USA police under scrutiny over pregnant woman's shooting

Posted June 20, 2017

Seattle police fatally shot a 30-year-old mother of four in her home after they responded to her emergency call about a burglary.

The Times reports that both officers fired their weapons.

Seattle police say one person has died in an officer-involved shooting near Magnuson Park in the Sand Point neighborhood Saturday.

Police say children inside the apartment were not injured.

Police said several children were in Lyles' apartment when she was shot.

The report also said family members told police Lyles was experiencing a sudden decline in her mental health condition and had not behaved similarly in the past. "They could have pushed her aside like this", swiping the air with her palm.

Monika Williams says her sister was tiny and had mental health problems. "I could have taken her down", Williams said, overcome with emotion.

In recently released audio of the shooting, officers can be heard yelling "Get back!"

She tells them she left her door unlocked while she went to the store and that while she was out her Xbox was stolen.

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"We need help", and "Get back!"

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is also launching an independent investigation into the tragic incident.

Lyles had an extensive criminal record. Seattle Police Department has been under federal oversight since 2012, after investigators from the DOJ's Civil Rights Division concluded that its officers routinely defaulted to excessive force and engaged in a pattern and practice of racially biased policing. Because of that history, two officers, instead of one, were dispatched in response to the burglary call on Sunday, authorities said.

"She's not big at all", said Lyles' brother, Domico Jones.

The clip, which you can listen to here (caution: graphic), begins with a brief conversation between two officers about Lyles' prior encounters with police.

Police said both officers opened fire when the woman, whom they have not formally identified, confronted them "armed with a knife".

"My thoughts are with the many people impacted, including three children and the responding officers", Murray said.

In the wake of federally mandated reforms to the police department, SPD's Force Investigation Team as well as detectives from Crime Scene Investigators, were conducting a top to bottom review of the scene. Of the 447 people who have been shot and killed by police so far in 2017, 102 of them have been black. 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.