The estate of Breonna Taylor is receiving $12 million from the City of Louisville, which sets a precedent as the largest civil settlement in the history of the city. And while it may seem as an appropriate response after the 26-year-old’s tragic death at the hands of Louisville police, it’s just the start for her mother, Tamika Palmer.
In an interview published on Friday (September 18) with CBS, Palmer first reflected on the settlement and how it came about.
“A lot of decision goes into coming into these agreements and, you know, for me, it's thinking about making sure that I'm doing the right thing and doing the right thing by Breonna,” she said.
On September 10, Greg Fischer, Louisville’s mayor, issued a public apology to Taylor’s family, admitting the “mistakes” he and his police department made surrounding Breonna’s death and the subsequent aftermath. He also said he and his team are working to “address the challenges we face.” According to Palmer, Fischer’s apology was a long time coming and something she believes took him a while to create.
“I think it took him a while to get there,” she said. “The more this story has gone on, he's learned and saw that there were several things done wrong. And so I think today that I felt that much more than when I met with him several months back.”
The settlement and apology are just the start for Palmer, who says her family will continue to pursue charges against the Louisville officers responsible for Breonna’s death. Ben Crump, the Taylor family’s attorney who sat next to Palmer during the interview, says his clients don’t want anything more than simple justice.
“We're not asking for anything extraordinary. We're asking for equal justice,” he said. “I know you just have to speak truth to power. This was a young Black woman. There are two justice systems in America. And we want to make sure that we get equal justice for Breonna Taylor, because I think it's a precedent-setting matter.”
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Crump continued: “It literally is like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, where people first started saying Black Lives Matter. How many black womenhave you heard of in the conversation? We often hear a Black man, you know, but Black women don't often get the same attention and recognition. So, it is personal. When I look at you, strong Black women to say, you know, we got to step up and demand that we protect our black women, that we respect our Black women, and we don't let them marginalize our Black women.”
Breonna Taylor, an EMT, was killed on March 13 when Louisville officers Sgt. Jon Mattingly, Det. Brett Hankison and Det. Myles Cosgrove, entered her apartment under a “no-knock” warrant. But the suspect they were attempting to arrest had already been taken into custody earlier in the day. Charges still have not been filed against the officers involved in Taylor’s death.
Watch the full CBS interview with Tamika Palmer below.
Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images