Tallahassee lawyer Ben Crump praised reforms approved by police in Louisville, Ky., as they announced approval of an historic $12-million payment that will be made to the family of Breonna Taylor, a young Black woman wrongfully killed by police six months ago.
Crump has represented the families of a number of Black victims killed by police in the past few years. He currently represents the family of George Floyd, whose death at the hands of Minneapolis Police has sparked worldwide protests, and the family of Jacob Blake, who was shot seven times in the back by Kenosha, Wisconsin Police.
Crump said the settlement in Taylor’s case is the highest amount ever paid in America to the family of a person wrongfully killed by police.
“Nothing will ever bring back the precious life or fill the bottomless void left by the death of Breonna Taylor for her family or her community which she served as a front line emergency worker, but this settlement, with the accompanying police reforms, sends a powerful signal to the community that Breonna’s life and her death will have long term impact, hopefully preventing the loss of other Black lives,’’ Crump said after he and Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, announced the settlement.
In addition to the financial settlement approved Tuesday, Louisville Police have agreed to other measures designed to enhance community-related police programs, including offering housing incentives to officers willing to live in the City of Louisville and in their own patrol districts.
The city will also improve its procedures for serving search warrants, requiring a commanding officer to review and approve all warrants and consider risks before seeking a judge’s order.
In addition an on-scene commanding officer will accompany officers when warrants are served. The department will also require annual drug testing for all officers and track all use of force incidents with an eye toward identifying any police officer in need of additional training or assistance.
The city also will encourage officers to volunteer with community organizations for two hours per pay period during their regular work shift.
Crump commended Louisville officials, saying he has never seen the level of response offered by city officials. He credited Mayor Greg Fischer and the City Council for showing tremendous leadership in approving reforms out of tragedy.
Miss Taylor was shot multiple times by police who fired multiple shots into her apartment while trying to serve a no knock search warrant on a person who was not there.
Crump said he and other supporters will continue to urge Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to convene a grand jury and approve criminal charges against the officers involved in Taylor’s shooting.