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US city pays Sh1.3 billion to Breonna Taylor's family after she was gunned down by police

Readers Lounge - By Mirror | September 16th 2020 at 08:23:17 GMT +0300
Breonna Taylor and her boyfriend were asleep when police burst in and shot her eight times (Image: Courtesy of Family of Breonna Taylor)

The bereaved family of Breonna Taylor are to be compensated Sh1.3 billion ($12million), months after she was shot dead during a mistaken drugs raid.

The 26-year-old was killed in March by plainclothes officers who believed she had narcotics stashed at her Louiseville apartment.

The black woman was shot at least five times, an inquest into her death found.

No drugs were found at the property.

Lonita Baker, a lawyer for the family, says the Sh1.3 billion settlement is just one "layer" in their attempt to seek justice.

She was alive for at least five minutes after being "riddled" with bullets, according to her boyfriend Kenneth Walker.

The harrowing incident is the latest to receive widespread support after the death of George Floyd, as campaigners call for the three officers - all white men - to stand trial over her death.

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"Justice for Breonna is multi-layered," said the lawyer at a press conference alongside Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.

"Today what we did here was to do what we could do to bring a little bit of police reform and it's just a start.

"But we finished the first mile in the marathon and we've got a lot more miles to go to until we achieve and cross that finish line."

Members of the NFAC hold up their weapons during a rally to protest the killing of Breonna (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

The tragic woman's name has featured prominently in anti-racism protests in recent months.

In a short statement, the victim's mother Tamika Palmer joined the call for criminal charges against the officers.

She then urged campaigners to continue to say her daughter's name publicly as they seek police reforms.

Boyfriend Kenneth Walker phoned his mother and screamed for help on the fateful night six months ago.

He said in the recording: "Police are yelling, like, 'Come out, come out,' and I'm on the phone with her [mom]. I'm still yelling help because she's over here coughing, and, like, I'm just freaking out."

The Courier-Journal reported that for more than 20 minutes Ms Taylor laid where she collapsed in her hallway until around 1.10am and wasn't given any medical assistance.

"Breonna, who was unarmed in her hallway, was struck by several rounds of gunfire. She was not killed immediately," attorneys Sam Aguiar and Lonita Baker wrote on behalf of Ms Taylor's family.

They added: "Rather, she lived for another five to six minutes before ultimately succumbing to her injuries on the floor of her home."

Police suspected Ms Taylor's flat was used to receive drugs from a gang situated 10 miles away.

She reportedly dated one of the suspects involved in the drug network.

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