Breonna Taylor’s family awarded $12 million settlement, but what about the criminal charges?

 

Three Louisville officers who caused Taylor’s death still haven’t been arrested or charged

by Rob Taylor Jr.
Courier Staff Writer

No amount of money can keep down the outcry for criminal charges to be filed against the Louisville Police officers who caused Breonna Taylor’s death.

The city of Louisville announced Tuesday, Sept. 15, that it will pay a $12 million settlement to Taylor’s family after a civil lawsuit was filed by Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, against the city in April. The suit alleged that police used bad information when they obtained a no-knock warrant to forcibly enter Taylor’s residence in March.

Police thought they would find drugs in her home, as they suspected Taylor’s ex-boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover, who did not reside at the location, had used the house to store drugs. But when they entered the home, they were met with a gunshot by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who thought intruders were trying to break in. Officers returned fire, striking and killing Taylor, the 26-year-old Black woman who was an Emergency Medical Technician.

And drugs were never found in the residence.

The $12 million settlement was met with positive and negative reactions across the country. Some community leaders believed the settlement was a way for the Taylor family and its millions of nationwide supporters to calm their call for the officers to be charged. While Louisville mayor Greg Fischer apologized to the Taylor family for her death, the terms of the settlement said that the city doesn’t have to admit any wrongdoing, and three of the officers involved in Taylor’s death have yet to be arrested or criminally charged.

The social justice organization Until Freedom released a statement, saying that “no amount of money will bring back Breonna Taylor. We see this settlement as the bare minimum you can do for a grieving mother. The city isn’t doing her any favors. True justice is not served with cash settlements. We need those involved in her murder to be arrested and charged. We need accountability. We need justice.”

Celebrities weighed in on Twitter, with actress Kerry Washington saying that “a settlement was reached but justice was not served. Arrest the officers who killed #BreonnaTaylor.”

SUPPORTERS OF BREONNA TAYLOR, during a series of marches in Louisville, Ky., in August. (Photo by Emmai Alaquiva)

 

Rapper and activist Common said: “Arrest. And. Charge. The. Cops. Who. Murdered. Breonna. Taylor.”
Bernice King, a daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., said that “a wrongful death settlement is not justice. It is the very least Louisville could do in response to the gross negligence and disregard for life that its officers demonstrated in killing #BreonnaTaylor. I continue to pray for Breonna’s family, who I know would rather have her.”

Palmer was quick to point out at the Sept. 15 press conference that, along with the financial settlement, a number of police reform measures were included in the settlement. “Justice for Breonna means that we will continue to save lives in her honor. 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.”

CNN reported that the city of Louisville agreed to establish a housing credit program as an incentive for officers to live in the areas they serve, use social workers to provide support on certain police runs, and require commanders to review and approve search warrants before seeking judicial approval.

Palmer also pointed out that for her, the financial settlement won’t stop her quest to get true justice for her daughter, in the form of the officers being charged and convicted of murder. “We must lose focus on what the real drive is and with that being said, it’s time to move forward with the criminal charges because she deserves that and much more.”

The Associated Press reported that the city of Louisville has already taken some other police reform measures, including a law passed in the name of Taylor that bans the use of no-knock warrants. Louisville is also going to begin tracking police use of force incidents and citizen complaints, and city officers will be encouraged to perform two paid hours of volunteer work every two weeks in the communities they serve.

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the Taylor family, said at the news conference that “we won’t let Breonna Taylor’s life be swept under the rug.”

 

SUPPORTERS OF BREONNA TAYLOR, during a series of marches in Louisville, Ky., in August. (Photo by Emmai Alaquiva)

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