·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Verdicts & Settlements

Louisville Settles with Family of Breonna Taylor for “Tens of Millions of Dollars”

— September 15, 2020

More details on the settlement are expected later this afternoon.

Louisville will pay tens of millions of dollars to settle a lawsuit brought by the family of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year old Black woman who was killed during a no-knock drug raid.

While details of the settlement have thus far remained confidential, CNN and other news outlets have reported that Taylor family attorney Sam Aguilar has confirmed an agreement with the city.

“The city’s response in this case has been delayed and it’s been frustrating, but the fact that they’ve been willing to sit down and talk significant reform was a step in the right direction and hopefully a turning point,” Aguilar told CNN.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is expected to reveal more information on the case later today.

Pressed for comment by News Radio 840 WHAS this morning, Fischer would only say, “I don’t have anything to announce on that at this time.”

Taylor’s family, as LegalReader has reported previously, sued Louisville following her death during a late-night no-knock raid. Detectives were attempting to execute a drug search because of Taylor’s relationship with a suspected dealer.

Her ex-boyfriend had purportedly used Taylor’s residence to receive parcels containing narcotics. Later information suggests Louisville police had not intended to target her home, and had, in fact, meant to search a residence several miles away.

Bullet casings on the ground. Image via U.S. Air Force. Airman st Class Racheal Watson. Public domain.

Law enforcement believed that Taylor would be alone at the time of the raid.

However, Taylor that night was with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.

When Walker heard detectives breaking down the front door, he assumed criminals were trying to enter Taylor’s residence. A licensed gun owner, Walker fired a single shot through the bedroom door, prompting detectives to return fire.

One of Walker’s bullets struck and injured a police officer; Taylor was killed when the detectives opened fire, even though they were not able to establish a clear line of sight into the bedroom.

After Taylor’s death, activists criticized the Louisville Police Department’s tactics: not only did they fail to double-check whether Taylor was alone, but they sent plainclothes officers to break down her door in the middle of the night with poor probable cause.

No-knock raids, in general, escalate the risk of injury to both police officers and people in targeted residences.

Yahoo! News notes that Louisville has since passed a law, named after Taylor, prohibiting no-knock warrants and raids.

Until Freedom, a “social justice organization” which mobilized against Taylor’s slaying, criticized the city, noting that none of the officers involved in the woman’s death have been arrested or faced any significant punishment.

“No amount of money will bring back Breonna Taylor,” Until Freedom said in a statement. “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.”


Louisville has settled Breonna Taylor’s wrongful death lawsuit

Multi-million settlement reached in Breonna Taylor lawsuit

Join the conversation!