Seattle police: No choice but lethal force in fatal shooting

Posted June 26, 2017

On a weekday afternoon in March, Seattle police officers fenced off a city block as they tried to persuade a suicidal man in the middle of a downtown street to drop a knife. Lyles was black; the officers, were white.

Her family and community members blasted the cops' decision to use deadly force: "Why couldn't they have Tased her?" said Lyles' sister, Monika Williams.

Both officers opened fire on Lyles with Anderson claiming the 30-year-old had cornered McNew in the cramped kitchen. But she also anxious they would be taken from her because an abusive ex-boyfriend, the father of the youngest children, was causing problems for her.

But he said that he wouldn't have used it in that situation because he was trained to use lethal force when being attacked by someone with a knife.

Police also on Thursday released the audio of Lyles' Sunday morning 911 call asking for an officer to respond to her Seattle apartment for a break-in, The Seattle Times reported (https://goo.gl/atTsw6 ).

But a confrontation erupted.

But the other officer replied, 'I don't have a Taser, ' according to the police audio of the shooting.

"She was talking normally and interacting with us normally and then all of a sudden, she's trying to stab me with a knife", Anderson recalled.

Anderson, who joined the department in 2015, said he drew his pistol, asked for fast backup on his radio and, along with McNew, told Lyles to "get back".

Seattle has been under a 2012 consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department that resolved allegations of unconstitutional policing.

McNew picked up the child, and a third officer who arrived began giving first aid to Lyles.

After the shooting, McNew said, 'one of the little babies crawls out from behind and right on top of her, her upper body, you know resting his head against her'.

Charles Lyles said his daughter liked to take her children to carnivals and do fun things with them.

Whitcomb said the department is "grieving for her children and her family" and struggling with the notion that earlier mental health or other support for Lyles, a pregnant mother of four who had been a victim of domestic violence, might have prevented what happened.

"There will be a thorough investigation", Whitcomb said.