The city of Louisville, Kentucky, announced Tuesday it reached a $12 million settlement with Breonna Taylor’s family and will implement policing reforms as a result of her death.
Though the state is still conducting a criminal investigation into the police shooting that took Taylor’s life, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the city would not wait to implement reforms so that other tragedies can be avoided.
“I am here today with the family of Breonna Taylor to announce the Louisville metro government has settled the civil lawsuit with her estate,” Mr. Fischer said.
He said his administration will build stronger community connections in the city with police by encouraging officers to volunteer two hours for every pay period in the community where they serve, and also provide a housing credit program to have officers live in low-income areas in the city.
The mayor also said police have had to keep the peace and also deal with mental health issues, homelessness, and drug problems.
“We will create a program to include social workers at LMPD, so they can provide support and assistance on certain police runs,” he said.
The city is also requiring more review for search warrants, among other department policies, in order to increase transparency and review within the city’s law enforcement.
The attorney for Taylor’s family said a financial settlement was not negotiable without significant police reform.
“Justice for Breonna is multi-layered,” said Lonita Baker, the Taylor family attorney.
The settlement marks the largest sum for government misconduct in recent history, outdoing an $8.5 million settlement in 2012 to a man who served almost a decade in prison for a crime he did not commit, according to The Associated Press.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is conducting a criminal probe into whether there should be charges brought against the police responsible for shooting Taylor.
She was killed in March when police served a narcotics warrant at her home. No drugs were found. The death of the 26-year-old sparked nationwide Black Lives Matter protests, calling for the police to be held responsible.
Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, filed a lawsuit in April against the police for alleged misconduct when they served the “no-knock” warrant at her daughter’s home.
“As significant as today is, it’s only the beginning for getting full justice for Breonna,” her mother said at the press conference Tuesday, calling for criminal charges against the police.
When the police entered Taylor’s home, her boyfriend fired a shot that hit an officer’s leg. He later said he did not hear a knock and thought there was an intruder.
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