Family of black woman shot dead by US police to get $12m in settlement

The family of Breonna Taylor, an unarmed black woman shot dead during a US police drug raid, is to receive $12m (£9.3m) from the city of Louisville in Kentucky.

As part of the financial settlement over a civil lawsuit brought by her mother Tamika Palmer, there will also be policing reforms, including how warrants are handled by officers.

Ms Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, was killed in March when police burst into her apartment at night using a so-called “no knock” arrest warrant that did not require them to announce themselves.

Breonna Taylor memorial
Image:A memorial for Ms Taylor in the city of Louisville

Police typically use them in drug cases over concerns that evidence could be destroyed if they announce their arrival.

Ms Taylor was woken from her bed before being shot several times.

Police found no drugs at her home and the killing sparked months of protests in the city.

There were also nationwide calls, including from TV host Oprah Winfrey and basketball star LeBron James, for the officers involved to be charged.

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Some of the Black Lives Matter protests happened at the same time as demonstrations over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.

Ms Palmer filed a lawsuit in April against three Louisville officers, accusing them of wrongfully causing her daughter’s death.

Person seen firing shots at a protest in Kentucky

June: Moment shooting starts at Breonna Taylor protest

The lawsuit alleged police used flawed information when they obtained the “no knock” warrant to enter the apartment, used excessive force and the search was grossly negligent.

Officer Brett Hankison, who shot 10 rounds blindly into the apartment, was sacked in June.

Officer Myles Cosgrove and Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly, who also opened fire, have been placed on administrative leave, along with the detective who requested the warrant.

None of the officers involved in the case have been charged.

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Ms Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, was in the apartment with Ms Taylor and fired a single shot that struck an officer in the leg.

Mr Walker said he did not hear police announce themselves and said he thought he was guarding against an intruder.

The warrant was one of five issued as part of an investigation into drug suspect Jamarcus Glover, who was a former boyfriend of Ms Taylor’s.

Louisville has already taken some reform measures, including passing ‘Breonna’s Law’ that bans the use of no knock warrants.

Kentucky’s attorney general Daniel Cameron is investigating police actions over the 13 March shooting.

It is also being looked into by the FBI.

Meanwhile last Sunday, Lewis Hamilton wore a black T-shirt declaring “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor” on the front of it and “say her name” on the back over a photograph of the 26-year-old.

The six-time Formula One world champion has said he would not let up on using his platform to campaign for racial justice.

A spokesman for the sport’s governing body, the FIA, said there would be no formal investigation into Hamilton’s actions at the Tuscan Grand Prix.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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