Louisville agrees to $12 million payout and policing changes in agreement with family of Breonna Taylor, killed in police raid

The city of Louisville announced on Tuesday a $12 million settlement with the family of Breonna Taylor and a number of changes in how local officers obtain and execute search warrants, among the largest payouts for a police killing in the nation’s history, according to a Taylor family attorney.

Louisville police killed Breonna Taylor, 26, while executing a “no-knock” search warrant at her apartment during a drug raid in March that uncovered no illegal substances and has become a driving symbol in the Black Lives Matter movement.

The settlement, which follows a wrongful-death lawsuit that Taylor’s family filed in May, requires police commanders to approve all search warrant applications that are submitted to a judge, said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (D) during a news conference Tuesday afternoon. Louisville police will also have to conduct extensive risk assessments before applying for a warrant, and when those warrants are issued, the city will require that an EMT or paramedic be on site.

At least two officers now will be required to have their body cameras turned on when money seized during an investigation is impounded, being counted or processed, Fischer said. And in an effort to bolster the police department’s ties to the community, officers will given up to 2-hours per week of paid time for community service, and the department will explore incentives for officers to live within city boundaries.

The city also has agreed to hire more mental health experts and pair them up with officers who respond to calls, Fischer said.
Breonna Taylor's Family Receives $12 Million Settlement From Louisville -  The New York Times
“This settlement is of mutual interest,” said Sam Augiar, an attorney for the Taylor family, in an interview Tuesday. “The city was able to afford this level of justice, and Breonna Taylor’s mother has been adamant from day one that reform was needed to reduce the likelihood that no other family has to endure this type of tragedy.”

The settlement follows weeks of private talks between the two parties, Aguiar said.

“This is probably the largest settlement for police misconduct in the history of Louisville and includes substantial police reform, as well,” he said.

The settlement will not affect the ongoing investigation by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) of whether the officers who raided Taylor’s apartment should face criminal charges stemming from her death. The Justice Department is also investigating the case.

Activists who have been protesting Taylor’s death for months signaled they would continue their demands that criminal charges be filed.

“No amount of money will bring back Breonna Taylor. We see this settlement as the bare minimum that one can do ” Until Freedom, a New York-based group that has been heavily involved in making Taylor’s case a defining symbol of the racial justice movement, said in a statement. “True justice is not served with cash settlements. ... We need accountability. We need justice.”

Taylor was killed March 13, when plainclothes police officers carried out a “no-knock” search warrant at her home shortly after midnight as part of a drug investigation. Taylor was asleep at the time, according to the family lawsuit.

Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, 27, who was also at the apartment, fired a shot with a gun he legally owned and later said he thought the officers were intruders. The officers shot back, and Taylor was struck five times.

The officers said they identified themselves before forcing in the door to Taylor’s apartment with a battering ram, but Taylor’s family disputes that claim in the lawsuit. Police did not find drugs at the home.

Although Walker was initially charged with the attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, the charges were dropped. Louisville has since banned the use of no-knock warrants.

Source: Washington Post
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