Multiple sources are reporting that the City of Louisville plans to announce on Tuesday what is being described as a “substantial” financial settlement in order to avoid further litigation with the family of Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed by Louisville police officers on March 13.
In addition to the financial aspects of the settlement, the city is also expected to agree to a series of police reforms requested by the family, including a policy that all warrants be approved by a police commander before they are submitted to a judge for approval.
Additionally, a Jefferson County grand jury is expected to weigh possible criminal charges against the officers involved in the shooting this week.
The lawsuit, which was filed on April 27, alleged that Louisville police officers were negligent in the execution of a warrant for Taylor’s apartment and that they used excessive force. An amended complaint subsequently claimed that Louisville police were attempting to clear out the block where Taylor lived in order to gentrify it, an accusation which the city has strongly denied.
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Taylor’s case has served as a flashpoint for a series of protests that have roiled Louisville and fed the flames of anti-police protests nationwide. Although the warrant in question listed Taylor’s name and address, it was clear that police’s investigation was centered on a suspected drug dealer named Jamarcus Glover, who had already been arrested by police at a location 10 miles from Taylor’s residence before the ill-fated raid on Taylor’s apartment. It remains unclear why Taylor’s residence was listed on the warrant, and no drugs or money were found in her apartment as a result of the raid.
Police claim that they knocked and announced themselves before entering Taylor’s apartment, but Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, has claimed that he and Taylor had no idea who was at their door on the night of the raid and that they believed they were being victimized by attempted robbers. When the door crashed in, Walker fired a shot at what he believed were the intruders, striking one of the officers in the leg. Walker was initially charged with attempted murder of the police officer, but those charges were later dropped amid public outcry.
Two of the three officers involved in the raid returned fire, killing Taylor. One of the officers, Brett Hankinson, has been fired by the police department after an investigation determined that he repeatedly fired “blindly” into the apartment. The other two officers involved in the raid have been reassigned to administrative duty while the case is being investigated.
Taylor’s case has rocked the city of Louisville and its police department and led in part to the dismissal of police chief Steve Conrad. Protesters have demanded that the other two police officers in the raid be fired and charged with murder and have also sought other reforms to the Louisville Police Department.