Newswire: Breonna Taylor’s family to receive $12 million settlement from Louisville; no police charged yet

Breonna Taylor

by Derek Major, Black Enterprise News Service

Six months after the night Breonna Taylor was killed by Louisville police officers, city officials have agreed to pay her family $12 million as part of a wrongful death settlement.
The settlement of the lawsuit brought by Taylor’s family was announced Tuesday by the family’s legal team and city officials. In addition to the multi-million-dollar settlement, the city of Louisville has agreed to institute a number of reforms to the city’s policing tactics.
The changes include imposing more scrutiny on officers during the execution of search warrants. The settlement will also make safeguards that should have been followed by officers, mandatory.
Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were asleep the night of March 13 when Louisville Metro Police barged into her home with a no-knock warrant in relation to a drug investigation. The noise woke Taylor, who believed someone was trying to break-in. Walker, who is a registered gun owner, fired a shot toward their bedroom door.
The police responded, firing a bevy of shots toward the couple and hitting Taylor five times. One of the three officers who fired shots at Taylor has been fired for displaying “an extreme indifference to the value of human life” when he “wantonly and blindly fired 10 rounds into the apartment of Breonna Taylor,” according to the officer’s termination letter, which was posted to the Louisville Metro Police Department’s Twitter account.
Taylor’s death and George Floyd’s, who was killed by Minneapolis police in May, kicked off a summer of nationwide protests supporting the Black Lives Matter movement as well calls to defund the police in many states and reallocate funds into social services.
Both the former first lady Michelle Obama and vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris called out Taylor’s name at the Democratic National Convention last month. Oprah Winfrey erected dozens of billboards demanding justice,  WNBA players have placed her name on their jerseys, and 2020 U.S. Open Champion Naomi Osaka wore the name of Taylor and other Black victims of police brutality on her face masks in her pre- and post-match interviews.
Many are still waiting to see if charges will be brought against the three officers who shot Taylor.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced last week that he will present Taylor’s case before a Louisville grand jury at an undisclosed location. According to the Times, however, since the officers were fired upon first, legal experts say their actions may be protected under a state statute allowing officers to use lethal force as self-defense.
Once the grand jury decides if the case will go forward, Cameron will make a public announcement to share his office’s investigative findings and the grand jury’s decision on possible indictments for the three officers who fired their weapons that night.
Ben Jealous, president of People For the American Way said the settlement was pertinent but that does not mean the issue has been finalized. “Today’s civil settlement between the city of Louisville, Kentucky, and Breonna Taylor’s family is appropriate and necessary in the pursuit of justice, but no amount of money can replace the life of a loved one. While police reforms are included in the settlement, justice has not been fully served because the police officers who killed Breonna remain free. Those officers must be criminally charged and banned from law enforcement. We believe all communities deserve to be safe and Breonna Taylor deserves justice.”

Newswire: Breonna Taylor’s family claims no aid was offered after she was fatally shot

By: Stephanie Guerilus, The Grio

Breonna Taylor

Breonna Taylor’s family is not only holding the Louisville police responsible for her death but they are now alleging that medical aid wasn’t offered to the young woman after she was fatally shot eight times.

The bombshell claim was made Sunday in a new 31-page legal filing by the family of Taylor, The New York Times reported. It is their belief that the EMT technician suffered in agony for up to six minutes during what they believe was a “botched” raid in March.

“In the six minutes that elapsed from the time Breonna was shot, to the time she died, we have no evidence suggesting that any officer made entry in an attempt to check and assist her,” Sam Aguiar, the family’s lawyer, said in an interview. “She suffered.”

Taylor died on March 13 during a botched drug raid that she was not the target of. Taylor, who worked at two local hospitals, was shot as police were serving a ‘no-knock warrant’ related to a narcotics investigation.

Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend, called 911 to report someone was breaking into their apartment. As police fired on the couple, Walker returned fire and Taylor was shot eight times. She died at the scene.

Walker was arrested at the scene for attempted murder but the charges against him were later dropped. No narcotics were found in the home and her family filed a lawsuit against the three police officers involved in the shooting.

Officials with the city have pushed back against the suggestion that she was left to die, insisting it is a “gross mischaracterization.”

The coroner who performed Taylor’s autopsy stated that Taylor experienced life ending injuries and any intervention on the 26-year-old would have been in vain. She believed that Taylor died “less than a minute,” after being shot. “Even if it had happened outside of an ER we couldn’t have saved her,” Dr. Barbara Weakley-Jones said.

The filing also declared that Taylor’s death was due to gentrification and not a drug raid gone wrong. It was alleged that Mayor Greg Fischer wanted the land Taylor lived on for redevelopment and officers were tasked with clearing out the area.

“People needed to be removed and homes needed to be vacated so that a high-dollar, legacy-creating real estate development could move forward,” Taylor’s family said.

The mayor denied the “outrageous” allegations through his spokeswoman Jean Porter. “They are insulting to the neighborhood members of the Vision Russell initiative and all the people involved in the years of work being done to revitalize the neighborhoods of west Louisville.”