Kenneth Walker, the boyfriend of the late Breonna Taylor, has settled two lawsuits against the city of Louisville for the careless raid that led to the death of Taylor over two years ago.
According to the Associated Press, this decision happened on Monday (Dec. 12). Walker’s attorneys stated that Louisville has agreed to pay him $2 million to settle lawsuits he filed in federal and state court.
One of his attorneys, Steve Romines, said Breonna’s death would “haunt Kenny for the rest of his life.” He added, “He will live with the effects of being put in harm’s way due to a falsified warrant, being a victim of a hailstorm of gunfire, and suffering the unimaginable and horrific death of Breonna Taylor.”
On the night of March 13, 2020, police, with no search warrant, stormed into the home where Walker and Taylor were lying in bed. Subsequently, Walker, believing there was an intrusion, fired a single shot from a handgun, hitting Sgt. John Mattingly in the leg. Mattingly and two other officers then opened fire and killed Taylor as a result.
Initially, authorities charged Walker with attempted murder of a police officer, but charges were dropped in the spring of 2020 with the help of protests and news media outlets bringing national attention to the Taylor case.
This case brought awareness to “no-knock” warrants, which allow law enforcement to enter a home without announcing their presence. Since then, the law has been reevaluated.
Although the police did obtain a drug warrant, they failed to make themselves known. The officers said that they knocked on the door, but Walker claims he didn’t hear and he was simply protecting himself from an invasion.
None of the police involved were charged with the murder of Taylor, but earlier this year, U.S. Justice Department prosecutors charged three Louisville officers with a conspiracy to falsify the Taylor warrant. One of the now-former officers, Kelly Goodlett, pleaded guilty and has admitted to helping create a false link between Taylor and a wanted drug dealer.
In September of 2020, Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, received a $12 million settlement from the city of Louisville.
Yesterday, Walker’s attorneys said that he will use some of the settlement to set up a scholarship fund for law school students interested in practicing civil rights law. Another portion will be contributed to the Center for Innovations in Community Safety, a police and community reform center at Georgetown Law School.
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