The city of Louisville, Ky., agreed Tuesday to pay $12 million to the family of Breonna Taylor, six months after she was killed inside her apartment by police, but some said the settlement — which includes police reform strategies — is just a small step toward justice.
The settlement in the wrongful-death suit — the largest-ever payout by the city — followed nationwide protests that thrust Taylor’s name to the forefront on the discussion of systemic racism and police reform.
But some protesters say the officers who fatally shot Taylor still should be fired and criminally charged.
“Yes, it’s a pretty decent settlement. Breonna’s family deserves that and a million times more,” said community organizer Delaney Haley, a frequent participant in the demonstrations, USA Today reported. “But we won’t have true justice until the cops who did that have to face some kind of repercussions. Fire, arrest, indict, convict. It’s just that simple.”
The March 13 death of Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, sparked months of protests in Louisville as well as for calls for the officers to be criminally charged. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron continues to investigate the fatal shooting that occurred in the early morning hours at Taylor’s home.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in a statement Tuesday announcing terms of the settlement that he is “deeply, deeply sorry” for Taylor’s death.
However, the city is not admitting wrongdoing by settling the lawsuit, the mayor said.
Tamika Palmer, Taylor’s mother, filed suit in April, accusing police of using flawed information when they obtained a “no-knock” warrant to enter her daughter’s apartment.
Taylor and her boyfriend Kenneth Walker were in bed when police attempted to enter, and Walker said he fired once at the officers, believing they were intruders.
Investigators say police were returning fire when they shot Taylor several times.
The largest settlement previously paid in a Louisville police misconduct case was $8.5 million in 2012, to a man who spent nine years in prison for a crime he did not commit, according to news reports.