As community members mourn the death of Charleena Lyles, the 30-year-old pregnant woman killed by Seattle cops Sunday morning, the primary day-after insights into her life are the words of her family members and the court documents detailing previous interactions with police.
Sorrowful and, at times, angry sentiments have poured in throughout the day Monday from groups representing gun safety, people with disabilities, people of color and the low-income housing provider that managed her apartment.
Lyles was shot outside her fourth-floor apartment in the Brettler Family Place complex in Sand Point, managed by Solid Ground. She reportedly called authorities to report a burglary. Police say she then brandished a knife, prompting the fatal gunfire from officers.
Audio released by the Seattle Police Department indicate Lyles was flagged with a safety caution for cops, based on a recent incident in which she reportedly confronted cops with metal shears earlier this month. She pleaded guilty to two counts harassment and obstructing a police officer and was released from jail Wednesday.
On Monday night the Seattle Police Department also released the video from the dashcam and the hallway outside of Lyles’s apartment.
However, family members have described Lyles as suffering from an increasingly worrisome mental health struggle. Officers who responded to the burglary call looked for a mental health caution on her file, but found none, according to the audio recording.
The officer safety tag, however, required that two officers respond to her call instead of one, which is more typical.
The recording depicts officers chatting with Lyles about the burglary call. She claimed an Xbox was taken from her apartment.
Then, in a matter of seconds, an officer can be heard repeating, “Get back! Get back!” before shots are fired.
Police reportedly offered aid immediately after the shooting, but Seattle Fire Department medics declared Lyles dead upon arrival.