The city of Louisville, Kentucky agreed to a $12 million settlement to the family of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year old black woman who was fatally shot by police back in March.
According to the Associated Press, the city also called for reforming police practices but Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, believes that it’s not enough in combating racial injustice across the nation.
“Please continue to say her name,” an emotional Palmer said at a press conference on Tuesday.
In April, Palmer filed a lawsuit that blamed Louisville police for using misleading information when they acquired a “no-knock” warrant to enter Taylor’s apartment on the night of March 13, 2020.
During the incident, three officers entered Taylor’s apartment as part of a drug trafficking investigation into Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, who was later arrested in a different location.
Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were asleep in her bed when police broke in. Thinking they were intruders, Walker said that he fired once at the officers who then returned fire as Taylor was shot multiple times, killing her in the process. Taylor had been serving as an emergency medical technician in Louisville.
Despite the investigation, no drugs were found in Taylor’s home. Louisville’s attorney general, Daniel Cameron is currently investigating the actions of the officers involved in the shooting.
“I cannot begin to imagine Ms. Palmer’s pain, and I am deeply, deeply sorry for Breonna’s death,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said at the announcement of the lawsuit settlement.
In late May, protests for Breonna Taylor sparked across Louisville which have continued to the present day as protestors call for the officers in the shooting to be fired or criminally charged, USA Today reports.
So far, one of the officers, Brett Hankison, has been fired by the Louisville Metro Police Department.
“We must not lose focus on what the real job is, and with that being said, it’s time to move forward with the criminal charges, because she deserves that and much more,” Palmer said. “As significant as today is, it’s only the beginning of getting full justice for Breonna.”
Benjamin Crump, who serves as one of the attorneys for Palmer, noted that the $12 million settlement is the largest distributed settlement for a black woman in a police killing.
Crump stated that the settlement, “sets a precedent for Black people.”
“When (police) kill us, we expect full justice. We expect justice for the civil rights that you took from this human being. And then we expect full justice from the criminal justice system,’ he asserted.
The settlement includes multiple police reforms, such as encouraging officers to live in low-income neighborhoods in Louisville in building a stronger community connection.
Additionally, officers are encouraged to complete two paid hours of volunteer work in their respective communities every two weeks.
Police use-of-force incidents and citizen complaints will also be tracked by the city.
In June, state senator Rand Paul introduced the Justice for Breonna Taylor Act that forbids the use of no-knock warrants.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Jon Cherry/Stringer
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.