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Officer under federal indictment in Breonna Taylor case files termination appeal

J. Tyler Franklin

Former Louisville Metro Police Sgt. Kyle Meany is appealing his termination from the department. He was fired last month after being indicted by the Department of Justice in relation to the deadly raid on Breonna Taylor’s home in March 2020.

Meany was one of three LMPD officers charged for what federal prosecutors said were false and misleading statements included in the search warrant application for Taylor’s Springfield Drive apartment. Officers shot and killed Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman and EMT, during the resulting raid.

Federal court documents recently unsealed show prosecutors believe Meany withheld information that would have created doubt about some of the claims in the application and potentially put other officers in danger. He also supervised the two detectives who applied for the search warrant.

Lawyers representing Meany officially filed the notice of appeal to the independent LMPD Police Merit Board on Aug. 22. A copy of the notice obtained by WFPL News through an open records request shows Meany’s lawyers are arguing that he was fired solely because of the indictment.

“Sergeant Meany’s termination based upon a mere allegation makes a mockery of the presumption of innocence enshrined in the United States Constitution,” his lawyers wrote.

Meany is being represented by Michael Denbow and Brian Butler, both attorneys with the Stites & Harbison law firm. WFPL News reached out to Meany’s lawyers on numerous occasions regarding his appeal, but they declined to comment.

In her pre-termination letter to Meany, LMPD Chief Erika Shields said she found the officer violated the department’s standard operating procedures regarding obedience to rules and regulations. She specifically cited the accusations made against him in the federal indictment.

“Your conduct has severely damaged the image of our Department within the community,” Shields wrote. “The result of your actions seriously impedes the Department’s goal of providing the residents of our city with the most professional law enforcement agency possible.”

In the appeal notice, Butler and Denbow wrote that Meany had no knowledge of false statements that may have been made in the search warrant application. They also argue that Meany did not knowingly or willfully lie to investigators, as federal prosecutors claim.

“Police officers do not deserve special treatment but they do deserve fundamental fairness,” Denbow and Butler wrote to the board. “They should not be fired based solely upon the chief’s conclusion that the indictment must be true.”

Meany’s lawyers requested the Merit Board hold off on holding any hearings for his termination appeal until his criminal case concludes. He currently has a jury trial scheduled for mid-October.

So far, all of the LMPD officers fired in relation to the raid on Taylor’s apartment — Joshua Jaynes and Myles Cosgrove — have not been successful in their appeals. Former Det. Brett Hankison has also appealed, but hearings were delayed because of wanton endangerment charges against him in state court. While he was acquitted of those charges in March, Hankison’s appeal is likely to be further delayed as he now faces additional federal changes for his actions during the raid.

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