Breonna Taylor Case: Louisville to Pay Record $12 Million in Civil Suit to Slain EMT's Estate
Tamika Palmer, Breonna’s mom, briefly but emotionally spoke, saying, “as significant as today is, it is only the beginning to get the full justice for Breonna.”
The City of Louisville will pay out $12 million to the estate of Breonna Taylor, the Kentucky EMT fatally shot by police in her home in the middle of the night. The "substantial" settlement with Taylor's loved ones will also include multiple police reforms across the city, officials announced Tuesday.
Tamika Palmer, Breonna’s mom, was emotional as she spoke, saying, “as significant as today is, it is only the beginning to get the full justice for Breonna.”
Palmer asked for people to “continue to say her name,” to which those attending the press conference repeatedly replied, "Breonna Taylor.”
Attorney Ben Crump, one of the lawyers representing Taylor's, said the settlement is the “largest amount ever paid out for a Black woman killed by police in America.”
He added that he was “grateful” to the city for what they did and impassionately called on Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to “bring charges on the officers” in Taylor’s death “immediately.”
In addition to the payout, the city has agreed to initiate meaningful reforms.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher spoke first and announced the initiatives and widespread police reform that the Louisville Metro Police Department will immediately undergo as part of the settlement with the family.
Authorities said stronger community relationships between cops and citizens will be built, cops will be encouraged to volunteer frequently in their communities, and officials are planning to create a platform for social workers to aid and respond to mental health calls, as well as programs that will see LMPD officers and social workers partner. Housing incentives for police to live in low-income housing will also be created.
"[The] timing of this was such that both parties felt it was best to do this now and discuss reforms and [a] financial settlement," Fischer said of the settlement.
Lonita Baker, another attorney representing Taylor's family, said that "justice for Breonna is multilayered.""The settlement is a portion of a single layer," she said.
She vowed to “continue to work to combat systematic racism in America and hold elected officials accountable.” She also pushed to hold the officers accountable for Breonna Taylor’s death. She also said to “have faith an indictment is coming.”
Earlier in the day, Sam Aguiar, one of several attorneys representing Taylor's family, spoke to Inside Edition Digital about the significant development in the case. "This is just one step. We are pleased that the city was agreeable to meaningful reform. But we have a long way to go. These officers need to be held criminally accountable," Aguiar told Inside Edition Digital.
The settlement is the largest ever paid out in Louisville. Previously, the largest amount paid out by the city was $8.5 million to Edwin Chandler in 2012, who was wrongfully imprisoned for more than nine years.
In documentation previously obtained by the Louisville Courier-Journal, police were authorized to carry out a “no-knock” warrant on Taylor’s Louisville home on March 13 as part of a narcotics investigation on a home 10 miles away. Neither Taylor nor her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were the investigation's target. Police had suspected, though, that Taylor’s home was used to receive drugs.
Authorities said they identified themselves, despite the “no-knock” warrant. Police said the officers were “immediately” met by gunfire when they entered Taylor and Walker's home, at which point they returned fire.
Walker called 911 during the ordeal and he was informed he'd shot an officer. He was initially charged with attempted murder, but his charges were later dropped after he said he shot in self-defense thinking he and Taylor were victims of a home invasion.
In the wake of Taylor's death, the city has banned "no-knock" warrants.
In June, Officer Brett Hankison was fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department; he is currently contesting his termination with legal council. Officer Myles Cosgrove and John Mattingly have been reassigned. None of the officers have been arrested or charged in Taylor’s death.
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