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Breonna Taylor’s family settles with City of Louisville for $12 million, significant police reform

Breonna Taylor
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Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 2:17 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - The family of Breonna Taylor and the City of Louisville have reached a $12 million settlement, WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters have learned.

>> ALSO: What has changed since Breonna Taylor’s death?

The settlement is the largest ever paid by the city in an officer-involved shooting case.

Taylor, 26, was shot dead when Louisville Metro Police Department officers served a narcotics warrant at her home on March 13.

The settlement also makes history by including one of the largest lists of police reforms that LMPD now will be required to implement.

>> 2PM: Scroll down to watch live news conference

The news comes two days after the six-month anniversary of Taylor’s death and several days after WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters first reported the state’s criminal case was being presented to a grand jury, with a decision on possible charges expected to be announced soon.

The settlement is aimed at changing some of the departmental policies that may have contributed to what happened the night Taylor was killed, such as an overhaul of the execution of simultaneous search warrants. Minutes before the Taylor raid, narcotics officers arrested Jamarcus Glover at a suspected drug house several miles away. Glover, Taylor’s ex-boyfriend and a convicted drug offender, also was named in the warrant that sent officers to Taylor’s home.

>> MORE: Who’s who in the Breonna Taylor case?

The agreement also mandates that a commanding officer review and give written approval of all search warrants and SWAT matrices, documents aimed at calculating the specific dangers of a warrant location.

The settlement requires the presence of paramedics whenever a warrant is executed. The night of the shooting, an ambulance left Taylor’s apartment before officers broke through her doorway. Taylor did not receive immediate EMS treatment and bled to death on the floor of her apartment. Sgt. Jon Mattingly, who was shot in the femoral artery by Taylor’s boyfriend during the raid, had to be rushed away from the apartment on top of another officer’s car. Several minutes went by until he received medical treatment, too. Mattingly survived his injury.

Other reforms include an early-action warning system to identify officers with “red flags,” and the retention of records related to internal officer complaints and investigations.

It also removes the police chief’s option to close cases against officers “by exception,” allowing an officer to resign or retire without discipline. The “exception” option was most notably used by former LMPD Chief Steve Conrad in the Explorer child sex abuse case. Conrad allowed then-LMPD Officer Kenneth Betts to resign from the department in the middle of an internal investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor. Conrad closed that investigation by exception, allowing Betts to continue working as an officer at another department.

Officers handling money during seizures will have to be in pairs and wear body cameras, according to the contract, which also requires LMPD to hire a number of social workers to help officers on certain runs.

>> MORE: Complete coverage of the Breonna Taylor case

The city also will have to offer housing credits to officers to encourage them to live in Louisville, as opposed to surrounding counties, as well as encourage them to perform at least two hours of paid community service each week.

The settlement pushes the city to bargain for increased drug and alcohol testing in the next round of contract negotiations with the department’s FOP.

Mattingly and detectives Brett Hankison and Myles Cosgrove were placed on administrative reassignment following the raid, per LMPD protocol. Hankison was fired for “blindly” shooting 10 rounds into Taylor’s apartment from outside, according to his termination letter. Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office is investigating and will determine whether to criminally charge the officers.

On WHAS Radio on Tuesday morning, when asked if he would plan a news conference to discuss the settlement, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said “I don’t have an announcement at this time.”

Taylor’s family and their attorneys are expected to speak about the settlement in a joint news conference with Fischer at Fischer’s office, beginning at 2 p.m. You can watch that livestream on this page at that time.

This story will be updated.

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