The city of Louisville has agreed to pay the family of slain black EMT Breonna Taylor, $12 million in a settlement six months after she was shot dead by police in March
The financial payment is the largest amount the city has ever paid in relation to a police misconduct lawsuit
It will also include a series of police reforms, including that police commanders must approve all search warrants in advance
The civil suit settlement however, is not the end of the matter
Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, said Tuesday that the settlement was significant, but it was time to move forward with charging the officers involved in her daughter’s death
Taylor, 26, was killed when Louisville police burst into her apartment using a so-called ‘no-knock’ arrest warrant at 1am, on March 13
The raid was part of a drug investigation targeting a suspect who did not live in the home and was already in custody – No drugs were found at her home
The settlement is in response to a wrongful death lawsuit that Taylor’s family filed against the city and its police dept back in April
Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker had been sleeping in bed when the officers served the warrant, was shot 8 times but survived
Walker has filed a separate lawsuit against the city that has not been settle.
The ending of the civil lawsuit over the of police shooting death of Breonna Taylor could be signalling the beginning of the contentious criminal investigation and prosecution of those involved.
Today the city of Louisville, Kentucky has agreed to pay Breonna Taylor’s family a record-breaking $12 million in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of slain black EMT, Breonna Taylor.
Acknowledging the settlement, Taylor’s mother Tamika Palmer called for the officers involved in the shooting of her 26-year-old daughter to be charged.
The settlement, stemming from the wrongful death lawsuit that Palmer filed against the city and its police department back in April, is the largest amount the city has ever paid.
A series of police reforms for Louisville will also be included in the settlement package.
Among the reforms is a requirement that police commanders must approve all search warrants before they are sent to a judge.
Taylor, an emergency medical technician, was shot to death sleeping in her bed back in the early hours March when Louisville police burst into her apartment using a no-knock arrest warrant that did not require them to announce themselves.
Taylor’s mother Tamika Palmer said on Tuesday that the settlement was significant but it was time to move forward with charging the officers involved in her shooting death.
Taylor’s slaying set off weeks of protests, policy changes and a call for Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove, the three Louisville Metro Police Department officers who shot Taylor to be criminally charged.
At a press conference on Tuesday alongside city officials, Taylor’s mother continued to call for charges to be laid against the officers.
‘As significant as today is, it is only the beginning. We must not lose focus on what the real drive is,’ Palmer said.
‘It is time to move forward with the criminal charges.’
Brett Hankison, was fired for ‘blindly’ firing 10 shots into Taylor’s apartment from outside. However, John Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, remain on the force on administrative assignment.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is expected to announce this week whether criminal charges will be filed against the officers involved in Taylor’s shooting death.
Mayor Greg Fischer said on Tuesday that the city was not waiting for Cameron’s decision regarding any criminal charges.
‘I’m deeply, deeply sorry for Breonna’s death,’ Fischer said.
‘My administration is not waiting to move ahead with needed reforms to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again.’
The lawsuit filed by Taylor’s mother alleged that police used flawed information when they obtained the no-knock warrant to enter her apartment.
Taylor was gunned down back in March when Louisville police burst into her apartment using a no-knock arrest warrant that did not require them to announce themselves.
Images from the scene showed tens of spent bullet casings from outside her apartment.
Glass in windows were shattered, the walls pock marked with bullet holes and smeared with blood.
Police descended on Breonna Taylor’s apartment after securing a court-approved warrant as part of a drug investigation involving her ex-boyfriend that allowed officers to enter her home without any warning.
Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, had been sleeping in bed when the officers served the warrant at around 1am.
Walker fired his gun when officers stormed into the apartment and has since said he thought he was defending against a home invasion.
At the time, Walker told police that he could hear knocking on the night of the shooting but did not hear police announce themselves.
Walker said he was ‘scared to death’ so he grabbed his gun and when the door was knocked down, he fired a shot that ended up striking an officer in the leg.
Investigators said police were returning fire when they shot Taylor eight times. Walker has filed a separate lawsuit against the city that has not yet been settled.
No drugs were found at her home.
The settlement comes just weeks after crime scene photos emerged publicly that showed a number of shell casings in and near the EMT’s apartment. The photos were taken by Louisville investigators in the hours after Taylor was gunned down.
The images raised questions about previous statements made by law enforcement who have said there is no body cam footage of the raid because narcotics officers don’t wear cameras.
Several photos show that at least one officer who raided the apartment was wearing a body camera at the time.
In the crime scene photos, a body camera can be seen on officer Anthony James’ right shoulder. Another officer, Myles Cosgrove, can be seen in the photos wearing a body camera holder.
Immediately after the fatal shooting, police chief Steve Conrad and Mayor Greg Fischer, said no footage existed of the raid because narcotics officers were not required to wear body cameras.
‘This incident was related to the execution of a search warrant by members of our Criminal Interdiction Division and some of the officers assigned to this division do not wear body-worn video systems,’ Conrad, who has since been fired, said.
The Mayor has repeatedly said that the officers involved in the raid were not wearing cameras.
At least 10 bullets went into Taylor’s apartment through a sliding glass door located in the living room and also through a bedroom window.
Bullet holes and blood smeared on the walls could be seen in one evidence photo taken inside the apartment in the hours after Taylor was gunned down.
The evidence debunked the report released by Louisville PD in June three months after the death of Taylor.
That report provides few details of the March 13 incident that spurred days of protests in the city, while some of the information included were either incorrect or differed from other police reports.
At the time, disappointed, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer called the released report ‘unacceptable’.
‘It’s issues like this that erode public confidence in LMPD’s ability to do its job, and that´s why I’ve ordered an external top-to-bottom review of the department,’ he said in an statement.
‘I am sorry for the additional pain to the Taylor family and our community.’
Outraged, Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents the family, shared the report on social media and said ‘I’m appalled by LMPD’s nearly BLANK incident report from the investigation of Breonna Taylor.
‘It lists “NONE” under Breonna’s injuries… She was SHOT 8 TIMES!! It took 3 months to produce and release this report publicly – and THIS is what we get?!’ he added.
The report dated March 13, the day of the shooting, cites a police-involved death investigation and identifies Taylor as the victim.
Despite being four-pages long, it provides little information on the incident.