The family of Breonna Taylor reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with the city of Louisville several months after she was killed by the police.
Taylor’s family will receive $12 million in damages as settlement for a civil lawsuit filed by Taylor’s mother in April. The settlement was announced by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and the family’s legal team during a news conference on the afternoon of Tuesday, Sept. 15.
Taylor, 26, died on March 13 after officers from the Louisville Metro Police Department stormed her apartment to execute a no-knock search warrant. The warrant was related to a narcotics case involving Jamarcus Glover, Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, who was already in police custody.
Taylor was been in bed with her boyfriend Kenneth Walker when the officers began battering down her apartment’s front door. She and Walker made their way to the apartment hallway, and as the door was breached Walker, mistaking the officers for criminal intruders, used his legal handgun to fire a warning shot. The officers responded with a hail of gunfire. Walker was unharmed but Taylor was struck five times.
The officers who fired the shots were identified as Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly — who police say was hit in the thigh by Walker’s shot — and detectives Brett Hankinson and Myles Cosgrove. None of them has been charged for her death. Hankinson was fired for “wantonly and blindly” shooting into Taylor’s home. Cosgrove and Mattingly remain on the force.
The settlement includes police reforms like housing incentives for officers to live in the communities they serve and mandatory volunteer time. Additionally, all search warrants and affidavits must be approved by a commanding officer. Fischer apologized directly to Tamika Palmer, Taylor’s mother.
“I cannot begin to imagine Ms. Palmer’s pain, and I am deeply, deeply sorry for Breonna’s death,” the mayor said during the news conference.
Sam Aguiar, another family attorney, called the settlement “a good first step.”
“The city obviously doesn’t have the power to bring charges which still rests in the hands of the attorney general,” he added. “But what the city can do is change its police practices, and it can acknowledge through a settlement that a lot of things went wrong that night.”
The office of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is investigating the Taylor case and is expected to make an announcement soon.