On Tuesday, the city of Louisville, Kentucky, announced that it reached a $12 million settlement in the wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of Breonna Taylor. The city also announced a series of policy changes to its policing practices.
Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) detective Myles Cosgrove and Sergeant Jonathan Mattingly, and former LMPD detective Brett Hankison shot and killed Ms. Taylor after entering her residence unannounced in the early morning hours of March 13 as they executed a no-knock search warrant at the wrong home. While Hankinson has been fired, Cosgrove and Mattingly remain on the force. None of the officers have been arrested for Ms. Taylor’s killing.
Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) released the following statement in response to the city’s announcement:
“We are gratified that Breonna Taylor’s family will receive some financial remuneration for their tragic loss, but no amount can substitute for Breonna’s life. Nor does it eliminate the need to arrest the officers and hold them accountable for her death. Six months after Breonna was killed in her own home, neither she nor her family have received the justice they deserve.
“Since the spring, our country has made clear that we will no longer allow law enforcement officials to act with impunity toward Black and Brown people. The policy changes announced by Louisville’s mayor cover community-related police programs, search warrants, and police accountability, but there remains a need for additional actions that will ensure accountability for excessive use of force by police, including against peaceful protesters and other acts of police misconduct. The people of Louisville deserve nothing less.
“LDF calls on city officials to implement the changes needed to create a public safety system where everyone, especially people of color, feels safe in their own homes and communities.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.