Seattle PD Finds No Fault in Slaying of Mentally Ill Woman

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The Seattle Police Department’s Force Review Board has found the controversial fatal shooting of Charleena Lyles by two officers in June to be reasonable, proportional and within policy, reports the Seattle Times. The board’s unanimous vote followed a daylong meeting Tuesday. The findings are subject to final approval from Assistant Chief Lesley Cordner, who presided over the meeting and oversees the department’s Compliance and Professional Standards Bureau. Corey Guilmette, an attorney representing Lyles’ family, said, “We cannot accept that Charleena Lyles’ killing was unavoidable. If her killing was within policy and training, we need changes in policy and training.”

Lyles, a 30-year-old African American mother of four, was shot seven times by two white officers, Steven McNew and Jason Anderson, on June 18 after she called 911 to report a burglary at her apartment. Police said Lyles suddenly threatened the officers inside the apartment with one or two knives before they opened fire. The officers found no evidence of a burglary. Lyles had struggled with mental-health issues, according to her family and court records, and the shooting came at a time her life was spinning out of control. The shooting unleashed a storm of public protest, with many seeing it as another example of unnecessary deadly force being used by police against people of color.

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