An attorney for the family stated, nonetheless, that a financial settlement was nonnegotiable without significant police reform.
The city of Louisville, Kentucky has reached an agreement with Breonna Taylor's family. It will pay $12 million to the family in order to settle their wrongful death lawsuit. In addition to this, the city has also promised to undertake sweeping police reforms in what is being called a "historic settlement." The settlement was announced by Mayor Greg Fischer at a press conference on Tuesday. The Mayor noted that the settlement does not admit wrongdoing on the city's part. Meanwhile, those advocating for justice for Taylor have noted that the settlement is the "bare minimum" that the city could do, CNN reports.
The settlement includes several reforms to policing undertaken by the city: a housing credit program as an incentive for officers to live in the areas they work in; the deployment of social workers to provide support on certain police runs; and stricter rules regarding search warrants (a commander will henceforth have to review and approve a search warrant before seeking judicial approval). Of course, it also notes that the city will pay Taylor's family $12 million. A spokeswoman for the Mayor's office confirmed that this was the highest-ever settlement paid by the city thus far. Family attorney Benjamin Crump added that he believed it could be one of the largest amounts ever paid out for a Black woman killed by police in the United States.
Ben Crump, attorney for the family of Breonna Taylor, says the $12 million settlement is the largest amount ever reached for a Black woman killed by a police officer in the U.S.— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 15, 2020
He said it may also be the largest settlement ever reached for a Black person in a police shooting pic.twitter.com/4SIqZz3V2Y
Tamika Palmer, Taylor's mother, said of the settlement, "Justice for Breonna means that we will continue to save lives in her honor. No amount of money accomplishes that, but the police reform measures that we were able to get passed as a part of this settlement mean so much more to my family, our community, and to Breonna's legacy." It took the city more than six months to reach this settlement. Taylor, a former first responder, was in March murdered in her own home by White Louisville Metro Police officers as she slept. The officers broke down the door to her apartment and fatally shot her as they executed a late-night, "no-knock" warrant in a narcotics investigation.
Earlier this year in June, following Taylor's death, the city passed "Breonna's Law," which banned search warrants. While a settlement has been reached, family attorney Lonita Baker is working with Palmer to push for criminal charges against the officers involved. "It's time to move forward with the criminal charges, because she deserves that and much more," the mother stated. "Her beautiful spirit and personality is working through all of us on the ground, so please continue to say her name: Breonna Taylor." Baker added, "Justice for Breonna is multilayered. What we were able to accomplish today through the civil settlement against the officers is tremendous, but it's only a portion of a single layer. When officers cause the death of an individual, it is imperative that we seek justice not only in the criminal system but also in our civil system. A financial settlement was nonnegotiable without significant police reform, and that is what we were able to do today. We recognize that this reform is not all-encompassing and there’s still work to be done, and we commit our time, our talent, and our resources to continue to work with the community to fight the systemic racism plaguing our city."
Soo...Breonna Taylor has gotten a law, a magazine cover, a tv special, a family wrongful death settlement....everything but the arrests and charges she deserves. All distractions, no real justice.— Carrington Nak (@CFRANK1908) September 15, 2020