The family of Breonna Taylor received word that the city of Louisville, Kentucky, has agreed to a $12 million settlement in the family’s wrongful death lawsuit that resulted after the shooting death of Taylor in March. Still, the settlement and the reform that officials say will come with the agreement aren’t stopping the family from seeking something more for Breonna: justice.
Louisville, Kentucky mayor Greg Fischer held a press conference at Louisville City Hall to announce the payment to Taylor’s estate, as well as an agreement on several policy changes and reforms. These include new drug testing rules for Louisville Metro police officers, an incentive for officers to live in specific neighborhoods and search warrant reforms. Fischer also gave a public apology to Taylor’s mother regarding the death of Breonna.
“I cannot begin to imagine Ms. Palmer’s pain, and I am deeply, deeply sorry for Breonna’s death,” expressed Fischer.
“It’s been so long getting to this day where we could assure that Breonna Taylor’s life wouldn’t be swept under the rug like so many other Black women in America who have been killed by police,” said attorney Ben Crump, who represents the family of Taylor.
Breonna Taylor was killed in her Louisville, Kentucky, home on the evening of March 13, 2020, by Louisville Metro Police Department officers who were attempting to serve a no-knock warrant. It has been over 185 days and still no indictment for the officers responsible for Taylor’s death.
Taylor’s family attorneys Crump and Lonita Baker say they are not done yet and are expecting Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to charge the officers involved. Crump and Baker say at minimum the charges brought forth should be second-degree manslaughter, and they hope to hear a decision soon.
“We still want criminal responsibility. We still want Daniel Cameron to indict the officers,” exclaimed Baker.
“It’s important that people know that the city of Louisville can’t bring charges. Today what we did here was to bring a little bit of police reform.”
Tim Findley, Jr., pastor of the Kingdom Fellowship Life Center in Louisville, has been very active in the fight for justice for Taylor. He said he was happy for Taylor’s family.
“This is one step, but there’s so many other steps that need to be taken.”
Justice in the shooting death of Taylor has more value to the family of the former emergency room technician. Still, a $12 million settlement by the city adds up to a historic one. The agreement from a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Taylor’s family is the largest the city of Louisville ever has paid in a settlement. It also reportedly is one of the nation’s highest paid in the instance of a Black woman killed by police in the United States.
Jefferson County AttorneyMike O’Connell explained where the funds would come from to pay the settlement.
“The breakdown is that Louisville is responsible for the first $500,000, LEGIT, the government insurance trust, is responsible for the next $2 million, then there is $5 million from the carrier and the additional funds [$4.5-million] from Louisville Metro.”
While the settlement calls for reform, it does not require the city to acknowledge wrongdoing.
Mayor Fischer reiterated, “It’s just an acknowledgment of the need for reform and a settlement to take place.”
For Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, the settlement does not make for the complete picture. That’s according to Linda Sarsour, co-founder of national social justice organization Until Freedom.
“Tamika Palmer could’ve just taken the money and walked away, but she wanted to figure out how to use her daughter’s name to contribute to a conversation.”
Following the news conference, a tearful Palmer did not say much. Instead, she uttered one of Breonna’s favorite sayings, which is now a mantra for the push for justice in the death of Breonna.
“Pressure applied. Pressure applied.”