Breonna Taylor (Image source: Instagram – @breonnataylor)
On Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, the city of Louisville, Kentucky, announced a $12 million settlement with Breonna Taylor’s family in a wrongful death lawsuit.
The settlement comes months after Taylor was shot and killed by Louisville police as she slept in her bed.
Hours after the settlement was announced, Ben Crump, an attorney representing Taylor’s family, shared his thoughts in a statement to rolling out.
“Nothing will ever bring back the precious life or fill the bottomless void left by the death of Breonna for her family or her community, which she served as a frontline emergency worker,” Crump said. “But this settlement, with the accompanying police reforms, sends a powerful signal to the community that Breonna’s life and her death will have a long-term impact, hopefully preventing the loss of other Black lives.”
Crump said he believes the settlement will lead to more reform within the Louisville Police Department.
“The significance is not just the historic $12 million settlement for the police shooting of Breonna Taylor, but also the comprehensive police reform agreed to by Mayor Greg Fischer and the Louisville Metro City Council,” he said. “In the many cases I have represented involving police brutality — from George Floyd and Jacob Blake to Pamela Turner — I have never seen the level of responsive, comprehensive systemic reform that has occurred here under the leadership of Mayor Fischer in just six months. We credit Mayor Fischer and the city council for their tremendous leadership in bringing progress and reform out of tragedy.”
However, Crump still wants to ensure that the officers involved in the shooting that led to Taylor’s death are prosecuted to the fullest extinct of the law. The case recently was sent to a grand jury.
“This is an important step toward justice more than six months after Breonna’s death,” he said. “We continue to urge Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to convene a grand jury and charge the involved officers immediately.”
On March 13, three plainclothes police officers in Louisville — Jonathan Mattingly, Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove — entered Taylor’s apartment after retrieving a no-knock warrant. However, they entered the wrong home and fired more than 20 shots, killing Taylor. Taylor’s’ boyfriend reportedly fired one shot. In a court filing, Taylor’s family has said the officers also failed to give aid to her after she was shot. Hankinson was fired from the police force, but neither of the three officers has been charged in the incident.
Although high-profile celebrities and national media outlets have called for Taylor to receive justice, the officers involved have yet to be charged with a crime.