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Breonna Taylor killing: Louisville to pay $12 million settlement to Breonna Taylor’s family, reform police practices

Breonna Taylor’s Family to Receive $12 Million Settlement From City of Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After months of protests that turned Breonna Taylor’s name into a national slogan against police violence, city officials agreed to pay her family $12 million and institute changes aimed at preventing future deaths by officers.

The agreement, announced Tuesday, settled a wrongful-death lawsuit brought by the young woman’s family. As her mother, her lawyers and leading activists walked into the council chamber alongside the mayor, there was a momentary show of unity, after months of nightly, sometimes violent demonstrations that have left Kentucky’s largest city boarded up. It comes six months after the death of Ms. Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician, in a botched drug raid, but before the state’s attorney general has said whether the officers involved in the shooting would be criminally charged — a key demand of protesters.

Breonna Taylor should still be alive, but the 26-year-old EMT was killed in her own home by Louisville Metro Police who botched a no-knock drug raid, going to the wrong apartment on March 13 this year.

Breonna Taylor should still be alive, but instead, her family and her boyfriend have been grieving for six months, and a nation has been waiting to see if the police officers responsible for her death will be held accountable.

Breonna Taylor should still be alive, but for her life attorneys negotiated a $12 million settlement for her family, along with several police reforms admitting “police misconduct.”

Breonna Taylor should still be alive, but instead, Attorney Ben Crump said in a press conference Tuesday announcing the settlement and the planned police reforms, she “is a light to help heal what’s happening in America.” Crump said, “Regardless of this landmark step on the journey to justice, we still are demanding that Kentucky Attorney General, Daniel Cameron, bring charges immediately against the police officers that murdered Breonna Taylor.”

Meanwhile, The Federal Bureau of Investigations and Kentucky state authorities continue to investigate the shooting to figure out if the officers involved meet the threshold for being charged in her death. One of the officers involved in the shooting, Brett Hankinson, was fired for violating Louisville Municipal Police Department’s deadly force protocol, but that violation has yet to be deemed illegal.

“My administration is not waiting to move ahead with needed reforms to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “When you know what the right thing to do is you do it. Why wait?”

The agreement, which did not require the city to acknowledge wrongdoing, was sizable, with her family receiving more than double the amount paid to the relatives of Eric Garner, the New York man who died in a police chokehold in 2014. While a few similar cases resulted in larger payments, from $13 million to a whopping $38 million, some of them came only after years in court battles. By contrast, the Louisville agreement was reached in just months.

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