$16m payout for family after deadly police shooting

The family of a an African-American woman, who was shot dead when police raided her home while she was sleeping, is set to receive a record payout over the horrific incident.

The City of Louisville will pay $12 million ($A16.4 million) to Breonna Taylor’s family and introduce new police reforms as part of the settlement for a wrongful-death lawsuit.

This will be the largest settlement ever paid by the city.

After the settlement was announced, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the city would immediately move to implement police reform.

“I’m deeply, deeply sorry for Breonna’s death,” he said at a news conference.

“My administration is not waiting to move ahead with needed reforms to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening again.”

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These changes include more oversight from commanding officers about search warrants, the hiring of a team of social workers, and encouraging officers to do community service.

A criminal investigation is still underway into the shooting, with no word yet on whether criminal charges will be laid against any of the officers involved.

Ms Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician, was killed on March 13 when three plainclothes officers burst into her apartment as part of a drug investigation relating to her former boyfriend, Jamarcus Glover.

The officers were granted a “no-knock” warrant, meaning they weren’t required to announce themselves before entering the home.

Police entered the apartment at around 1am, while Ms Taylor and her current boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were sleeping.

When he heard the commotion, Mr Walker grabbed his gun and fired a single shot, hitting one of the officers in the leg.

Following the incident, Mr Walker said he thought an intruder was breaking into the apartment, telling police he was “scared to death”.

Police then returned fire, shooting Ms Taylor eight times.

No drugs were found in the apartment and, in the lawsuit filed by Ms Walker’s mother Tamika Palmer, she claimed police used flawed information to obtain the no-knock warrant.

One of the officers involved, Brett Hankison, was fired from the police department in June after “blindly” firing 10 bullets into the young woman’s apartment.

His actions “displayed an extreme indifference to the value of human life”, authorities said at the time.

The two other officers, John Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove, are still on the force but have been reassigned to administrative duties.

The police claim none of the officers had their body cameras activated at the time of the shooting.

Ms Taylor’s death sparked waves of protests, prompting calls for the officers involved to be charged.

These protests were amplified less than two weeks later when George Floyd, another African-American citizen, died after a police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest in Minneapolis.

This sparked months of protests against racism and police brutality across the country, with some demonstrations giving way to riots and violence.

The case has sparked international outrage and earned celebrity attention. Oprah Winfrey paid for billboards in Kentucky demanding justice for Ms Taylor. US Open champion Naomi Osaka wore a face mask bearing Ms Taylor’s name during her run for the title.

Formula One star Lewis Hamilton wore a T-shirt that read “Arrest the cops who killed Breonna Taylor” on the podium at Sunday’s Tuscan Grand Prix.

A portrait of Ms Taylor graced the cover of Vanity Fair magazine’s September issue.

Ms Palmer said the settlement was only the beginning of finally getting justice for her daughter.

“It’s time to move forward with the criminal charges,” she said.

– With AFP

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