The Kentucky city of Lousiville has reportedly reached a multi-million dollar settlement over the police shooting of Breonna Taylor despite any semblance of justice having been served in the case that critics have called a “murder.” The Louisville Courier-Journal reported that the settlement was “substantial,” but it was unclear what exactly that meant as details were not immediately available.
But what was clear is that the police officers who killed Taylor, a 26-year-old essential worker who was shot during a botched execution of an unmerited and arguably illicitly obtained no-knock warrant served at her home on March 13, have avoided criminal charges and remained free despite mounting evidence they committed a crime.
Considering all of the above, including the fact that it’s been more than six months since Taylor was killed in her own home, it begged the question: How much is Black life worth?
Taylor’s family in May sued Louisville for wrongful death, excessive force and gross negligence, claiming in part that Louisville Metro Police Department officers Myles Cosgrove and Brett Hankinson and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly “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.”
Ben Crump, one of the civil rights attorneys representing Taylor’s family, has announced he will hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon to address the settlement and other development in the case.
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced last week that he had finally empaneled a grand jury to decide whether Cosgrove, Hankinson and/or Mattingly should be charged criminally for their roles in Taylor’s killing.
The settlement in Taylor’s case “is expected to dwarf the biggest payout previously made by police,” the Courier-Journal reported. That was for $8.5 million in 2012 and involved wrongful imprisonment, not death. “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 Courier-Journal also wrote.
A closer look at police settlements in recent years shows they fluctuate wildly for similar deadly offenses committed by police officers and departments.
In 2018, Baltimore County was ordered to pay $38 million for the fatal shooting of Korryn Gaines, a 23-yea-old killed in a six-hour standoff with police that also injured her young son in 2016.
Government officials, typically with no apology to victims’ families, have been effectively writing checks and moving on with their lives. The settlement amounts in high-profile cases vary, ranging from the $6 million each for the shooting deaths of Tamir Rice and Freddie Gray to just $1.5 million for Michael Brown to a Minnesota town placing a value of $3 million on Philando Castile’s life.
Also in 2018, Tulsa County in Oklahoma settled a civil rights lawsuit with the family of Eric Harris for $6 million. The settlement came three years after a volunteer deputy shot Harris—claiming that he thought his gun was a Taser—while officers restrained the suspect.
This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.
Kentucky AG Has Time To Speak At RNC But Not To Charge Breonna Taylor's Killers
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Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron has more smoke for Joe Biden than the cops who killed Breonna Taylor.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) August 26, 2020
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You have time to do everything but arrest the police who killed Breonna Taylor. https://t.co/91JeqgS73W— Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers) August 26, 2020
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The audacity for Daniel Cameron to be speaking at the Republican National Convention, invokes Breonna Taylor's name and hasn't done a thing to protect her. Disgusting.— Tyler J. Carter (@SIPmyTHOUGHTS) August 26, 2020
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This is Daniel Cameron, the former Black man and attorney general of Kentucky who chose not to do anything about Breonna Taylor's murder but just name dropped her during his speech at the RNC in support of Trump.— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) August 26, 2020
May he get everything coming to him. #RNC2020 pic.twitter.com/yLInaBi3Wg
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Daniel Cameron’s star is on the rise for refusing to prosecute the cops who murdered a sleeping Black woman.— Jamilah Lemieux (@JamilahLemieux) August 26, 2020
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Pretty gross of Daniel Cameron to even briefly mention Breonna Taylor— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) August 26, 2020
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I went to bed last night convinced that part of the reason we are having so much trouble getting accountability for Breonna Taylor is because the GOP refuses to stop the ascent of Daniel Cameron.— back...but barely! (@MsPackyetti) August 26, 2020
A Black Republican, mentored by Mitch who can win statewide office? They love him.
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So stepin fetchit ass Daniel Cameron is why the killers of #BreonnaTaylor still haven’t been arrested.— Benjamin Dixon (@BenjaminPDixon) August 26, 2020
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Today would be a good day to hold accountable and arrest those that killed Breonna Taylor.— Kimberly Early (@kimberlyjanese) August 26, 2020
Especially since Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron RNC speech is over and it’s been 160+ days since her murder. #BreonnaTaylor pic.twitter.com/h4l25MPtRR
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Having Daniel Cameron speak won’t have the effect the RNC thinks it will.— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) August 26, 2020
Black people are furious with him for not delivering the justice Breonna Taylor deserves.
How Much Is Black Life Worth? Breonna Taylor ‘Murder’ Settlement Is Reached As Her Killers Remain Free was originally published on newsone.com