Officer in Seattle shooting: 'I don't have a taser'

Wednesday, 21 Jun, 2017

(Genna Martin/ via AP). "They are being cared for by other family members at this time".

I had the distinct honor and privilege earlier this summer of being the featured speaker for an wonderful fundraiser in Seattle.

Police in Seattle shot and killed a 30-year-old woman, who family members said was pregnant, on Sunday after she called 911 about a possible burglary - and now an investigation is underway into the officers' use of force.

One officer calls for backup saying that they were dealing with "a woman with two knives".

Florida Carroll holds her grandson Quayvis Carroll as they visit a memorial for a woman set up outside an apartment building at Magnuson Park in Seattle on Sunday, June 18, 2017.

But the confrontation quickly erupted. Police were responding to a burglary call and claimed the woman brandished a knife before officers shot and killed her.

The transcript of the police recording released by authorities shows that one of them said "get back" and "Tase her" and the other officer replied: "I don't have a taser", according to the Associated Press. Both officers reportedly fired their weapons after she showed a knife.

Further details of the incident weren't immediately available.

The Seattle Police Department confirmed to the paper that both officers involved were white.

Lyles' family told reporters on Sunday that she suffered from mental health issues and appeared to be having a breakdown of some sort when she called the police for help.

Lyles' friends and family wondered aloud how police could shoot and kill a mother in front of her children.

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

She was "tiny", she said, and believe her race - she is African-American - was a factor. Her family members also stated that she was three months pregnant and had long struggled with her mental illness. One of the officers who shot Lyles had been certified as a crisis intervention specialist. Monika Williams, Lyles's sister, told the Seattle Times, referring to the stun gun commonly used by law enforcement. They could have taken her down.

Following what seemed like a cordial exchange, the two officers mentioned previous calls to Lyles's home, including a June 5 incident described as a "physical domestic disturbance". They said she had expressed concerns that authorities would take her children - adding that one of them has Down syndrome. A woman's voice responds, "Yes".

The woman's voice responds, "Do it! do it!" "Do it!" An officer radios "We need help!" and the police say "Get back!" again three more times before five gunshots are heard.

On Monday evening, police released video.

Dash cam footage of the June 18 shooting as well as surveillance footage from the apartment building was also released. At one point, she allegedly stood up with the scissors in hands and said, "Ain't none of y'all leaving here today". At the end of the video, an officer can be seen partially backing out of the doorway with his arms raised.

The decree was put in place after a Department of Justice investigation concluded that Seattle officers escalated situations, and used unnecessary or excessive force, when arresting individuals for minor offenses, according to a 2011 federal report. "Yeah", the other officer responds.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in a statement Sunday called the shooting a tragedy.

Lyles' case should be forwarded to a mental health court, the report said.