Published: Thu, June 22, 2017
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

Demands for answers after police shoot, kill pregnant Seattle mom


30-year old Charleena Lyles, mother of four and pregnant with her fifth child was killed by two Seattle #police officers on Sunday, June 18.

Officers claim that the woman, Charleena Lyles, "confronted" them with a knife upon their arrival, according to a statement from authorities. Police say Charleena had a knife, prompting them to shoot her in front of her children. Then there's a four-second pause, followed by a sudden commotion - you can hear Lyles say, 'You ready?', she calls them an expletive, and the cops react, saying "We need help", presumably over their radios, and commanding someone to "get back". "Get back! Get back!" and then gunfire erupts.

According to family members, Lyles has had mental health issues, was several months pregnant and was anxious that authorities would take her three kids, one of whom has Down syndrome.

"Why couldn't they have Tased her?".

Monika Williams, Charleena's sister said that her late sister was "tiny" in build and had "mental health problems". She let them in and then she started talking all insane about how she, the officers weren't gonna leave.

Lyles' brother, Domico Jones, told KOMO: "They came here multiple times, so I know that they had to have known anything that was wrong with her".

Two officers arrived and police say Ms Lyles had a knife. The woman can be heard telling the officers the door was unlocked.

Officer: So you said an Xbox was taken??

"The officers need to pay for what they did", Williams said. One of the officers who shot Lyles had been certified as a crisis intervention specialist.

Seattle Police released an audio of the incident on Monday, which is disturbing to say the least.

Murray said what happened to Lyles makes her fear for the others still out there in similar circumstances, she said Lyles is not alone.

Seattle officials agreed in 2012 to an independent monitor and federal court oversight of the department after a federal investigation found Seattle officers routinely used excessive force.

A Los Angeles Police Department officer stands behind yellow tape blocking off the street leading to the house of Andrew Getty in the Hollywood Hills section of Los Angeles, California March 31, 2015.

She said her sister had been arrested earlier this month, with a weapon in her hand, after getting into a confrontation with her child's father.

The department said it had been a typical burglary report and "two officers were required due to information pertaining to this address that presented an increased risk to officers".

Police confirmed that three of Lyles' children are with other family members. As a 2016 report from the Ruderman Family Foundation points out, disabled people and people with mental health issues make up half of all those killed by police.

Relatives wondered why police shot her instead of Tasering her.

Ganser, who noted that she had never met Lyles, said she was also diagnosed with a mental illness.

"This event has traumatized the family, our residents, staff and the broader community". Had she been wealthy, white, and famous - or any combination of those - I'm sure the police would've been much more careful and Lyles would've ultimately ended up in a hospital somewhere, receiving the treatment she so desperately needed.

Detectives from the use of force team will investigate the Sunday shooting that Mayor Ed Murray called a tragedy for everyone involved.

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