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Breonna Taylor Case Update Involves a $12 Million Settlement and Police Reform

September 17, 2020, 04.12 PM

LOUISVILLE, - The city of Louisville paid a $12 million settlement to the mother of Breonna Taylor while also announcing plans for “significant” police reform.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s decision would spell out a range of police reform on how officers live and work.

The settlement between the city and Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, represents a rare outcome in a police misconduct lawsuit.

The reforms were met with criticism from some activists hoping for deep, lasting change by including community input.

Read also: Virginia Police Reform Legislation Hailed a Landmark Achievement

Activists had also hoped that there be criminal charges against the police officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor.

A legal expert noted that even the most wide-ranging of reforms will not succeed if the people entrusted with implementing them are not on board.

The measures include giving officers housing credits to live in the neighborhoods they police; requiring that only high-ranking commanders approve search warrant requests; involving social workers to help resolve situations when necessary; and additional drug testing for officers.

“I’ve worked on a lot of different cases,” said Pete Kraska, a criminal justice expert and Professor at Eastern Kentucky University’s School of Justice Studies.

“I’ve not seen a settlement that included a set of reforms like this one did. I think it's a good first step."

But Shameka Parrish-Wright, a community activist, had hoped the reforms would include the involvement of a citizens police review board with subpoena power.

Read also: Yvette Gentry to Lead Police Department Involved in Breonna Taylor Shooting

“You keep creating and adding on top instead of uprooting the problem from the very root,” Parrish-Wright said.

“Every eye is on us all over the world because we’ve got a chance to make reforms that matter.”

One of the key factors cited in Breonna Taylor's death on March 13 was the type of warrant officers had — and how they got it approved — before they burst into her apartment and ultimately fatally shot her after returning fire from her boyfriend.


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