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Relatives of a 30-year-old Black Seattle woman who was recently killed by police claim that she suffered from mental health issues and that her death could have been avoided. The woman, who had called authorities for help, left behind three children, one of whom had Down’s Syndrome.

According to The Seattle Times, on Sunday morning the local police responded to a 911 call that Charleena Lyles made claiming that someone was trying to break into her home. During their visit, detectives claim that Lyles pulled out a knife, which prompted them officers shot and killed her.

It’s unknown if any de-escalation techniques were used to calm her down before shooting her.

At the scene, an emotional Lyles family told the media that the police didn’t have to shoot her, noting that she was tiny in frame.  They also stressed that race played a factor in her death given that the officers involved were both white.

“Why couldn’t they have Tased her? They could have taken her down. I could have taken her down,” said Monika Williams, Lyles’ sister. “There’s no reason for her to be shot in front of her babies. The Seattle police shot the wrong one today.”

Williams also told the media that Lyles was pregnant.

Lyles brother, Domico Jones, shared that his sister suffered from mental health issues for the past year and the family had tried to help her. He also stated that his sister worried that her children would be taken away from her.

The Seattle Police Department has since tried to explain their side of the story by painting the picture that Lyles had a history of questionable and problematic encounters with the police. According to SPD, this is why they sent two officers to respond to the call, the Seattle Times noted.

“Officers were confronted by a 30-year-old woman armed with a knife,” the department wrote on its web blotter. “Both officers fired their duty weapons, striking the woman.

They added: “There were several children inside the apartment at the time of the shooting, but they were not injured. They are being cared for by other family members at this time.” 

Family members said that Lyles leaves behind three children: Two boys and a girl, ages 11, 4 and 1.

Lyles death comes a few days after a Minnesota jury refused to convict a police officer involved in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile. And Twitter had a lot to say about this young mother’s tragic death:

 This is a developing story and we will provide updates as they become available. 


#SayHerName: Armed Woman Killed By Seattle Police Suffered From Mental Health Issues, Says Family was originally published on hellobeautiful.com

26 thoughts on “#SayHerName: Armed Woman Killed By Seattle Police Suffered From Mental Health Issues, Says Family

  1. Mac Ben on said:

    Well they just released the 911 call, screen grab and a 24hr video of the hallway to Lyles APT. Guess what? No burglary. More indication that she intended to lure cops in, like she did on Jun 5 and was arrested for, and attempt to kill them.

  2. leadjustone on said:

    Yes, we need police reform, but I don’t think that will ever happen to any significant degree. We also need to rebuild the mental health system in this country. If people want to talk about rebuilding the infrastructure in the U.S., let’s start with that. Forget about the highways etc. There is a crisis in this country re access to mental health services, particularly among those who are chronically mentally ill. Nowhere to treat them, and no money to pay for it.

      • specialt757 on said:

        The one right here: Last week a white man approximately 38 y.o fired several shots at the police when they were trying to serve a warrant, the next scene, he was being walked out in handcuffs, next scene, he’s talking to the judge on video/phone from jail cell.

      • specialt757 on said:

        Or the countless other white men who come at police with knives and guns or fists who probably aren’t in prison today. You gave one example, now list all the black men who have been killed on imprisoned (but mostly dead) while on routine traffic stops.

    • Dr. Larry on said:

      I pray everyday for out brave officers who have to risk their lives trying to bring sanity and accountability to the inner city savages.

  3. Really on said:

    Wonder how many bullets it took to take down a petite black woman. If you’re that afraid you need not be a cop. Can’t see it being the only alternative.

    • jhuff on said:

      That always been a stupid ass ignorant argument fear is a natural instinct and has nothing to do with being a cop volunteer solders experience fear in situations, there are those who live in bad areas and are afraid to leave their homes should they just stay there shut in
      there was another alternative, she didn’t have to have that dam gun

  4. Last week a white man approximately 38 y.o fired several shots at the police when they were trying to serve a warrant, the next scene, he was being walked out in handcuffs, next scene, he’s talking to the judge on video/phone from jail cell.
    I wonder what the difference is.
    Blacks lives don’t matter, even when they knew this woman’s history, they could have handled this a lot different, but we’re going to hear those infamous words police are trained to say “I feared for my life” Same ish, different day for blacks in Amerikkka.

  5. Dr. Larry on said:

    One has to wonder if there is some type of chemical reaction or seepage of chemicals into the
    Brains of black women wearing weave. There are just too many instances of hair hats going cra-cra

  6. Pauline Hugan on said:

    They kill her but a white man eating the face off another white man but he lives. He was eating and already kill two people but he lives. I wonder is he out of jail walking around in Florida.

  7. Gwendolyn Waller on said:

    I don’t know how to respond. They killed a pregnant woman and in front of her other children. My heart is heavy. The question is do we call the police for help? Police officers are a lot less likely to use deescalation tactics with people of color. They will shoot first and ask questions later. And as people of color, we are going to have to start thinking defensively when dealing with the police. Two many of us are dying. She added to the problem with the knife. But, they did not have kill her to stop her.

  8. Law enforcement officers across this country need to have protocol on how to deal with civilians who are mentally ill.

    Shooting and killing mentally challenged folks is INHUMANE!!!!!!!!

    They could’ve tased this woman, or shot her in the arm or leg just to stifle her- so she could
    be taken into custody safely.

    Looks like it is OPEN SEASON on folks of COLOR-whether they have mental health issues or not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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