The city of Louisville, Kentucky, to donate $ 12 million to the family of Breonna Taylor, a black woman gunned down by police in a botched raid on her apartment in March to settle a wrongful death trial, Mayor Greg Fischer said on Tuesday.
The settlement will be accompanied by reforms to the Louisville Metro Police Department, including a requirement that commanders approve search warrants before they go to a judge, Fischer told a press conference at the alongside Taylor’s family.
“I am deeply, deeply sorry for the death of Breonna,” Fischer told reporters. “My administration is not waiting to move forward with the reforms needed to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.”
Taylor’s shooting by police serving a narcotics deposit warrant at his home has sparked months of protests in Louisville and calls across the country for officers to be charged for his death. State Attorney General Daniel Cameron is investigating police actions in the March 13 shooting.
The lawsuit, filed in April by his mother, Tamika palmer, alleged that police used misinformation when they obtained an arrest warrant to enter the black woman’s apartment in March. Taylor, 26, has been shot several times and police have found no drugs in her home.
The trial accused three Louisville police officers of indiscriminately shooting Taylor’s apartment on the night of the March raid, hitting Taylor multiple times. Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth walker, was in the apartment with her and fired a single shot that hit a policeman in the leg. Walker said he did not hear the police announcing themselves and said he believed he was protecting himself from an intruder.
“We will not let Breonna Taylor’s life be swept under the carpet,” Ben Crump, an attorney for Taylor’s family, said Tuesday.
Palmer said she tries to be patient about the results of Cameron’s criminal investigation and the long wait, which has now been six months since her daughter’s death. Speaking at Tuesday’s press conference, she said: “We must not lose sight of what real work is, and that being said, it is time to move forward with the criminal charges because she deserves it and more “.
Crump also called for charges against the officers and urged people to “say his name,” a phrase that has become a refrain for those outraged by the shooting.
The press conference was broadcast over a loudspeaker in downtown Louisville and protesters listened as they sat around a memorial to Taylor.
Since the Taylor shooting, his death – along with George Floyd and others – has become a rallying cry for protesters seeking to account for racial justice and police reform. High profile celebrities as Oprah winfrey and LeBron James have demanded that officers be charged with Taylor’s death.
Palmer’s trial accused three Louisville cops of indiscriminately shooting Taylor’s apartment on the night of the March raid, hitting Taylor repeatedly. One of the officers, Jonathan Mattingly, entered the house after the door was broken and was shot in the leg by Walker’s gunshot.
The warrant was one of five issued as part of a large investigation into a drug trafficking suspect who was a former boyfriend of Taylor. This man, Jamarcus Glover, was arrested at a different location 16 kilometers (10 miles) from Taylor’s apartment the same evening.
The regulations include reforms to the way warrants are handled by the police.
The city has already taken reform measures, including passing a law named after Taylor that prohibits the use of warrants without striking. Police typically use them in drug cases, fearing evidence will be destroyed if they announce their arrival.
Mayor Fischer sacked former police chief Steve Conrad in June and last week appointed Yvette Gentry, a former deputy chief, as the new acting chief of police. Gentry would be the first black woman to lead the force of approximately 1,200 sworn-in officers. The ministry also dismissed Brett hankison, one of three officers who fired shots at Taylor’s apartment that night. Hankison appeals the rejection.
The largest previously paid settlement in a Louisville Police misconduct case was $ 8.5 million in 2012, to a man who spent nine years in prison for a crime he did not commit, according to reports.
But despite growing public pressure on authorities to file criminal charges, prosecutors may face challenges. obstacles to bring homicide charges against the police, legal experts said.
Police officers were not wearing body cameras and the department said there was no video of the raid. Her boyfriend was initially charged, but those charges were later dropped.