A police officer in Louisville, Kentucky told a judge that a drug suspect had been receiving potentially suspicious packages at the woman’s home, requested a search warrant for Breonna Taylor’s apartment.
It was a key motive provided by the Louisville Metro Police Department to persuade the judge that a warrant was essential.
However, according to an internal LMPD investigation, officers at the department were told “repeatedly” that no packages ― “suspicious or otherwise” ― had been sent to Taylor’s home in linking with the drug probe.
A 26-year-old Black EMT, Taylor was shot dead by police in her Louisville apartment in the early hours of March 13 — a day after LMPD Det. Joshua Jaynes penned a sworn affidavit seeking a judge’s permission to search her home.
Jaynes said in the affidavit that a suspect in a narcotics investigation — Taylor’s ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover — had been seen recovering a “suspected USPS package in his right hand” from Taylor’s apartment in January before driving to a “known drug house,” according to The Courier-Journal.
Glover, Jaynes wrote, “may be keeping narcotics and/or proceeds from the sale of narcotics” at Taylor’s home “for safekeeping.”
The officer added that he’d verified “through a U.S. postal inspector” that Glover had been receiving packages at Taylor’s address.
A U.S. postal inspector in Louisville, however, told WDRB-TV in May that the LMPD had not used his office to verify that Glover was receiving packages at Taylor’s home.
The inspector, Tony Gooden, said a different law enforcement agency had asked his office in January to look into whether Taylor’s home was receiving any potentially suspicious mail. His office concluded that “no packages of interest [were] going there,” Gooden said.
On Wednesday, WDRB-TV, citing an investigative report from LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit, said officers at the department were well aware of the postal inspector’s conclusion.
The LMPD had reportedly asked two members of the Shively Police Department to assist them in the case and to ask a postal inspector on their behalf whether suspicious mail was being sent to Taylor’s apartment. The Shively officers learned from the postal inspector that no dubious packages were being sent there.
Shively police Sgt. Timothy Salyer told investigators with LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit in May that he shared this information with several LMPD officers, including Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly ― one of the three officers who executed the search warrant at Taylor’s home.
Salyer told Mattingly in January that “no packages had been received at the address, and the post office did not receive any packages either,” WDRB-TV reported. Salyer said he provided the “same information” to two other LMPD officers a week later.
Salyer also told investigators that he’d asked Mattingly about Jayne’s warrant affidavit following Taylor’s death.
“Sgt. Mattingly stated he told Detective Jaynes there was no package history at that address,” Salyer told investigators, according to WDRB-TV.
After the #BreonnaTaylor shooting, a detective who had checked with a postal inspector for LMPD about the packages asked Mattingly & Det. Mike Nobles, about what Jaynes wrote in the warrant. Nobles said he was confused about the "conflicting information on the affidavit as well" pic.twitter.com/BWCnVxY7JC
— Jason Riley (@JasonRileyWDRB) September 30, 2020
Glover ― who police said had also listed Taylor’s address as his own and had been seen making multiple trips between her apartment and allegedly known drug houses ― has claimed he never sent anything “illegal” to Taylor’s home. The package he was seen carrying from her apartment in January had contained shoes and clothes, he told The Courier-Journal in August.
A grand jury declined in September to issue homicide charges against Mattingly and the two other LMPD officers who were at the scene when Taylor was killed ― a decision that has sparked protests in Louisville and across the country.
Det. Brett Hankison was the only officer charged with a crime. He was indicted on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment ― all related to gunshots fired into neighboring apartments and not the ones fired inside Taylor’s home.