So disturbing! Seattle Police have released the audiotape of the fatal shooting of Charleena Lyles, after officers opened fire on the mother of three inside her apartment on June 19. You can listen to it right here.
Oh my gosh, this is just so heartbreaking. After a massive public outcry following the fatal police shooting of Charleena Lyles inside her apartment on June 18, the department has released audio of the exchange that led up to the shooting, including the moment the gunfire erupted. The 30-year-old mother of three was known to one of the officers, who had responded to a domestic violence call at the same apartment back on June 5 where she threatened him with scissors. Because she had a prior history of mental health problems, two officers were sent to her place when she called 911 to report a burglary. “Wait, is this the one with, like, the three kids?” one officer asks as they’re heading up to her door. “Yeah,” the other officer responds. “Yeah, so this gal is the one who was making all the [inaudible] statements about how her and her daughter were gonna turn into wolves.”
Charleena let the officers in and they had a routine conversation where she said that she had briefly left her apartment with the door unlocked and that someone had come in and stolen an X-Box. The mom and the officers all have very calm voices while discussing the possible crime when things suddenly escalate quickly. “Get back! Get back!” one of the officer shouts and seconds later gunfire erupts after the cops say she lunged at them with a knife. You can hear the shots ring out on tape and what makes this even more devastating is a child can be heard in the background. Charleena was mom to three kids, two boys and a girl, ages 11, four and one.
Community activists in Seattle are furious that the officers didn’t try to use means of less that lethal force to stop Charleena, even though according to Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, neither officer was armed with a Taser. “The message I’m trying to get out right now is that this is a horrible tragedy all around,” she said at a news conference. “The community is distraught. The family is distraught. The officers are distraught.” After listening to the harrowing audio, it’s easy to understand why.
HollywoodLifers, what is your takeaway from the police shooting audio? Do you think the officers felt in fear for their lives? Or did they overreact?