Family of Charleena Lyles set to sue city of Seattle

The estate of Charleena Lyles filed a wrongful death claim against Seattle. Back in June, two Seattle Police officers shot and killed the young mother, who many believe suffered from mental illness.

The estate of Charleena Lyles has taken the first step in filing a lawsuit against the city of Seattle.

Attorneys representing Charles Lyles, father and representative of her estate, filed a claim Friday morning for wrongful death against the city. The claim asserts Seattle Police violated her civil rights, that its officers were negligent, and that they violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, because she was mentally ill.

"Even to this day it seems like a dream that she's gone," said Charles Lyles at a press conference on Friday. 

"I cry a lot. Sometimes I wake up at night. I can't eat," he said.

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

Three of her four children were in the home at the time of the shooting. 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.

Attorneys Karen Koehler, Ed Moore, and Travis Jameson, who filed the claim, said SPD had responded 23 times to Lyles' home in a six month period. The claim said officers knew she had a history of mental health issues yet, "...zero time was spent coming up with any strategy or plan...to ensure the safety of Charleena and her young children." 

"They show up with guns," said Koehler. "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.

The claim did not disclose the amount of money Charles Lyles is seeking. 

© 2017 KING-TV


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