The city of Louisville, Ky., has agreed to pay $2 million to settle the lawsuit brought by the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was fatally shot by police in 2020 and whose death sparked protests against police brutality, according to one of his lawyers.
The settlement of state and federal lawsuits came more than two years after Ms Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he mistook police officers for intruders as they kicked down the door to his flat at night of March 13 and were executing a search warrant. Mr Walker fired his shotgun, hitting an officer and triggering a return fire in which a torrent of bullets ripped through Ms Taylor’s flat, hitting her five times.
Mr Walker’s lawsuit, which was filed in 2020 against the city and officers involved in the botched raid, claimed his rights were violated when officers failed to announce themselves before entering Mr. Mrs. Taylor and when they used excessive force.
A lawyer for Mr Walker, Steve Romines, said by telephone on Monday that ‘we are happy the case is over as the time factor was going to take forever to resolve the matter’.
“We believe the case has additional value,” he added. “But everyone was ready to get it over with.”
The city of Louisville and its police department did not immediately respond to calls and emails seeking comment Monday night.
The fury over Ms Taylor’s murder has fueled protests across the country as thousands questioned how the botched raid went down and held the police department to account.
Mr Walker, who shot a Louisville police officer in the leg when officers forced their way into Ms Taylor’s home, had been charged with attempted murder, but prosecutors later dropped that charge.
Other settlements have been reached this year in cases involving police departments that used deadly force against civilians. In June, the city of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, agreed to pay a $3.2 million settlement to the family of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old black man who was fatally shot by a police officer during a a traffic stop in April 2021 near Minneapolis. Last month, the city of Atlanta agreed to pay $1 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the widow and estate of Rayshard Brooks, a black man who was fatally shot by a white police officer in 2020.
In September 2020, city officials agreed to pay $12 million to Ms. Taylor’s family and institute changes aimed at preventing future killings by officers, including implementing a system of early warning to flag officers who have been accused of excessive force and requiring greater oversight from above. commanders.
No officers were charged with the shooting of Ms Taylor, a 26-year-old ER technician whose former boyfriend police were investigating was suspected of dealing drugs. But on August 4, the Justice Department charged four current and former police officers with federal civil rights violations, including lying to obtain a search warrant for his apartment.
One of the four, Joshua Jaynes, a former detective, pleaded not guilty. He was fired last year, The Courier-Journal reported.
Another of the four, Kelly Goodlett, a detective who retired after being charged, pleaded guilty at a hearing on August 23. A third, Kyle Meany, was fired by the Louisville Police Department on August 19.
A fourth officer facing federal charges, Brett Hankison, was the only one to face a state charge during the raid. He was charged with wanton endangerment of neighbors whose flat was hit when he fired without a clear line of sight at Ms Taylor’s flat. He was acquitted in the state case.