Yesterday (June 18), two Seattle Police Department (SPD) officers shot and killed 30-year-old Charleena Lyles in front of her three children, in her home. They told the Seattle Times she was concerned authorities would take her children, one of whom has Down syndrome.
Seattle police have said officers.
The recording indicates the officers spent about two minutes calmly speaking with 30-year-old Charleena Lyles on Sunday about the theft of an X-box before the situation escalated.
Family members said Lyles had experienced mental health problems in the a year ago and that she was several months pregnant, which BuzzFeed News couldn't immediately confirm. 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".
Lyles' sister, Monika Williams, questioned the officers' use of force: "Why couldn't they have tased her?"
Lyles was dealing with mental health issues, according to family. At one point, she allegedly stood up with the scissors in hands and said, "Ain't none of y'all leaving here today". The clip below begins when the officers greet Lyles.
Murray added that she often heard yelling coming from Lyles' unit and has called the complex's security multiple times due to disturbances in the apartment.
KOMO, a local news station, notes that it's not clear exactly why the police shot Lyles.
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The Seattle Police Department has a history of excessive use of force, according to a Justice Department assessment.
Lyles' death has since sparked national outrage, as critics took to social media to mourn the death of yet another African-American killed by law enforcement. "Get back! Get back!" before an eruption of gunfire.
She tells them she left her door unlocked while she went to the store and that while she was out her Xbox was stolen.
Audio released of her emergency services call was reporting a burglary at her Magnuson Park apartment, a building for people transitioning out of homelessness.
Despite this glowing report, the Lyles family wants more answers from the department.
The officers involved in the shooting have not yet been identified, but were placed on paid leave, per agency policy. "I could have taken her down".
In addition to the police's investigation, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is launching his own probe into the devastating incident.
"Do our lives really matter to them?" he asked. As part of a federal consent decree, the Seattle Police Department has emphasized training in "crisis intervention", which stresses techniques for lowering the tension when encountering people with mental illness or other cognitive problems. But the DOJ in April touted "initial compliance", with its court-ordered monitor marking a "major milestone" in reforming use of force.