(The AEGIS Alliance) – The city of Louisville, Kentucky, has come to an agreement with Breonna Taylor’s family to pay a $12 million settlement. The settlement comes six months after Breonna Taylor was killed by police during a “no-knock” raid.
The terms of the settlement were announced by Mayor Greg Fischer on Tuesday afternoon during a news conference with Breonna Taylor’s family and their attorneys, Benjamin Crump, Lonita Baker, and Sam Aguiar.
The city is not required to admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.
“It is just an acknowledgment of the need for reform and the need for a settlement to take place,” Mayor Fischer said.
Fischer said Breonna Taylor‘s death was a tragedy and mentioned it’d been 186 days since she was killed.
“Her death has ignited a movement in Louisville, in the nation, for racial justice, sending thousands into our streets and cities all across the country and the world. All crying out for justice for Breonna,” Fischer said.
Fischer noted he’s “deeply sorry” for Taylor’s death.
“While we await a decision from Attorney General Daniel Cameron on whether or not charges will be filed in this case, my administration is not waiting to move ahead with needed reforms to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again,” Mayor Fischer said.
The settlement includes police reforms such as changes to the execution of and approval process of search warrants. The settlement also includes an expansion of random drug testing of officers and a housing credit program that provides incentives for officers to live in certain low-income areas in Louisville. Additionally, social workers will be employed to give assistance with dispatched runs.
“It’s important to note here that a financial settlement was nonnegotiable without significant police reform, and that’s what we were able to do today,” Lonita Baker said, and added that there’s work that still needs to be done.
Baker thanked Fischer for his commitment to the reforms and noted it’s “unheard of” to reach such an agreement in a civil lawsuit.
Benjamin Crump and Lonita Baker still have demands for the state attorney general, who leads the investigation, to charge the three white officers who stormed into Taylor’s apartment. Crump said that at the very minimum, the officers should face second-degree manslaughter charges.
“It has been so long getting to this day, where we could assure that Breonna Taylor’s life wouldn’t be swept under the rug like so many other Black women in America who have been killed by police, marginalized,” Attorney Crump said.
Crump credited Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), who brought attention to Taylor’s case and discussed it on national television. The attorney also applauds activists on the ground who continue to fight for justice.
“Breonna Taylor is a light to help heal what is happening in America,” he said.
Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, filed a lawsuit back in April against the three Louisville Metro Police Department officers and accused them of wrongfully causing her daughter’s death. The lawsuit claimed that police used excessive force and that there was gross negligence in the search warrant. Taylor’s family amended the lawsuit in July and claimed the raid was “connected to a gentrification project.”
Palmer and the attorneys dawned a black mask with Breonna Taylor’s name in white lettering, and they briefly spoke at the news conference.
“As significant as today is, it’s only the beginning of getting full justice for Breonna. We must not lose focus on what the real job is. It’s time to move forward with the criminal charges because she deserves that and much more,” Tamika Palmer said.
“My daughter’s beautiful spirit and personality are working through all of us on the ground,” said, and implored people to “continue to say her name.”
Louisville police Officer Brett Hankison, who blindly fired 10 gunshot rounds into Taylor’s apartment, where officers found no drugs or money, was fired in June.
Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly and Officer Myles Cosgrove have both been placed on administrative leave, and so has the detective who requested the warrant. None of the involved officers have been charged.
Officers killed Taylor, 26, an emergency medical technician, after midnight March 13 while serving a “no-knock” warrant. Taylor’s boyfriend Kenneth Walker shot Mattingly in the thigh and has said he thought an intruder was breaking into their home.
Taylor didn’t have a criminal record and was never an inquiry target.
Police were involved in a drug investigation related to Taylor’s ex-boyfriend Jamarcus Glover, who’s a convicted drug dealer. Glover had her apartment listed as his address was using it to receive packages.
Louisville officials passed Breonna’s Law in June which is a measure that bans the use of no-knock warrants that allowed police to forcibly enter people’s homes with no warning.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.