Seattle officer in fatal shooting: 'I don't have a taser'

Cameron Gross
June 20, 2017

According to the City of Seattle's police blotter, the two officers who responded to the 911 call "were confronted by a 30-year-old woman armed with a knife", and fired their guns at her.

They said they sent two officers because they knew Lyles and were concerned for the officers' safety. Within 10 seconds, there are sounds of a possible scuffle or rapid movement, and the officers shout "Get back!" Several children were also present but were not injured, police said.

Ms Lyle's family told the Seattle Times they believe her race was a factor in the shooting.

According to the dash cam audio, they seemed to be having a normal conversation with her, as she tells them about what's been stolen - she confirms a missing Xbox. Lyles's sister, Monika Williams, told the Seattle Times. Take her to mental health!

The SPD's Force Investigation Team (FIT) along with the police department's Office of Professional Accountability is probing the incident to look closely at what the officers could have possibly done to calm the situation, KUOW News and Information reported. The footage, which is from the officers' dashcam and from a camera in the hallway outside the woman's apartment, does not show the Sunday shooting. Mourners taped photos of her with her children to the back of black plastic chairs and spelled her name in small votive candles on the sidewalk.

Ed Murray, the Mayor of Seattle, released a statement saying the shooting in Seattle was "a tragedy for all involved".

Kenny Isabell, Lyles's cousin said she was depressed but not violent.

Police spokesman Detective Mark Jamieson says the woman had called police to report a burglary Sunday morning.

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According to King County Jail records, Lyles was charged on June 5 for obstruction of a public official and two counts of harassment, but was released conditionally on June 14.

Lyles' family said she had a history of mental illness.

Despite an attempt at CPR, Ms Lyles died at her home. Even if my sister had a knife in her hand, she weighs like nothing, even if she's soaking wet. SPD is now operating under a consent decree, following the Department of Justice's (DOJ) 2011 conclusion that officers are racially biased and routinely use excessive force against people with mental health and substance abuse issues.

Although Lyles had previous altercations with the police, none of this justifies or explains the use of force, much less deadly force, on a tiny pregnant woman who was holding (or even wielding) a knife.

Lyles was also reportedly pregnant at the time.

How is a cop surprised that a woman reporting a burglary, at home alone with her children would answer the door with a weapon or some form of protection? "Do it!" An officer radios "We need help!" and the police say "Get back!" again three more times before five gunshots are heard.

Since then, the police department's use-of-force incidents dropped 60 percent, and a recent federal report says the officers have used de-escalation techniques.

Other reports by BadHub

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