Breonna Taylor settlement, ICE whistleblower complaint, and Biggie's crown | theSkimm
A billboard featuring a picture of Breonna Taylor and calling for the arrest of police officers involved in her deathGetty Images

Say Her Name

The Story

There's a step toward justice for Breonna Taylor.

Tell me.

Yesterday, the city of Louisville, KY, agreed to a $12 million settlement with Breonna Taylor's family as part of a wrongful death lawsuit. In March, the 26-year-old Black woman was in bed when police officers entered her apartment following a "no-knock" search warrant. The officers killed her, shooting her at least eight times in her own home. Her name became a rallying cry in nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice. And her family filed a lawsuit. Now more than six months later, Louisville's announced one of the largest settlements of its kind.

Go on.

Three months after her death, "Breonna's Law" was passed, banning "no-knock" warrants in Louisville. Now, part of this settlement also includes more police reforms – intended to address the errors that led to Breonna Taylor's death. Like an overhaul of search warrants, requiring officers to review and provide written approval for all warrants. And the creation of an early warning system to flag officers with disciplinary problems. Also, paramedics will be on stand-by whenever officers carry out a search, ready to offer medical help – something Breonna Taylor's family says she wasn't given.

What are people saying?

Breonna Taylor's name. Because despite this being a significant settlement, her family believes it's only the beginning. Her mom said "it's time to move forward" with criminal charges against the officers. The Kentucky AG is (still) investigating the case, and so is the FBI. But some legal experts say that under state law, the officers may be able to claim self-defense...meaning charges could be unlikely. That's because Breonna Taylor's boyfriend – who says he thought the police were intruders – fired his gun when they came into the apartment in the middle of the night.

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In many deadly police shootings, families of the victims have waited years for settlements, and they typically come after charges have been filed. (If they come at all.) While Breonna Taylor's family may be seeing a glimpse of justice, they (and many others) are waiting for the needle to move further along.

And Also...This

What's come under fire...

ICE. Earlier this week, several advocacy groups accused an ICE detention center of "jarring medical neglect" in a whistleblower complaint. It was filed on behalf of a nurse who worked at the center in Georgia. She claimed that a suspiciously "high rate" of hysterectomies (when part or all of the uterus is removed) were being performed on immigrant women there. And that some of the women didn't seem to understand why they were having the procedure. The report also claims detainees were living in unsanitary conditions and weren't given proper medical care (even amid COVID-19). The nurse also alleges she was demoted and reprimanded for bringing up these concerns. Now, lawmakers and advocacy groups are calling for an investigation, and some are even calling for the doctors involved to have their licenses suspended. ICE said it takes "all allegations seriously. 

Who signed on the dotted line...

Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain. Yesterday, the White House hosted a signing ceremony for the two Arab states and Israel. As representatives from the three countries (along with the US) put pen to paper on the Abraham Accords, they officially agreed to set up new diplomatic relations. That includes a formal recognition of Israel by the two Gulf states. And calls for the three countries to work together to establish embassies and bilateral agreements on tourism, education, and health care. The agreements are a win for President Trump, who's made foreign policy a major part of his reelection campaign.

  • Times are changing: Until yesterday, only two other Arab states (Jordan and Egypt) had official ties with Israel. This latest agreement brings that number up to four, and Trump said he expects more Middle Eastern countries to follow "very quickly."  
What's showing some startling numbers...

This CDC report. It found that minority children in the US are disproportionately dying from COVID-19 compared to white children. Children are typically less likely to suffer severe symptoms from COVID-19 than adults, but the risk of dying is never zero. Of the 121 children who died from the coronavirus between February and July, 78% of them were Black, Hispanic, or American Indian. The report points to underlying social and health disparities among minority children – issues that have also led to minority adults being disproportionately impacted by the virus.

...Oh and speaking of COVID-19, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) says the House won't go on recess next month unless Congress agrees to a new coronavirus relief bill.

What people are bracing for…

Hurricane Sally. The slow-moving Category 2 storm is expected to hit the Gulf Coast today. Residents in some parts of Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle have been told to evacuate and forecasters are predicting "historic" flooding and winds over 100 mph. Rainfall could total up to 30 inches in some areas.

Who's sending warm regards…

Alexei Navalny. Yesterday, the Russian opposition leader snapped a selfie for the first time since being poisoned in August. And said he is finally able to breathe on his own. He reportedly plans to return to Russia to "continue his mission."

Why you'll love these 'flashy ways'…

Skimm’d by Maria del Carmen Corpus, Mariza Smajlaj, Ellen Burke, Niven McCall-Mazza, and Clem Robineau


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