June 27, 2017

White Officers Fatally Shoot Black Woman Who Reported Burglary

20 June 2017, 04:10 | Rodolfo Wallace

CREDIT Getty Images

CREDIT Getty Images

Shortly before 10:00 am Sunday, two North Precinct patrol officers responded to a report of a waiting burglary call in an apartment building in the 6800 block of 62nd Avenue NE.

- Police said Lyles was armed with one or more kitchen knives, but they have not said whether she directly threatened the officers.

Domico Jones, a brother to Lyles, said that his sister had been dealing with some mental health issues which her family had tried to help with, and that the constant care required by her 4-year-old daughter with Down's Syndrome had begun to take a toll on Lyles.

Pastor Kenny Isabell said Monday that Charleena Lyles was a pregnant mother of four children and wasn't a violent person. Her sister, Monika Williams, said that it should have been easy for the two officers.

Medics responded and three children were taken from the apartment. "I could have taken her down", Williams said, overcome with emotion.

The victim has been identified as Charleena Lyles who was shot by officers around 10 a.m. Sunday in Seattle's Magnuson Park neighborhood. When officers arrived, Lyles allegedly "confronted" them with a knife, according to a statement from the authorities, which prompted them to fire their weapons.

On Sunday morning in a Sand Point, Seattle apartment complex, #charleena #Lyles phoned the police to respond to a suspected break-in.

Both officers will be placed on paid administrative leave as the department investigates the shooting, police said. The Seattle Police Department told the Times that both officers are white.

The Justice Department ordered the Seattle Police Department to implement reforms that would ensure accountability and eliminate unlawful bias.

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He added that the investigation will be reviewed by a federal monitoring team supervising a consent decree involving the Police Department. She was released days later on the condition that she receive mental health counseling, according to Williams.

He said she was depressed but not violent and "was going through some things in her life".

"She got a mental caution on her?" the second officer asks.

The shooting is now under investigation to determine whether the use of force was justified.

"There's no reason for her to be shot in front of her babies", Williams shouted. Her family said she didn't belong there, but no one would listen.

It was not clear whether the woman's three other children-aged one, four and 11- who were home at the time had witnessed their mom's death. Lyles was declared deceased upon arrival by Seattle Fire Department responders. "Get back!" the officers can be heard saying, before the loud sounds of multiple gunshots occur, and the audio abruptly stops.

The pastor says he's frustrated with police killing young black people across the country. Lyles then can be heard calmly talking with officers about what was taken from the fourth-floor apartment, including an Xbox video game device.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, in a statement Sunday afternoon, called the incident "a tragedy for all involved".

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