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Seattle Shooting Raises Questions About Officers' De-Escalation Efforts

Seattle Shooting Raises Questions About Officers' De-Escalation Efforts

Charleena Lyles of Seattle was shot and killed by police at her home with her children present after she called 911 to report a possible break in.

Seattle police said they received a burglary call from Lyles around 10 a.m., prompting a two-officer response due to a previous encounter they'd had with the woman earlier this month.

"While property crimes reports typically require only one officer to be dispatched, two officers were dispatched to this particular call for service because of a recent officer safety caution associated with the caller", a Seattle police statement said as to why the extra officer was warranted.

Friends of Charleena also told me that she had a deep distrust of police officers but likely called them that morning because she felt she had no other choice. They said she had expressed concerns that authorities would take her children - adding that one of them has Down syndrome. Monika Williams, Lyles's sister, told the Seattle Times, referring to the stun gun commonly used by law enforcement.

The Seattle Police Department released an audio clip of the shooting, and you can hear the two officers yell "get back" before the gunshots. One officer called for "fast back-up" and said Lyles had two knives. Both officers then asked the woman to step back before shooting the woman, according to the transcript.

The officers who shot Lyles are now on a paid administrative leave which is a standard protocol in a shooting.

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There were three children inside the home at the time of the shooting, police said.

Lyles' family said on Sunday that the shooting could have been avoided and that they believed race - she's African-American - was a factor.

However, family members have described Lyles as suffering from an increasingly worrisome mental health struggle.

For the next two minutes, officers talked to Lyles about the reported breakin and began taking inventory of the missing items.

The officers get her name then she invites them into her house to show them that some of her possessions were missing.

The advocacy group MomsRising said Lyles had four children and was expecting a fifth.

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According to the dash cam audio, they seemed to be having a normal conversation with her, as she tells them about what's been stolen - she confirms a missing Xbox.

O'Toole said officers have a choice of less-lethal weapons they carry, including a taser, pepper spray, or a baton.

"Do our lives really matter to them?" he asked.

"Accountability for the police, accountability for the other supportive systems that play a role in our community". A May 2016 report by the Chicago Tribune found that in over a dozen cases, judges and prosecutors rarely impose any kind of consequences on police officers who provide false witness testimonies in court.

Officer 2: Wait, is this the one with the three kids? "Lyles' family is concerned for her and they have a strong desire to stabilize her mental health condition before it gets worse". The woman also made "unusual comments" about wanting to "morph into a wolf" and "cloning her daughter", the report said.

The video from the apartment hallway has no audio, but it shows the officers entering the apartment. At 9:38, one of the officers' arms can be seen in the doorway. "This will be fully investigated". What's not yet clear is whether the officers had the time or physical space to use de-escalation techniques, and whether the presence of children influenced the decision to use deadly force.

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