Breonna Taylor’s Family Settles With Louisville Over Wrongful Death Suit

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced the city has agreed to pay $12 million to the family of Breonna Taylor in a wrongful death lawsuit. Police shot and killed the 26-year-old Black woman in March.


Twelve million dollars – that is what the city of Louisville, Ky., has agreed to pay the family of Breonna Taylor to settle a wrongful death lawsuit. The settlement also comes with the promise of police reforms. Breonna Taylor, remember, was shot and killed by police who entered her home with what is known as a no-knock warrant.

Amina Elahi of member station WFPL in Louisville joins us now. Amina, this settlement closes one aspect of the Breonna Taylor case. This was the civil suit, but where does the criminal case stand right now?

AMINA ELAHI, BYLINE: Well, with the civil case now settled, Breonna Taylor’s family and lawyers are demanding more attention to the cases that could lead to criminal charges for the officers involved in the raid. There are two in particular that we’re paying really close attention to. One is the investigation by the Office of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, and another is by the FBI. Announcements from both of them could come soon, but we don’t have a definitive timeline. And remember, Breonna Taylor was killed six months ago. Her mother Tamika Palmer spoke yesterday about the settlement.


TAMIKA PALMER: Her beautiful spirit and personality is working through all of us on the ground. So please continue to say her name – Breonna Taylor.

MARTIN: Breonna Taylor’s mom made clear that she sees this settlement as the beginning of justice for her late daughter. What does she hope will come next?

ELAHI: You’re right. She was crystal clear about expecting the officers who shot her daughter to be charged and what charges. Well, civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who’s representing the family, said he wants to see second-degree manslaughter at minimum. That would carry a sentence of five to 10 years in prison. For now, Louisville Police have fired one officer and placed three on paid leave.

MARTIN: This is the largest settlement of its kind agreed to by the city of Louisville and one of the largest that also comes with a promise of police reforms, right? What can you tell us about that?

ELAHI: The unusual thing about this settlement is that it includes promises to implement several specific police reforms. One of the reforms promised yesterday is an early warning system designed to keep track of use-of-force incidents and citizen complaints against officers.

MARTIN: Are these things – are these reforms actually going to happen?

ELAHI: Well, when Mayor Greg Fischer was asked about it yesterday, he didn’t offer a whole lot of detail, and he didn’t specify a timeline for when all of the measures would take effect. It’s worth noting that some of these reforms will need to be negotiated with the police union. And contract negotiations are happening now, but the mayor said yesterday that some of the reforms they promised will be discussed with them next year.

MARTIN: All right. Reporter Amina Elahi of member station WFPL in Louisville. Thank you so much for sharing your reporting on this, Amina.

ELAHI: You’re welcome.

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