Skip Nav
History of Drag and Drag Queen Culture
LGBTQ
Sashay Through the History of Drag Queen Culture
What Is Fentanyl?
Politics
The Opioid Epidemic's Biggest Culprit Isn't Heroin Anymore — It's Something Deadlier
Politics
Rachel Maddow Had to Stop Her Segment After Tearing Up Over Trump's "Tender Age" Migrant Shelters

Pregnant Woman Shot and Killed by Seattle Cops

People Are Outraged After Seattle Police Shoot and Kill a 30-Year-Old Pregnant Woman

On Sunday, June 18, Seattle police officers shot and killed a 30-year-old black woman known to struggle with mental health issues after she called them for help. Charleena Lyles was home with her three children when she called 911 to report a possible burglary in her apartment, and now, her friends and family are left trying to understand how this led to her untimely death.

According to the Seattle Times, two white, armed officers showed up at the apartment. Lyles was reportedly carrying a knife when they arrived. Her family members say not only was she several months pregnant, but insist she was too "tiny" to be an actual threat to the police officers. "Why couldn't they have Tased her?" Monika Williams, Lyles's sister, asked. "They could have taken her down. I could have taken her down."

Audio of the incident has been released. In it, screaming and what sounds like jostling can be heard, with officers repeatedly saying "Hey, get back." Police say a previous interaction with Lyles flagged a "hazard response" to her call; her sister said during that previous call, she had armed herself with scissors to protect against a boyfriend.

Lyles's family believes that race played a major role in her fatal shooting. The Seattle Times also reports that the Seattle Police Department "has been under a federal consent decree since 2012 after a Department of Justice investigation found its officers routinely engaged in excessive use of force, most often against people with mental or substance abuse problems."

While police violence against black men has been prominent in the news, many are pointing to this situation to show how black women are impacted, as well.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray released a statement explaining that this is a "tragedy for all involved." He said there will be a thorough investigation following Lyles's death.

From Our Partners
Rachel Maddow Tears Up Over Migrant Shelters
How to Help Migrant Children Being Separated From Parents
Laura Bush's Essay on the Zero-Tolerance Immigration Policy
Hillary Clinton Tweets About Her Emails June 2018
Catholic Cardinal Condemns Donald Trump's Immigration Policy
Ximena Ospina "Undocuqueer" LGBTQ Pride Month Interview 2018
Adam Rippon Pride Month Interview 2018
Masterpiece Cakeshop Case Couple Pride Month Interview 2018
English Teacher Edits Trump-Signed Letter
What Is Fentanyl?
What Is the Order of Succession to the Presidency?
Old Clip of Paul Manafort Unable to Answer Russia Question
From Our Partners
Latest News
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds