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Breonna Taylor's Family Settles Wrongful Death Lawsuit For $12 Million With Louisville

No officers involved in Taylor’s death have faced charges. During a press conference Tuesday, attorney Ben Crump said: "We still are demanding that against the police officers that murdered Breonna Taylor."

The city of Louisville, KY, has settled a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of Breonna Taylor six months after officers shot and killed the 26-year-old emergency medical worker in her own apartment.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer confirmed the city agreed to pay Taylor's family $12 million and announced new police reforms as part of the settlement during a press conference on Tuesday.

“I am deeply, deeply sorry for Breonna’s death,” Fischer said. “While we await a decision from Attorney General Daniel Cameron on whether or not charges will be filed in this case, my administration is not waiting to move ahead with needed reforms to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again.”

Family attorneys Ben Crump & Lonita Baker as well as Taylor’s mother Tamika Palmer also spoke at the conference, and they continued to call for charges against the officers involved in Taylor’s death.

"We still are demanding that Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron bring charges immediately against the police officers that murdered Breonna Taylor. Immediately. This week," Crump said. "Justice delayed is justice denied."

Crump added that the officers should at least be charged with second-degree manslaughter.

According to local news outlets, the settlement is the largest police misconduct payment the city has ever paid in a lawsuit, surpassing an $8.5 million settlement paid to a man who was wrongfully imprisoned for murder for nearly a decade. Crump said the settlement is the largest ever to be delivered in a case of a Black woman who was killed by police.

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by Taylor’s family in April, one month after she was killed by police. Officers entered her apartment in the middle of the night on a “no-knock” warrant and fired at least 10 rounds into the home, killing Taylor.

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Fischer announced a number of reforms the city will enact as part of the settlement, including a new rule that requires commanding officers to review and approve all search warrants. Another will create a warning system to flag officers with previous incidents of misconduct. The New York Times reported that one major barrier to police reform nationwide is departments’ recurring inability “to create a mechanism for enforcing changes.”

Brett Hankison, one of the three officers involved in the case, was fired from the department in June and is appealing the dismissal. The other two officers, Jon Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, remain on administrative leave. None have been charged with any crime.

The settlement of the wrongful death lawsuit is reportedly separate from the question of whether the officers involved in Taylor’s death will face criminal charges, which a grand jury will decide. 

At the conference, Keturah Herron, a policy strategist at the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, called for a community that “no longer needs to spend tax dollars on settlements that should never have been paid in the first place.” 

Crump also called for “Breonna’s Law,” which banned no-knock warrants in Louisville, to be implemented across the country.

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Now that civil litigation has concluded, Palmer called for people to stay focused on any impending criminal charges. 

"It's time to move forward with the criminal charges because she deserves that and much more," Palmer said. “Her beautiful spirit and personality is working through all of us on the ground, so please continue to say her name: Breonna Taylor.”