Seattle Times.The woman has been identified as 30-year-old Charleena Lyles. Police say she brandished a knife at the two responding officers, and while family members don't dispute that, they say she was a petite woman with mental health issues.
They also say race was a factor: Lyles was
black and the officers were white. Three of her children, ages 1, 4, and
11, were home at the time, and relatives say Lyles was several months
pregnant with her fifth child.
One of her children has Down
syndrome. When the call came in about 10am, Seattle police sent two
officers to respond, instead of the usual single officer, because of a
previous run-in with Lyles.
In fact, KIRO
reports that Lyles had just been released from jail on June 14, having
been incarcerated about a week on charges of harassment and obstructing a
Details about that incident weren't immediately
clear. On Sunday, "officers were confronted by a 30-year-old woman armed
with a knife," says the department. "Both officers fired their duty
weapons." But family members, who say that Lyles had been struggling
over the past year in particular with some kind of mental health
trouble, maintain that deadly force wasn't necessary.
couldn’t they have Tased her?" asks her sister. "They could have taken
her down. I could have taken her down." The shooting is under