Breonna Taylor’s family gets historical $12 million settlement

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Six months after the slaying of Breonna Taylor, the City of Louisville, Kentucky agreed to pay $12 million as a settlement for her unfair and wrongful death. The city also agreed to implement police reforms.

This is the largest sum ever paid out by a city in connection to police brutality on a Black woman. Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer said her daughter’s life was worth bringing the criminal charges against the police officers who shot her multiple times while she was in her bed. Other representatives for the family said that the settlement is just one piece of the puzzle.

“Police reform measures mean so much”

“Justice for Breonna means that we will continue to save lives in her honor amount of money accomplishes that, but the police reform measures that we were able to get passed as a part of this settlement mean so much more to my family, our community, and to Breonna’s legacy,” according to Palmer.

Attorney Ben Crump who represents the Taylor family said that he would not let Breonna’s life be swept under the rug. 

“It had been so long getting to this day where we could assure that Breonna Taylor’s life wouldn’t be swept under the rug like so many other black women in America who have been killed by police,” said Crump. He added, “Black women’s lives matter too.”

Crump called on District Attorney Daniel Cameron to bring charges against the officers. “Justice delayed is justice denied,” he said. 

Breonna Taylor is known for being an almost forgotten victim of police brutality. At first, her death was overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic news and then the wrongful death of Black men at the hands of police shook the country. But in May, everything changed. After the killing of George Floyd, protestors took to the streets and shared the story of how a sweet, career-oriented, 26-year-old college-educated woman was killed by police for something she never did. Kamala Harris was the first national politician to mention her name on television. 

Dangerous no-knock warrants

Breonna’s mother sued the city in April for using flawed information to be granted a no-knock warrant. No-knock warrants are usually granted by a judge in the case of a drug bust or other crimes in which the suspect might destroy evidence before the police can arrive. 

“We have to speak truth to power when we get an opportunity and these dangerous no-knock warrants are disproportionately executed against black people in America,” said Crump. 

Breonna Taylor, shot multiple times, was not the suspect of a drug-related crime and there were no drugs found in her apartment. In fact, she had just worked four overnight shifts on the front lines fighting the COVID-19 pandemic as an emergency room technician. Her only crime was dating a Black man who was known to be a drug dealer. 

Tamika Mallory of Until Freedom said an indictment against the officers or termination of employment is necessary for the community to be at peace.

“The restitution portion is one part, but arresting the officers is what will make this city do right by all of its citizens,”   said Mallory.

Crump, Palmer, and others related to Taylor’s case are continuing to push for charges against the officers who killed her.

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