Louisville Agrees to Pay Breonna Taylor’s Family $12 Million, Enact Police Reforms

By Fola Akinnibi | September 16, 2020

Louisville, Kentucky agreed to pay the family of Breonna Taylor a $12 million settlement and enact a series of reforms as part of the largest police misconduct payout in the city’s history after officers shot and killed the unarmed Black woman in her home in March.

“I’m deeply, deeply sorry for Breonna’s death,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said during a joint press conference with the Taylor family’s lawyers on Tuesday. “My administration is not waiting to move ahead with needed reforms to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.”

The most the city has paid previously for police misconduct was an $8.5 million settlement to a man who was wrongfully imprisoned for nine years, according to the Louisville Courier Journal.

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About $7 million of the settlement will be paid from an insurance trust and an excess insurance policy, with the rest coming from Louisville metro’s coffers, according to officials. The city’s general fund budget is about $613 million for the year that started July 1, according to city documents.

As part of the agreement, Louisville will enact reforms that seek to improve community relations and prevent future police shooting incidents. The plan includes a housing credit program to provide incentives for officers who live in certain low income areas. The city will also create a more stringent review process for search warrants and set up an early warning system that tracks use of force, complaints against officers and other red flags.

Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman, was fatally shot by police in her apartment in March after officers conducted a no-knock raid in a drug investigation. No drugs were found in Taylor’s home and the suspect didn’t live with her.

Her death, along with the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May, helped fuel protests against racism and police brutality across the country. Those protests continue more than six months after her death, with demonstrators using Taylor’s name as a rallying cry.

Her family filed a wrongful death suit in late April against the three officers involved that included claims of negligence and excessive force.

Ben Crump, one of the Taylor family’s lawyers, applauded Tuesday’s move by city officials but called for the state attorney general to bring charges against the officers responsible. “Justice delayed is justice denied,” Crump said.

–With assistance from Danielle Moran and Karen Altamirano.

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