Only last week, Philando Castile’s mother, Valerie Castile, warned of more police involved shootings during her heartbreaking speech after the ruling of Jeronimo Yanez, the Minnesota police officer acquitted of manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm, which resulted in the death of Philando. Then Sunday, Charleena Lyles, a 30 year old, soon to be mother of five was killed in her home.
According to reports, Lyles called the police about an attempted robbery in her home at Brettler Family Place, a housing complex for people transitioning out of homelessness. Officer Detective Mark Jamieson, says Lyles’s call was flagged due to “hazard information” affiliated with her apartment, labeling Lyles as a risk, which is said to be why two police officers were on the scene as opposed the usual one in such matters.
Lyles’s sister, Monika Williams, Lyles describes Lyles as “tiny” and harmless and asks why she couldn’t have been tasered. Lyles’s family has stated that she suffered from mental health issues. The flagged incident Jamieson spoke of happened earlier in the month when Lyles had been previously arrested for obstruction of a public official and two counts of harassment on June 5 and later released conditionally on June 14. Apparently, she had a pair of scissors in this incident.
From an audio recording we found, we hear the police we hear the police’s discussion before they enter the apartment. You hear one of the officers asking the other officer for the details of the call, and he specifically asks if she has a “mental” on her. We take it he meant a note about her mental health, and the other officer responds “No”, but then recalls visiting Lyles before and her talking about she and her daughter turning into wolves.
For a minute or so, you hear them talking with Lyles and her asking if they are ready. Then suddenly you hear the officer saying, “Get back, get back,” and a shot.
Due to high usage of excessive force use within the Seattle Police Department the Department of Justice issued a federal consent decree—a provision that allows the federal government to sue police agencies that show patterns of excessive force or civil rights violations.
The following screenshots were circulating on Twitter from the Seattle.gov site about excessive force. Their policy can also be found on the site with this link, http://www.seattle.gov/police/information-and-data/use-of-force-data.
The two officers are currently placed on paid leave.