Everything We Know About The Police Shooting Of Charleena Lyles
- Author: Joanne Flowers Jun 20, 2017,
Jun 20, 2017, 16:11
In a statement, Detective Mark Lyles wrote, "Although this was a typical burglary report, two officers were required due to information pertaining to this address that presented an increased risk to officers". The two responding officers, upon arrival, saw that the pregnant mother of three was armed with a knife and they both shot her.
The woman, identified by family members as Charleena Lyles, is said to have battled mental illness over the last year and previously feared that her children, one of whom had Down Syndrome, would be taken away. Family members say the children were two boys and a girl ages 11, 4, and 1.
"My cousin called to tell me it's my sister", Monika Williams cried out in anguish. There's no way you could've taken a taser and taken her down? "I could have taken her down", Williams told the Times. It details that Lyles called police to report that she had been victim of a "physical domestic disturbance".
Both officers fired their duty weapons, striking the woman.
One police officer was seen cradling a sleeping child outside apartments where shooting occurred.
The officers who shot Lyles are now on a paid administrative leave which is a standard protocol in a shooting.
Relatives wondered why police shot her instead of Tasering her.
In April, the monitor overseeing court-ordered reforms issued a glowing report saying that the use of force by officers had declined dramatically and hailing the department as a "model of policing for the 21 century".
Journalist Steven Hsieh shared videos on Twitter from a neighbor of Charleena Lyles that captured police officers approaching the Magnuson Park apartment buildings. He said that she was anxious that her children would be taken, and that the Brettler Family Place management was trying to get her family out of the apartment complex.
A female voice in the background utters an expletive as the officers repeatedly warn her to back away. There was a moment in which the woman was telling officers about an Xbox that she claimed had been stolen. "Get back! Get back!" and then gunfire erupts. She was later pronounced dead at the scene by fire department officials.
In addition to the police's investigation, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is launching his own probe into the devastating incident.
"My thoughts are with the many people impacted, including three children and the responding officers", he said. She was holding scissors in her hand, but "she didn't charge nobody or nothing,"said Williams".
Federal investigators also found evidence of biased policing.