Breonna Taylor's Family Reaches Major Lawsuit Settlement With Louisville, Lawyers Say
By Erin Donaghue, CBS News
Six months after emergency medical worker Breonna Taylor was shot dead by police in her home, the city of Louisville has agreed to a major settlement with Taylor's family in a wrongful death lawsuit, an attorney representing her family tells CBS affiliate WLKY.
The death of the 26-year-old Black woman was among several police shootings across the country that have galvanized the Black Lives Matter movement and a nationwide push for police reform and racial justice.
Sam Aguiar, a lawyer for the family, told WLKY the deal includes a "significant dollar amount" for the family, but did not elaborate.
The city of Louisville will pay several million dollars to Taylor's mother and install police reforms as a part of the settlement, according to the Associated Press. A person who has seen the settlement and asked not to be identified told the AP it would be the largest settlement paid by the city for a police misconduct case.
Taylor's family and their attorneys, including national civil rights attorney Ben Crump, are expected to speak at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Taylor, 26, was shot multiple times as Louisville officers executed a search warrant at her home March 13 in search of illegal drugs. The lawsuit filed in April accuses police of using flawed information when they obtained the "no knock" warrant.
No drugs were found and neither Taylor nor Walker had any criminal history, according to the suit. The subject of the search warrant did not live at the home.
Police say they knocked and identified themselves, but according to the suit, Taylor's boyfriend Kenneth Walker said officers never said they were police before battering in the door. Walker, a licensed gun owner, said he opened fire in self-defense because he thought someone was trying to break in, the suit says. One officer was shot in the leg. Louisville police say officers were "immediately met by gunfire" and returned fire, striking Taylor multiple times, but the suit accuses three officers of blindly firing into the apartment.
Taylor was studying to be a nurse and working at two local hospitals. Protesters have for months demanded that the officers involved in Taylor's death be charged, and several celebrities have joined their calls for justice. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is investigating the officers' actions, but has declined to offer a timeline for a potential charging decision.
Two of the officers involved in the case have been placed on leave and one, Brett Hankison, has been fired.
This story was originally published by CBS News on Sept. 15, 2020 at 11:11 a.m. ET.
Taylor's mother, Tamika Palmer, addressed the settlement while speaking to reporters at Louisville City Hall on Tuesday.
"As significant as today is, it's only the beginning of getting justice for Breonna. We must not lose focus on what the real job is. And with that beings aid, it's time to move forward with the criminal charges because she deserves that and much more," Palmer said.
"Her beautiful spirit and personality is working through all of us on the ground, so please continue to say her name: Breonna Taylor," she added.
Palmer also wanted the officers involved in the shooting death to be arrested. Officer Brett Hankison was fired in June. Officer Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly are on administrative leave, in addition to the officer who applied for the warrant.