The family of Breonna Taylor and the city of Louisville, Kentucky, announced a record $12 million settlement Tuesday after the Black EMT was shot dead by police in a botched raid in March.
The settlement is the largest ever paid by the city in an officer-involved shooting case.
The pact also made history for the long list of police reforms that the Louisville Metro Police Department will implement.
The reforms include the requirement that commanding officers now must approve all search warrant applications before judicial approval is sought. The department also will implement an “early warning system” that will track use of force incidents.
“As significant as today is, it’s only the beginning of getting full justice for Breonna,” Taylor’s mom Tamika Palmer said at the news conference announcing the landmark restitution.
“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.”
Mayor Greg Fischer told Palmer he was “deeply, deeply sorry” for her loss.
“Thank you Ms. Palmer. Thank you for your grace and for your strength and for your love for Breonna – and for our city as well – and your determination to make this city a more just city,” he said.
Taylor, 26, died March 13 after three plainclothes Louisville Metropolitan Police officers used a battering ram to burst into her apartment after midnight while executing a “no knock” search warrant connected to a narcotics investigation.
Officer Brett Hankison “blindly” fired 10 rounds into the apartment during the ensuing chaos, LMPD Chief Robert Schroeder said in a letter advising Hankison of his firing in June.
“I’m grateful to the actions of the city of Louisville today,” family lawyer Benjamin Crump said, calling the $12 million settlement “the largest amount ever paid out for a Black woman killed by police in America.”
“The comprehensive reform ... is equally important, because this is about setting a precedent,” he said.
“This sets a precedent for other Black women, that their lives won’t be marginalized,” he said. “These dangerous no-knock warrants are disproportionately executed against Black people in America.”
Fellow family lawyer Lonita Baker also cast the deal as record-setting.
“This is unheard of in one of these cases, where you get a financial settlement and police reform,” she said.
“Justice for Breonna Taylor is multilayered. We are not going to stop our calls to hold the officers responsible for Breonna’s death responsible,” she said.
“We have faith that an indictment is coming from the grand jury,” she said. “We’ve finished the first mile in a marathon, and we’ve got a lot more miles to go until we achieve and cross that finish line.”
Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker had just tucked into bed for the night when the officers entered their apartment in search of drugs and cash that were not there.
Walker, a licensed gun owner, thought he and Taylor were victims of a home invasion.