Cousin: Pregnant woman killed by police wasn't violent
20 June, 2017, 14:01 | Author: Mae Harvey
Seattle police officers fatally shot a 30-year-old pregnant woman Sunday in her home while three of her children were in the house.
The dead woman was identified as 30-year-old Charleena Lyles by family members - who said she had four children and was expecting a fifth.
Family members told the paper that the woman was several months pregnant and had been struggling with mental-health issues for about a year, according to The Seattle Times. At some point, police said, the woman confronted them with a knife, and both officers fired their weapons.
Lyles' sister, Monika Williams, called the killing unnecessary. They said she was concerned that authorities would take her children, one of whom they said has Down syndrome.
Seattle police have released the dashboard audio from the June 18 incident that killed Charleena Lyles. "Both officers had to fire their service weapons striking the individual".
The two officers involved in Lyles death were placed on administrative leave. The children in the apartment were unharmed and police are trying to determine if they witnessed the shooting.
Lyles was also described by her family as having "mental health issues", another area of concern for police treatment. Lyles was several months pregnant and had been battling "mental health problems" for at least the past year, according to the Seattle Times. 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. SPD's statement makes it clear that the officers had "less lethal force options" available, and that they previously received Crisis Intervention Training, as mandated by the department. "Get back!" before gunfire is heard. During that particular altercation, Lyles was armed with a pair of scissors, according to police reports. The incident took place at 6800 62nd Street near Magnuson Park in Seattle Sunday morning.
When police responded to her apartment, she allegedly opened the door holding a knife in her hand. The officers ask Lyles if she knew who the suspect could be. The Seattle Police Department tells the Times that both officers are white.
"She's not big at all", Lyles' brother, Domico Jones, told KCPQ.
He added that the investigation will be reviewed by a federal monitoring team supervising a consent decree involving the Seattle Police Department.
Detectives say that Lyles was brandishing a knife during the incident, which is why she was shot.
"My thoughts are with the many people impacted, including three children and the responding officers", Murray said.
In a report in April, the court-appointed monitor found that the reforms had prompted a stunning drop in how often officers use serious force - with no rise in crime or officer injuries.
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