Demands for Police Accountability Continues as Louisville Pays Breonna Taylor’s Family

Nadia Ramlagan | Public News Service
Day and night, protesters have gathered in downtown Louisville over the death of Breonna Taylor. Photo Credit: Nadia Ramlagan

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Six months after Louisville police officers shot and killed 26-year-old Breonna Taylor in her home, city officials announced this week they will pay her family $12 million, one of the highest settlement amounts ever paid for the wrongful death of a Black woman.

The three police officers involved in the shooting have not been criminally charged.

Tara Blakeley, a Louisville resident who has been attending the ongoing protests, says that’s a problem.

“If we stand for nothing, then we’ll fall for anything,” Blakeley said. “And they have to be held accountable for their actions.”

Mayor Greg Fischer also announced the city will begin implementing reforms related to search warrants, community policing and police accountability.

Earlier this summer, Louisville’s city council voted unanimously to ban no-knock search warrants. Known as Breonna’s Law, the order requires all officers who serve warrants to wear body cameras and have them turned on before and after the warrant is served.

The demand of protesters to arrest and charge the police officers involved in the shooting have only grown louder.

Blakeley says the injustice in the case has drawn hundreds of residents out into the streets this summer, many of whom have never protested before.

“This is actually the first time I’ve been to a protest,” Blakeley said. “But I do fully support this, because, like I said, it has to be corrected.”

Attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing Breonna Taylor’s family, has pressed Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to bring second-degree manslaughter charges against the police officers.

However, experts say Kentucky statutes allow police to use their weapons in self-defense, and may provide legal protection for the officers’ actions. Cameron says the investigation remains ongoing.