The city of Louisville will pay millions to the family of Breonna Taylor and reform police practices as part of a lawsuit settlement, months after Ms Taylor’s was killed by police conducting a drugs investigation.
- Ms Taylor was killed in her bedroom by police officers, who were executing a ‘no-knock’ search as part of a drugs investigation
- Her death is one of many to have sparked protests for social justice reform and racial equality across the US
- The officers involved in the raid have not been charged
A person who has seen the settlement told The Associated Press it would be the largest sum paid by the city for a police misconduct case.
Ms Taylor’s death sparked months of protests in Louisville and calls nationwide for the officers involved to be hit with criminal charges.
The state’s Attorney-General, Daniel Cameron, is investigating police actions in the March 13 fatal shooting.
The lawsuit, filed in April by Ms Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, alleged the police used flawed information when they obtained a ‘no-knock’ warrant to enter the 26-year-old woman’s apartment in March.
Ms Taylor was roused from her bed before being shot several times and police found no drugs at her home.
Ms Palmer has said she is trying to be patient about the results of Mr Cameron’s criminal investigation and the long wait, which is now six months since her daughter’s death.
Catalyst for change
In that time, her daughter’s killing — along with that of George Floyd in Minnesota and the shooting of Jacob Blake — has become a rallying cry for protesters seeking a reckoning on racial justice and police reform.
High-profile celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, NBA star LeBron James, tennis player Naomi Osaka and Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton have called for the officers involved to be charged over Ms Taylor’s death.
Ms Palmer’s lawsuit accused three Louisville police officers of blindly firing into Ms Taylor’s apartment the night of the March raid, striking her several times.
Ms Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, was in the apartment with her and fired a single shot that struck an officer in the leg.
Mr Walker said he did not hear police announce themselves and said he thought he was guarding against an intruder.
The warrant was one of five issued in a wide-ranging investigation of a drug trafficking suspect who was a former boyfriend of Ms Taylor’s.
That man, Jamarcus Glover, was arrested at a different location about 16 kilometres away from Ms Taylor’s apartment on the same evening.
Details of settlement to be announced
The city of Louisville is expected to announce the details of the settlement on Tuesday afternoon.
The city has already implemented some law reform measures, including passing a law named for Ms Taylor that bans the use of ‘no-knock’ warrants.
Police typically use them in drug cases due to concerns that evidence could be destroyed if they announce their arrival.
Mayor Greg Fischer fired former police chief Steve Conrad in June and last week named Yvette Gentry, a former deputy chief, as the new interim police chief.
Ms Gentry would be the first black woman to lead the force of about 1,200 sworn officers.