Louisville reaches $12M settlement with Breonna Taylor’s family in wrongful death lawsuit

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Officials have reached a settlement in a wrongful-death lawsuit filed against the City of Louisville by the family of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old Black woman shot and killed by police in her apartment earlier this year.

Mayor Greg Fisher said Tuesday that the city will pay Taylor’s family $12 million, the largest settlement ever paid by Louisville in a police misconduct case. Previously, the largest settlement paid had been $8.5 million in 2012, to a man who spent nine years in prison for a crime he did not commit, according to news reports.

As part of the settlement, officials agreed to implement several police reforms, including measures aimed at police accountability and policy changes around how warrants are executed.

Lonita Baker, an attorney representing Taylor’s family, said the settlement was just the beginning of the family’s work toward police reform.

“We finished the first mile in a marathon and we’ve got a lot to go, to achieve, before we reach that finish line,” Baker said.

Media Briefing 9-15-2020

Posted by Mayor Greg Fischer on Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Earlier Tuesday, another attorney representing the Taylor family, Sam Aguiar, expressed frustration to CNN over city officials' “delayed” response to the shooting.

"But the fact that they’ve been willing to sit down and talk significant reform was a step in the right direction and hopefully a turning point,” he added.

Taylor’s family filed suit against Louisville in April, alleging that officers went into the wrong home on March 13 to conduct a no-knock narcotics search warrant. The investigation was targeting Jamarcus Glover, Taylor’s former boyfriend, who was arrested on drug trafficking charges the night the 26-year-old was shot, according to The Associated Press.

In the lawsuit, Taylor’s family accused authorities of using excessive force and conducting a grossly negligent search, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.

Three officers, identified as Detective Brett Hankison, Detective Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, opened fire on the night of March 13, killing Taylor. Hankison was subsequently fired after authorities determined he “blindly” fired 10 shots into Taylor’s apartment from outside the home, WAVE reported.

Authorities have not filed charges against the officers, although WAVE reported a grand jury has been impaneled to hear the case.

Taylor family attorney Ben Crump on Tuesday praised the reform measures agreed to as part of the settlement with city officials and called on authorities to charge the officers involved in Taylor’s death.

“Regardless of this landmark step in the journey to justice, we still demand that Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron bring charges immediately against the police officers who murdered Breonna Taylor,” Crump said. “Immediately. This week. Justice delayed is justice denied.”

Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, called the settlement “significant” but noted that “it’s only the beginning of getting justice for Breonna.”

“It’s time to move forward with the criminal charges because she deserves that and much more," Palmer said. “Her beautiful spirit and personality is working through all of us on the ground, so please continue to say her name, Breonna Taylor.”

A decision on charges connected to Taylor’s death is expected to be announced as soon as this week, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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