Louisville Announces $12M Settlement and Police Reforms in Wake of Breonna Taylor Shooting

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced a $12 million settlement Tuesday afternoon with the family of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old Black woman fatally shot by police in her apartment six months ago.

In addition to the payment, which is the largest settlement ever paid by Louisville police, the deal includes several policing reforms, such as changes to the approval process for and execution of search warrants, the hiring of a team of social workers to accompany police officers and a commitment to pursue increased drug and alcohol testing of officers involved in any shooting.

The settlement, first reported Tuesday morning by The Louisville Courier Journal of the USA TODAY Network, was announced at a 2 p.m. press conference at Mayor Fischer’s office, with Taylor’s family and attorneys Ben Crump, Sam Aguiar and Lonita Baker.

Fischer said the city did not acknowledge any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

The police reforms secured in the settlement were meant to “engage police officers within the community, not just when they’re dispatched,” Baker said.

Sam Aguiar, an attorney for Taylor’s family, said the city’s handling of the case has been slow and frustrating. But, Aguiar said he hopes Metro Government’s willingness to discuss significant police reforms is “a turning point.”

Changes to the police department include:

  • Early action warning system to identify officers with red flags;
  • Mandatory commanding officer review of all search warrants;
  • Mandatory body camera counting from two officers of all currency seizures;
  • Mandatory written approval of SWAT matrices before search warrants are executed;
  • Encouraging officers to perform at least two paid hours a week of community service in the communities they serve;
  • Housing credits for officers to live in certain low-income census tracts in the city;
  • Hiring a team of social workers to assist with dispatched runs; and
  • Commitment to bargain for increased drug and alcohol testing in the next FOP contract;
  • Overhaul of processes for simultaneous search warrants;
  • Mandatory EMS/paramedic presence for all search warrants;
  • Elimination of the ‘closed by exception’ basis for closing investigations into officer conduct when there is a retirement or resignation.

The large settlement in the civil suit brought by Taylor’s family comes as a Jefferson County grand jury may hear the criminal case as soon as this week. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron is spearheading the criminal investigation.

Tamika Mallory of activist group “Until Freedom” pressured city and state officials at Tuesday’s press conference for justice in Taylor’s death, calling for the arrest of police officers at the scene the night she was killed.

The grand jury would decide whether criminal charges should be filed against any of the three officers involved in her shooting death March 13 during a search for drugs, cash and other evidence in her Louisville apartment that went awry.

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Source: Daily Mail