Monday, 20 August, 2018

Seattle Shooting Raises Questions About Officers' De-Escalation Efforts

Sandy Vega | 22 June, 2017, 08:34

On Sunday, two officers responded to a call about a burglary at Charleena Lyles' home, as Crime Online recently reported.

The woman was identified by family members as 30-year-old Charleena Lyles, who relatives said was a mother suffering from mental health issues.

Police in the USA state of Washington have killed a pregnant African American woman while responding to her call about a crime. "She let them in, then she started talking all insane about how the officers weren't gonna leave", one of the officers can be heard saying.

Lyles said, "Get ready, mother---" to the two officers, according to the transcript released Monday night.

Lyles' relatives said she was three months pregnant and had been experiencing mental health issues and may have been having some kind of breakdown when she phoned police for help. In it, screaming and what sounds like jostling can be heard, with officers repeatedly saying "Hey, get back".

A Seattle police spokesman says two officers who shot and killed a pregnant mother were equipped with a less-lethal option but were not carrying Tasers.

Seattle police confirmed that two boys and one girl, aged 11, 4, and 1, were in the apartment at the time of the shooting, and have since been given over to family members. "When we explained to her family the behavior and statements Lyles made to us, they were surprised and informed us she has not had any behavior similar to this in the past".

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.

In other words, those two officers brought a bulldozer into a situation that required a full set of precision tools. The apartments are a place where formerly homeless families go to get back on their feet.

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Dash cam footage of the June 18 shooting as well as surveillance footage from the apartment building was also released.

"As a Seattle Public Schools parent, Charleena Lyles was part of our education family", Garfield High School teacher Jesse Hagopian said.

The incident came days after a police officer in Minnesota was cleared of all charges in the 2016 shooting death of Philando Castile, an African American man who was killed in his auto in front of his r four-year-old daughter.

In the audio recording, the officers are heard talking about Lyles as someone who has said "weird statements" and has a "safety caution".

The video from the apartment hallway has no audio, but shows the officers entering the apartment. Take her to mental health!

Lyles' cousin, Kenny Isabell, pastor of The Way of Holiness Church of God in Seattle, described Lyles as depressed but not violent. After a calm conversation with her about missing items, officers suddenly yell "Get back!" and a few seconds later shots are heard. At the end of the video, an officer can be seen partially backing out of the doorway with his arms raised.

"Our historic police reforms, from de-escalation training to civilian-monitored force review, are in place to address such crises".

The Seattle Police Department has a history of excessive use of force, according to a Justice Department assessment. "This will be fully investigated", Murray said.

The fatal shooting comes as Seattle Police Department deals with a 2012 "consent decree", which called for federal oversight of department's policies and practices. However a federal monitoring report in April showed that use of force incidents by officers had decreased since the investigation.

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