Breonna Taylor’s Family Receives $12 Million Settlement From Louisville

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After months of protests that turned Breonna Taylor’s name into a national slogan against police violence, city officials have agreed to pay her family $12 million and institute reforms aimed at preventing future deaths by police officers, according to three people familiar with the details.

The settlement of a wrongful-death lawsuit brought by relatives of Ms. Taylor, a young Black woman killed by white officers in a botched drug raid six months ago, is expected to be announced Tuesday by the family’s legal team and city officials, according to those briefed on the agreement.

Besides the multimillion-dollar settlement, among the highest to be awarded in a police killing in recent years, the city has also agreed to institute a number of changes in policing. They will impose more scrutiny on officers during the execution of search warrants, like the one that precipitated the death of Ms. Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency room technician, and make mandatory safeguards that were common practice in the department but were not followed the night of the March 13 raid.

Ms. Taylor died after her boyfriend said he mistook police officers for an intruder, as they rammed in the door of her apartment after midnight to execute a search warrant. He fired his handgun, striking one of the officers, setting off a response in which a torrent of bullets sliced through Ms. Taylor’s apartment and two adjoining ones, leaving her bleeding in her hallway. There was no effort to render her aid, as the officers outside scrambled to get an ambulance for the wounded officer.

The protests began locally and have grown in volume and intensity. They have ravaged the downtown of Kentucky’s largest city, where businesses and government offices are boarded up. And the young woman’s death has burrowed deep into the national conversation: Both the former first lady Michelle Obama and the vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris called out her name at the Democratic National Convention last month, Oprah Winfrey has erected dozens of billboards demanding justice for the young woman and W.N.B.A. players have placed her name onto their jerseys.

The top demand of the protesters who gather nightly in a downtown square here has been that criminal charges be brought against the three officers. But because the officers were fired upon first, legal experts say their actions may be protected under Kentucky’s statute allowing police officers to use lethal force in self-defense.

The results of an investigation by the state attorney general’s office are expected to be released soon.

Leave a Reply