The more of these stories I write and read, the more it becomes apparent that police culture revolves around the belief that by virtue of being a cop you shouldn’t have to face consequences, so it’s not surprising that the cop who issued the warrant that led to Breonna Taylor’s death is currently in the process of trying to get his job back.
According to WLKY, Joshua Jaynes testified before the Police Merit Board on Thursday in an effort to get his job back. Jaynes was fired earlier this year by interim Police Chief Yvette Gentry, and a Public Integrity Unit investigation found that Jaynes’ wording on the warrant was misleading. An attorney for Jaynes argued that his firing occurred before the Professional Standards investigation was completed and that the reason given for his firing didn’t match the facts of the case. Jaynes is seeking to not only be re-hired, but to also receive back pay for the duration of his firing.
According to investigators, the warrant indicates Jaynes verified through the U.S. Postal Service that Taylor’s ex-boyfriend was receiving packages, potentially containing drugs, from her home in west Louisville.
But Gentry’s termination letter claims that wasn’t true. Instead, the former interim chief said the information was received through another detective and that it couldn’t be independently corroborated.
During Thursday’s hearing, the Merit Board said the other detective was Jonathan Mattingly, one of the central figures in the raid at Taylor’s home. Mattingly was shot that night.
The Merit Board questioned Jaynes, reiterating that he did not verify the claims with the postal inspector. The former detective confirmed that was the case.
“I personally did not speak to the postal inspector,” Jaynes admitted.
Still, Jaynes swears he didn’t lie on the search warrant.
Jaynes did try to mislead the judge on the case by withholding the fact that he received the information for the warrant from a fellow detective and not someone at the post office. That fact has become one of the main arguments the attorney for the police department has used against him.
Even if Jaynes didn’t intentionally lie on the warrant, this is still shoddy police work. It’s a warrant based on secondhand information that wasn’t even verified. If I wrote a story that said “X person committed a heinous act” but took zero steps to independently verify that there was any truth to that story, and as a result I opened up The Root to potential lawsuits, I would lose my job—simple as that.
If I made a mistake that resulted in a person’s death, I wouldn’t be spending my time trying to justify that mistake. That shit would probably break me if I’m being honest. Those are consequences you have to deal with, and given that you’re still breathing while someone else isn’t, I’d say losing your job is getting off light.