Louisville reaches $12 million settlement with Breonna Taylor’s family

Breonna Taylor Family Photo Breonna Taylor

Six months after the tragic police shooting death of Breonna Taylor, the city of Louisville, Kentucky, announced Tuesday that it has reached a $12 million settlement with Taylor’s family. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced the settlement at a press conference with the family’s legal attorneys, Benjamin Crump, Lonita Baker, and Sam Aguiar.

The settlement is being called historic as it’s the largest-ever in Lousiville history. As part of the settlement, the city also announced that it will implement sweeping police reforms. “A financial settlement was non-negotiable without police reform,” said Baker at today’s press conference.

Taylor, 26, was an emergency medical technician who was shot in her home by Louisville police in an apparent drug raid of the wrong house. According to Taylor’s family, she was asleep in bed with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker when the police burst into their home with a “no-knock” warrant during the early hours of March 13.

Walker, a registered gun owner, said he feared for his life and fired a shot at who he thought were unidentified intruders. The police returned fire, spraying 25 rounds into the home, eight of which struck and killed Taylor.

Tuesday’s settlement announcement comes at the end of a tumultuous summer of unrest across the nation. Taylor’s death, along with the high-profile deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, pursued and shot by a White neighborhood vigilante, and George Floyd, who died during a fatal arrest by Minneapolis police officers, sparked a national outcry for justice, re-igniting the Black Lives Matter Movement and other movements calling for police reforms and/or divestment.

The Louisville police reforms announced today include:

  • Implementing a housing credit program to incentivize police officers to live in the areas they serve and also payment for officers to perform two hours of community service a week
  • Utilizing social workers to provide support on specified police runs
  • Requiring commanders to review and approve search warrants before seeking judicial approval

Notably, the settlement does not include an admission of wrongdoing by the police. “It’s just an acknowledgment of the need for reform and the need for a settlement to take place,” said Mayor Fischer.

To date, none of the officers involved in the shooting have been charged. Former Louisville police officer Brett Hankison, who shot 10 rounds into Taylor’s apartment was fired in June. The other officers have been placed on administrative leave.

At today’s press conference, Crump called for Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who is leading the investigation, to charge the officers involved with at least second-degree manslaughter. Tamika Palmer, Taylor’s mother, also spoke at the press conference, stating, “As significant as today is, it’s only the beginning of getting full justice for Breonna. It’s time to move forward with the criminal charges because she deserves that much more.”

She encouraged people to “continue to say her name.”