(TMU) – Six months after police killed emergency medical technician Breonna Taylor in her home during a botched raid, the city of Louisville, Kentucky, has agreed to a settlement with Taylor’s family in a wrongful death lawsuit. According to The Louisville Courier-Journal, the settlement could be “as high as $12 million.” The mayor of Louisville is expected to announce the settlement this afternoon in a joint press conference with the Taylor family attorneys.
However, as is normally the case in such settlements over police killings, none of the officers who took part in the senseless killing of Taylor will be arrested or are expected to face justice after blindly unloading their weapons into her apartment in a no-knock raid, striking her as many as eight times.
The absence of justice in the case of Breonna Taylor and passing of the bill to taxpayers is sure to enrage police accountability advocates, who have described the case as “murder” and have filled the internet with viral memes demanding that authorities “arrest the killers of Breonna Taylor,” namely Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly and officers Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove.
If the city of Louisville has a agreed to pay the family of Breonna Breonna Taylor for ambushing her in her sleep – then it shouldn’t be hard to find and arrest the guys who murdered her.
— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) September 15, 2020
On the night March 13, the undercover officers obtained a no-knock search warrant intended to find illicit drugs.
Louisville Metro Police deployed a battering ram to force their way into the apartment before Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker fired a warning shot that struck an officer. Police responded with 35 rounds, including 10 rounds fired “blindly” by an officer.
Walker maintains that the officers failed to identify themselves, but police claim that they knocked first.
Police also claimed in their initial report that Taylor was not injured by their bullets, which later turned out to be an obvious lie.
In April, Taylor’s family – through Attorney Ben Crump – sued Louisville for wrongful death, excessive force, and gross negligence. In their complaint, the said that the Louisville officers “entered Breonna’s home without knocking and without announcing themselves as police officers. The Defendants then proceeded to spray gunfire into the residence with a total disregard for the value of human life.”
Last week, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron – a hardcore conservative who is politically close to police unions in the city and state – announced that he had empaneled a grand jury to determine whether the Mattingly, Hankison and Cosgrove would face criminal charges for the death of Taylor. He still has refused to put forward a timeline for any charging decision.
However, the move by the city to settle the civil lawsuit brought by Taylor’s family will allow the officers to avoid any criminal charges and retain their freedom.
So the officers in Louisville screwed up so badly that the city will pay Breonna Taylor’s family double digit millions but they did not screw up badly enough to be arrested and responsible for their crimes. Make it make sense.
— Touré (@Toure) September 15, 2020
The Courier-Journal reports that the settlement for the killing of Taylor “is expected to dwarf the biggest payout previously made by police,” which was for $8.5 million in 2012 and settled a case of wrongful imprisonment, not an officer-committed shooting. “In addition to the payment, the deal is expected to include several policing reforms, including a requirement that commanders approve all search warrants before they go to a judge,” the newspaper added.
The settlement includes reforms on the handling of warrants by police, according to the Associated Press. In June, the city banned the use of “no knock” warrants amid increased unrest and public outrage over the case, and police brutality toward Black people in general.
Taylor had been studying to be a nurse and worked at two local hospitals as an EMT during the ongoing pandemic before her killer’s bullets tragically cut her life short.
Two of the officers involved in the case have been placed on paid administrative leave while Brett Hankison was fired.