct a coverup for their fatal misdeeds, prosecutors allege.
Goodlett’s conviction finally makes real calls for justice from around the country, in which Taylor’s family, activists and concerned people around the country turned into a mantra and a hashtag: Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor.
That call fell on deaf ears in Kentucky, where the state’s Black attorney general, Daniel Cameron, put on a sham case before a grand jury, announcing that the evidence didn’t support charges against any of the officers involved despite the fact that members of the grand jury later said that Cameron never asked or instructed them on how to return any charges directly related to Taylor’s death. The grand jury did indict former officer Brett Hankison for unloading 10 rounds into Taylor’s apartment and others from outside the building, where he couldn’t even see where he was shooting at. He was acquitted in March.
Cameron, a Republican, is now running for governor of the state, where his political affiliation would have made charging Taylor’s killers a liability among conservative voters. That left the pursuit of criminal justice in the case up to the feds. The Justice Department charged Jaynes, Meany, Goodlett for allegedly lying and Hankison for the shots he fired.
Meany was fired by Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Erika Shields on Sunday.
To this day, Myles Cosgrove, the former Louisville cop who actually fired Taylor’s killshot, hasn’t been charged. He was fired in January 2021, a decision that was upheld after he petitioned in department hearings to get his job back.
Taylor died on March 23, 2020, when a barrage of Louisville cops burst into her apartment with a warrant seeking a man she previously dated. Taylor wasn’t a subject of the warrant nor was she still involved with the man who was. Instead, she was asleep along with her then boyfriend, who also wasn’t a target of the warrant. Turns out, the man the cops sought was already in police custody.
Taylor’s boyfriend, who had a legally purchased gun, fired at the officers believing they were people committing a violent entry into the home; police returned fire, killing Taylor. She was 26 years old.