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Pregnant woman killed by police after reporting burglary; family demands answers

20 June 2017

Police said several children were in the apartment at the time of the shooting and were unhurt. "The officers immediately performed first aid while the Seattle Fire Department responded, but the fire department declared the woman deceased once they arrived", the Seattle police said.

"I listened to the audio time and time again and got the same impression of just how quickly things changed", Seattle Police Chief Kathlettn O'Toole said.

What the recording does not show, according to official police accounts, is that the woman brandished a knife at the two officers before they responded with lethal force. She was taken into custody that night, and the case was referred to mental health court. Both officers, who have not been identified, opened fire on Lyles. "You big f***ing men, I can take her down, I know you can", her sister, Monika Williams, told KOMO.

A police audio recording of officers shouting "get back!" and the woman saying "do it! do it!" are among the few clues about what went wrong before she was shot and killed on Sunday.

Before the shooting, the officers can be heard discussing previous calls, including for domestic violence, to Lyles' apartment.

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In the four-minute long audio clip released Monday, officers could initially be heard speaking calmly with Lyles about a stolen Xbox.

"There's no reason for her to be shot in front of her babies", Williams told reporters, according to the Seattle Times.

As part of reforms within the Seattle Police Department, officers must undergo more de-escalation and crisis intervention training. "My thoughts are with the many people impacted, including the three children and the responding officers", he said in a statement. Lyles was several months pregnant and had been battling "mental health problems" for at least the past year, according to the Seattle Times. They believe that her race was a factor.

"What is she going do to all you police?"

"We are here today grieving over another devastating encounter between the African-American community and the police", Murray said.

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Her cousin, Kenny Isabell, pastor of The Way of Holiness Church of God in Seattle, also said he was frustrated with police killing black people.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has promised a thorough review of what led up to Lyles death.

Journalist Steven Hsieh shared videos on Twitter from a neighbor of Charleena Lyles that captured police officers approaching the Magnuson Park apartment buildings.

He added that the investigation will be reviewed by a federal monitoring team supervising a consent decree involving the Seattle Police Department.

During a 28-month span from 2014 to 2016, incidents in which Seattle officers used force that caused or could be expected to cause injury fell at least 60 percent from a similar period from 2009 to 2011.

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