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Civil rights attorney Ben Crump calls Breonna Taylor settlement 'historic'

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump calls Breonna Taylor settlement 'historic'
© Greg Nash

Civil rights attorney Ben Crump said the $12 million settlement the city of Louisville, Ky., is paying the family of Breonna Taylor, the 26-year-old Black woman who police shot and killed in her own home in March, may have made history. 

“I’m grateful to the actions of the city of Louisville today,” Crump said at a press conference Tuesday announcing the settlement. “And it is not just the historic $12 million settlement, which as I understand is the largest amount ever paid out for a Black woman in a wrongful death, killed by a police in America.”

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The deal is the largest settlement that the city has paid in a police misconduct case, and Crump said it could potentially be the most paid to any victim of police brutality in the U.S. 

“I believe it may be the largest amount paid for a Black person in a police shooting,” Crump said. “It is certainly … one of the largest amounts paid out by any person in the way of settlement in a police killing in America.”

Crump added that police reform proposed by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (D) and the city council is “equally important” to the settlement.

“This is about setting a precedence,” Crump said.  

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Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were sleeping inside their Louisville apartment on March 13 when police officers in plainclothes attempted to execute a no-knock search warrant.

Walker, who has said he thought the officers were intruders, opened fire. The three responding officers returned fire, hitting Taylor numerous times and killing her.

The three officers involved were placed on administrative reassignment pending the results of an investigation, and one was eventually fired.