The city of Louisville has reached a $2 million settlement with Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, who sued the city over the police killing of his late partner in 2020, The New York Times reports.
Taylor and Walker were in their apartment on the night of March 13, 2020, when Louisville Metro Police executed a no-knock warrant. Walker has said he believed the police were intruders, so when they burst in, he fired his shotgun, hitting an officer. The police replied with a torrent of gunfire, killing Taylor. (Walker was initially charged with attempted murder, but prosecutors eventually dropped the charge.)
Walker sued the city and the officers involved in 2020. He accused the police of excessive force and of violating his rights when they allegedly didn’t announce themselves upon entering Taylor’s apartment. (The police have regularly maintained that they did announce their arrival.)
In an interview on Red Table Talk back in October, Walker recounted the fatal shooting and his interactions with the police that night. Because he was detained and processed for attempted murder that night, he noted that it took hours for him to learn about Taylor’s death, especially because the cops wouldn’t give him any details.
“They’re trying to ask me questions about me, and I’m like, ‘Listen, I’ll get to that. Where is Breonna? Is Breonna OK? Is she alive?’” he recalled. “Nobody is answering my questions. So I had to find out what happened on the news, sitting in jail. They didn’t say her name, but they said a woman was killed. That’s how I found out.”
Walker’s lawyer, Steve Romines, told The Times about the settlement, “We’re glad the case is over because the time factor was going to take forever to get the case resolved.” He added, “We think the case has additional value. But everybody was ready to get it over.” (Romines did not return Rolling Stone’s request for comment.)
The Louisville Metro Police Department said it had “no comment to offer at this time.” A rep for Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer did not immediately return a request for comment.
Walker’s lawsuit with the city of Louisville was settled two years after the city settled a separate lawsuit filed by Taylor’s family for $12 million. Of the (now-former) officers involved in Taylor’s killing, only one — Brett Hankison — faced state charges, and he was ultimately found not guilty on three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment earlier this year.
In August, however, Hankison and three other ex-LMPD officers involved in Taylor’s death — Joshua Jaynes, Kelly Hanna Goodlett, and Kyle Meany — were arrested and hit with federal charges. The charges included federal civil rights violations, including lying to obtain a search warrant for Taylor’s apartment. So far, Goodlett has pleaded guilty, while Jaynes has pleaded not guilty.