The City of Louisville is expected to announce later this afternoon a multimillion-dollar settlement with Breonna Taylor’s family, six months after her death during a no-knock warrant.
Taylor’s family filed the wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Louisville on April 27th.
“The city’s response in this case has been delayed and it’s been frustrating,” Sam Aguilar, the Taylor family’s attorney told CNN, “but the fact that they’ve been willing to sit down and talk significant reform was a step in the right direction and hopefully a turning point.”
On March 13th, officers executed the no-knock warrant just after midnight at Taylor’s residence. While police reports stated that police knocked and announced themselves, Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, has stated that neither he nor Taylor heard the announcements.
Walker has stated that he was in fear that someone was breaking into their apartment. When officers entered the apartment by use of force, Walker – a legal gun owner – shot one of the officers in the leg. Officers returned fire, striking Taylor and killing her.
Taylor was aged 26 and was an EMT in Louisville. Her death – coinciding with the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while an officer knelt on his neck during an arrest – has been the spark of protests and riots nationwide throughout the summer, demanding massive reforms in law enforcement and promoting racial justice.
Social media and protests have been filled with Breonna Taylor’s pictures and name, with a movement using the hashtag “Say Her Name” to raise awareness of her death. The movement has been consistent in demanding that criminal charges be filed against the three officers involved in the shooting.
The City of Louisville has taken several steps in the weeks and months that have followed in response to the incident. On May 29th, Mayor Greg Fischer suspended the use of no-knock warrants, and then he signed the order into law (named after Breonna) on June 12th.
On June 23rd, Officer Hankinson was fired for “wantonly and blindly” firing 10 shots into the apartment. The other two were placed on administrative reassignment. No criminal charges have been filed as of yet.
According to the City of Louisville’s website, “Mayor Fischer does not have the legal authority to criminally charge the officers.” That legal authority, instead, rests on the Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron and the U.S. Department of Justice.
The announcement of the settlement is expected to come later this afternoon in a joint press conference between Mayor Fischer and the Taylor family’s attorneys.
Some news outlets have refrained from reporting a number, while others (like the New York Times) are saying the settlement amounts to $12 million, along with city agreements to move toward police reforms.
The FBI began an independent investigation on May 21st, which is still ongoing.