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Mother of 4 killed by officers was wielding knife

20 June 2017

Seattle police say officers responding to a report of a burglary at Lyles' apartment Sunday were confronted by a 30-year-old woman armed with a knife.

Seattle police said they received a burglary call from Lyles around 10 a.m., prompting a two-officer response due to a previous encounter they'd had with the woman earlier this month.

Monika Williams, Lyles sister, told reporters that her there was "no reason" for her sister to be "shot in front of her babies".

"She let them in, then she started talking all insane about how the officers weren't gonna leave", an officer said in the audio, discussing the previous visit.

On Sunday, Seattle police shot and killed Charleena Lyles, a 30-year-old pregnant mother of four.

Lhora Murray, who lives directly below Lyles, said that she heard the gunshots on Sunday morning and that police handed her two of Lyles' children: a 10-year-old and a toddler.

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In an audio recording released by authorities yesterday, the officers can be heard speaking with Lyles and shouting "Hey, get back!"

Both officers involved will be placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation, in accordance with department protocol, according to the department's statement.

Authorities confirmed that children were present in the apartment at the time of the shooting, though it is unknown who witnessed it. Police were seen carrying children away from the scene.

Charleena Lyles "had mental health issues", her family said. They take down her contact information and confirm what was stolen. You can then hear a ruckus, followed by the cops telling someone to get back, and then there is the sound of gunfire.

The discourse proceeds calmly at first, as police ask Lyles questions and she responds.

Sean O'Donnell, captain of the department's north precinct, where the shooting took place, said one of the officers is an 11-year veteran of the force and the other is "newer to the department", reported the Times.

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Beth Caldwell, a former civil rights attorney in Seattle, weighed in on Sunday's tragedy and highlighted the racial dynamics that likely came into play in Lyles' killing.

Before entering her apartment, officers can be heard on audio recording saying Charleena had been "talking all insane about how the officers weren't gonna leave". I could have taken her down. Of the 447 people who have been shot and killed by police so far in 2017, 102 of them have been black.

The fatal shooting comes as Seattle Police Department deals with a 2012 "consent decree", which called for federal oversight of department's policies and practices.

A police statement released with the audio stated that the officers indeed had "less lethal force options" on their person at the time. "She just told them to call my sister and tell my sister gets here". Both officers, who have not been identified, opened fire on Lyles. In 2011, a comprehensive Department of Justice investigation found the department had engaged in a pattern of using excessive force.

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

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