Published: Fri, June 23, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Seattle police release tape of pregnant woman's shooting

"The officers arrived at 30-year-old Charleena Lyles' fourth-floor Magnuson Park apartment around 10 a.m. Sunday after she called to report a burglary, according to the Seattle Police Department's online crime-blotter page".

Sorrowful and, at times, angry sentiments have poured in throughout the day Monday from groups representing gun safety, people with disabilities, people of color and the low-income housing provider that managed her apartment.

Charleena Lyles, 30, was shot after police saw her holding a knife. She called the police on him. Police say Lyles displayed a knife, but Lyles' family says her death could have been avoided.

The Seattle Police Department released an audio clip of the shooting, and you can hear the two officers yell "get back" before the gunshots.

Audio taken from the officer's dashcam was released by police on Monday morning.

"After talking with Lyles' family, we learned that Lyles had experienced a recent sudden and rapid decline in her mental health", Lim wrote in the incident report obtained by KIRO.

Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole said Monday that neither officer was armed with a Taser. Authorities alleged that at some point, Lyles pulled out a knife, prompting the officers to shoot.

In the recording, officers are heard calmly speaking to Lyles for several minutes before the situation escalates. They could have taken her down.

"Get back! Get back!" an officer says, and a woman's voice responds, "Do it! Get back!" before a volley of gunfire erupts.

The Seattle Police said that the two officers are on paid administrative leave while the officer's actions are under review. He said she was depressed but not violent and "was going through some things in her life".

Dozens gathered outside the apartment building later Sunday to mourn Lyles.

He said family members are heartbroken and dedicated to finding justice. "We will work collectively with our consent decree partners and the Community Police Commission to ensure transparency throughout this process and offer support where needed", he said.

The officer calls dispatch again once Lyles had been shot. "It's a very traumatic event, absolutely", Jamieson said.

The issue of tension and lack of trust between law enforcement officials and racial minorities has been studied, debated, and analyzed for years.

The organization brought in grief counselors to work with family members and residents.

It is unknown how many teachers and staff members will take part in the rally, but in a release put out by the organizing group they said that they are grieving with the family, supporting them, and standing with them in solidarity. Police then asks her if she knew who it might have been, and they ask for her name. According to Lyles' cousin, Robin Cockerham, the officers were aware of her issues.

An officer is heard calling for backup just before five rounds are fired. The effects of long-term homelessness, combined with mental health challenges, can make it damn near impossible for some people to transition back into everyday society.

During a 28-month span from 2014 to 2016, incidents in which Seattle cops used force that caused or could be expected to cause injury dropped at least 60 percent, compared to a similar period from 2009 to 2011, according to the Associated Press.

The shooting is under investigation, police said.

These officers, and all Seattle Police officers, know full well who Solid Ground homes are for and the unique challenges that many residents face.

The department has since confirmed that both responding officers are white.

The department's Force Investigation Team and Office of Professional accountability are gathering evidence in the case.

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