US city to pay 12 million dollars to Breonna Taylor’s family and reform police

Racial Injustice Breonna Taylor Lawsuit
Racial Injustice Breonna Taylor Lawsuit - (Copyright AP)
19:48pm, Tue 15 Sep 2020
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Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says the city has agreed to a settlement with the family of Breonna Taylor that includes a 12 million US dollars (£9.1 million) payment and police reforms after she was fatally shot by officers who burst into her apartment at night.

Ms Taylor’s death sparked months of protests in Louisville and calls nationwide for the officers to be criminally charged.

The state’s attorney general, Daniel Cameron, is investigating police actions in the March 13 fatal shooting of the black woman.

Racial Injustice Breonna Taylor Lawsuit - (Copyright AP)

“I cannot begin to imagine Ms Palmer’s pain, and I am deeply, deeply sorry for Breonna’s death,” Mr Fischer said, referring to Ms Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer.

A lawsuit, filed in April by Ms Palmer, alleged the police used flawed information when they obtained a “no-knock” warrant to enter the 26-year-old woman’s apartment in March.

Ms Taylor and her boyfriend were roused from bed by police, and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, has said he fired once at the officers thinking it was an intruder.

Investigators say police were returning fire when they shot Ms Taylor several times. No drugs were found at her home.

“We won’t let Breonna Taylor’s life be swept under the rug,” said Ben Crump, an attorney for Ms Taylor’s family, on Tuesday.

Ms Palmer has said she is trying to be patient about the results of Mr Cameron’s criminal investigation and the long wait, which is now six months since her daughter’s death.

In that time, her daughter’s slaying — along with George Floyd and others — has become a rallying cry for protesters seeking a reckoning on racial justice and police reform.

High-profile celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and LeBron James have called for the officers to be charged in Ms Taylor’s death.

Ms Palmer’s lawsuit accused three Louisville police officers of blindly firing into Ms Taylor’s apartment the night of the March raid, striking her several times.

One of the officers, Jonathan Mattingly, went into the home after the door was broken down and was struck in the leg by the gunshot from Mr Walker.

The warrant was one of five issued in a wide-ranging investigation of a drug trafficking suspect who was a former boyfriend of Ms Taylor’s.

That man, Jamarcus Glover, was arrested at a different location about 10 miles away from Ms Taylor’s apartment on the same evening.

The settlement includes reforms on how warrants are handled by police.

The city has already taken some reform measures, including passing a law named after Ms Taylor that bans the use of the no-knock warrants.

Police typically use them in drug cases over concern that evidence could be destroyed if they announce their arrival.

Mayor Fischer fired former police chief Steve Conrad in June and last week named Yvette Gentry, a former deputy chief, as the new interim police chief.

Ms Gentry would be the first black woman to lead the force of about 1,200 sworn officers. The department has also fired Brett Hankison, one of the three officers who fired shots at Ms Taylor’s apartment that night. Mr Hankison is appealing against the dismissal.

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