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15 Sep, 2020 19:27

Breonna Taylor’s family to get $12 million & Louisville police reforms in wrongful death settlement

Breonna Taylor’s family to get $12 million & Louisville police reforms in wrongful death settlement

Louisville, Kentucky has reached a $12 million settlement with the family of Breonna Taylor, a medic killed in a “no-knock” raid earlier this year, sparking major Black Lives Matter protests.

The financial part of the settlement, which also includes police reforms, was announced on Tuesday by Sam Aguilar, the attorney representing Taylor’s family in their wrongful death civil suit against the city. 

Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, was shot and killed by police in March as they were raiding her apartment on a warrant related to a drug investigation. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, fired on police when they entered the home on the “no knock” warrant, saying he believed them to be intruders. One officer was shot in the leg, and Taylor was killed by returning fire from police. No drugs were found in the home.

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“The city’s response in this case has been delayed and it’s been frustrating, but the fact that they’ve been willing to sit down and talk about significant reform was a step in the right direction and hopefully a turning point,” Aguilar said about the settlement.

On Monday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer detailed a string of police reforms that are part of the settlement with Taylor’s family, which include establishing a “housing credit program” to encourage officers to live in communities they police, paid hours each week for officers to volunteer at an organization in their communities, and the dispatching of social workers on some warrants to help deal with potential mental health issues. 

None of the officers involved in the shooting have been charged with any crimes, but there is an ongoing investigation into the incident. Activist groups and protesters have called for the officers involved to be charged and held accountable for Taylor’s death.

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“We see this settlement as the bare minimum you can do for a grieving mother,” Until Freedom, a social justice group behind many of the protests in Kentucky, said in a statement. “The city isn’t doing her any favors. True justice is not served with cash settlements. We need those involved in her murder to be arrested and charged. We need accountability. We need justice.”

One of the officers involved in the shooting, Brett Hankison, was fired in June for “wantonly and blindly” shooting 10 rounds into the apartment. The same month, Louisville banned “no knock” warrants. The mayor announced on Monday that commanding officers will now need to review and approve warrants before an officer can seek approval from a judge.

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