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Breonna Taylor’s family awarded $12 million in wrongful death lawsuit

The family of the late Breonna Taylor got a little justice on Tuesday when the city of Louisville, Kentucky agreed to pay $12 million in a settlement of the family’s wrongful death lawsuit. Taylor, a 26-year-old, was killed in her home by police on March 13. The family still plans to seek criminal charges against the officers involved in the shooting.

In addition to the financial award, the settlement also establishes several police reform measures including requiring police commanders to review and sign off on search warrants before seeking a judge’s signature and using social workers to provide support on certain police calls.

“Justice for Breonna means that we will continue to save lives in her honor,” said Tamika Palmer, Taylor’s mother. “No amount of money accomplishes that, but the police reform measures that we were able to get passed as a part of this settlement mean so much more to my family, our community, and to Breonna’s legacy.”

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced the police reforms at a joint press conference on Tuesday.

“I cannot begin to imagine Ms. Palmer’s pain and I am deeply, deeply sorry for Breonna’s death,” Fischer said. “These are significant policy changes on top of many others we have already made including those that are part of Breonna’s Law as well as changes to policies on use of force and if tear gas would ever need to be used.”

The settlement is the highest ever paid by the city. The Taylor family’s attorney Benjamin Crump called it historic and said he also believes it’s one of the largest amounts ever paid to a Black woman killed by police nationwide.

“We wanted to make sure that Breonna Taylor’s life was not swept under the rug like so many Black women’s lives are when subjected to police violence,” Crump said.

Taylor’s mom said that the family will now move forward with criminal charges against the officers involved.

“It’s time to move forward with the criminal charges because she deserves that and much more,” Palmer said. “Her beautiful spirit and personality is working through all of us on the ground, so please continue to say her name: Breonna Taylor.”

Currently, none of the officers involved in the shooting have been charged with any crime. The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office and FBI have both opened investigations into the shooting.

In response to Taylor’s death, the Louisville City Council passed “Breonna’s Law” which banned no-knock warrants in the city.

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