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Breonna Taylor’s Family to Receive $12 Million in Wrongful Death Settlement

The officers involved in Taylor’s shooting remain free of charges four months after they killed her.

A billboard featuring a picture of Breonna Taylor and calling for the arrest of police officers involved in her death is seen on August 11, 2020, in Louisville, Kentucky.

The City of Louisville, Kentucky, and the family of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician who was shot five times by police in her sleep earlier this year, have reached a settlement regarding a wrongful death lawsuit.

Sam Aguilar, one of the family’s attorneys, acknowledged reports that the family and the city had reached an agreement on the civil suit.

“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 significant reform was a step in the right direction and hopefully a turning point,” Aguilar said.

A joint statement is set to be made today featuring Mayor Greg Fischer and the family’s attorneys. The agreement will reportedly award Taylor’s family a $12 million settlement amount, the highest such settlement paid by the city ever and one of the highest wrongful death settlements paid by a city department in the U.S. in recent years.

Beyond the monetary damages awarded, however, the agreement between the family and the city will also include police reforms the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) will have to abide by.

Full details and scope of those reforms have not yet been released, but reporting from WDRB details that the city will require commanding officers to review and approve all search warrants going forward. The city will also implement an early action warning system to identify officers who have red flags in their records, and the department will end a “closed by exception” ruling system that allowed for investigations into officers to cease if the officer in question retired or quit the LMPD.

However, while one officer has been fired as a result of Taylor’s police-perpetrated killing, none of the officers involved in entering her apartment that night have been charged for any crime relating to her death.

Officers from LMPD executed a no-knock search warrant in the early morning hours of March 13 while Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were asleep. Startled by the sound of a battering ram breaking their apartment door down, Walker, a legal gun owner, drew out his weapon, suspecting a home invasion. When officers entered the apartment, a shootout commenced, resulting in Taylor being shot five times and dying from her wounds.

The warrant was executed on Taylor’s apartment because she had previously dated, but was no longer with, a suspected drug dealer in the city. No drugs were found on the premises after the shooting.

Protests over Taylor’s killing by police began shortly after her death and have been sustained in Louisville and beyond, resulting in uprisings across the country over police-perpetrated shootings and killing of Black Americans across the U.S. over the past several years.

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