Family of Charleena Lyles sues Seattle officers involved in shooting

A new lawsuit claims that two Seattle Police officers were negligent on multiple counts when they shot and killed Charleena Lyles.

The family of Charleena Lyles filed a wrongful death lawsuit Friday against the two Seattle officers involved in her shooting.

The lawsuit calls Lyle's June 18 death "unnecessary, horrifying and preventable."

Lawyers for Lyles' estate said they will add the city of Seattle to the lawsuit once the city has run out of time on a claim the family filed last month.

Attorney Karen Koehler said the family will not participate in any King County inquest into the deadly shooting, calling it a "sham proceeding," that favors the police. 

Attorneys representing Lyles' sisters and cousins disagree, saying they will participate otherwise the public will only hear a "one-sided story" told by the police officers.

Lyles was fatally shot by two Seattle police officers who responded to a burglary call at her apartment on June 18. The officers said Lyles confronted them with a knife and they opened fire.

An autopsy released by Koehler showed Lyles was shot seven times. One bullet grazed her uterus and another struck the fetus of a boy. She was four months pregnant.

Speaking at a news conference Friday, Lyles' father talked about missing his daughter and the mother of his four grandchildren. Three of her four children were in the home at the time of the shooting.

"From what I understand her one-year-old son and her four-year-old daughter was crawling all over her (Charleena's) body."

Lyles was known by Seattle Police for having a mental condition and was told by a judge earlier in the year to get a mental health evaluation.

The suit states Seattle police were called 23 times to Lyles' home in a six month period. It claimed that officers knew she had a history of mental health issues yet, "failed to plan for de-escalation procedures should she experience a mental health outbust as she did two weeks before; failed to consider possible danger to children by a police visit."

"They show up with guns," Koehler said, at the time. "They don't have de-escalation tools because the one that had the taser they left it back at the office."

One of the two officers, Jason Anderson, had been issued a taser but was not wearing it at the time of the incident. He is now under investigation by the Office of Professional Accountability.

The Seattle Police Officers Guild pointed out that using a taser when someone was threatening with deadly force would have been against department policy.

The shooting has drawn widespread controversy and has led to marches, a sit-in at the Seattle Pride Parade, and a town hall at the University of Washington.

Seattle Police are in the process of completing an internal investigation into the use of force in her shooting death.

© 2017 KING-TV


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