Tamika Palmer, Breonna Taylor‘s mother, did not buy a Bentley or an $800,000 home with the settlement money her family received in September 2020, her lawyer said.
On March 13, 2020, Breonna Taylor was shot dead inside her home by Louisville Metro police officer Myles Cosgrove in an incident also involving officers Brett Hankison and Jonathan Mattingly, according to authorities. Police officers were at the home to execute a no-knock search warrant. Taylor was 26 years old when she died. None of the officers were indicted on charges related to her death, though Hankison was indicted in September by a grand jury on charges related to wanton endangerment of a pregnant woman in a nearby apartment.
When asked about the rumor, one of Taylor’s family’s lawyers, Lonita Parker, responded, “This is not true.” Public records in Jefferson County, Kentucky, where Taylor’s mother lives, show no deeds in her name.
The First Mention of the Rumor Came on Twitter on September 25
According to a Twitter search, the first mention of the rumor came from a user named @BetteDavisI on September 25. At the time of writing, BetteDavisI’s account has been suspended due to a violation of Twitter’s rules. The original tweet, according to @Billypuntove, read, “Breonna’s mom just went out & bought a 800K house & a Bentley. We all grieve in our own way.”
@Billypuntove, who shared a screenshot of the Twitter post that appeared to have sparked the rumor, noted that many users liked and retweeted the original post with no evidence to support it, while only one user asked for proof.
A Facebook Post Making the Claim Was Shared 25,000 Times & Remains Publicly Visible
On Facebook, a post with identical wording to the @BetteDavisI post was shared 25,000 times. The post remains visible but is flagged as “false information” by Facebook independent fact-checkers. One person commented on the post, “She will probably be broke and bankrupt within 5 years.” Another person wrote, “I bet my mom wished I was a long term negro drug dealer.”
Facebook’s fact-check links to a story from Lead Stories. Another of Taylor’s family’s lawyers, Sam Aguiar, told Lead Stories that the settlement money in the case has yet to be paid. Heavy has reached out to Aguiar for comment.
On September 15, the City of Louisville Announced a $12 Million Settlement With Taylor’s Family
On September 15, city officials in Louisville, Kentucky, announced they had agreed to pay Taylor’s family $12 million in a wrongful-death lawsuit, The New York Times reported. Family lawyer Aguiar told the media after the settlement was announced:
This is a good first step. The city obviously doesn’t have the power to bring charges, which still rests in the hands of the attorney general. But what the city can do is change its police practices, and it can acknowledge through a settlement that a lot of things went wrong that night.
You can read the full settlement decision here.
The previous record for a settlement from city officials in Louisville was $8.5 million, which was paid out in 2012, according to The Louisville Courier Journal.