Seattle police officers have reportedly shot and killed Charleena Lyles, a 30-year old pregnant woman, in her home in front of her children.
Lyles unknowingly put her life in jeopardy after calling 911 and reporting an attempted burglary into her apartment. When police arrived, they claimed that she displayed a knife, prompting them to open fire. Charleeena was Black, and the two officers are White.
According to her family, Lyles was three months pregnant and had a history of mental health struggles. They expressed deep sorrow and frustration behind a knee-jerk reaction by trained officers that resulted in another Black fatality.
“Why couldn’t they have Tased her?” Lyles’s sister, Monika Williams, asked the Seattle Times. “They could have taken her down. I could have taken her down.”
Her sister continued, “There’s no reason for her to be shot in front of her babies. The Seattle police shot the wrong one today.”
Other family members told the Seattle Times that they believe her race was a factor in her death.
Ed Murray, the mayor of Seattle, released a statement saying the shooting in Seattle was “a tragedy for all involved.” He promised a full and thorough investigation, citing “historic police reforms” that are “in place to address such crises.”
According to the Washington Post, Lyles is the third Black woman to be killed by police officers in the United States this year, and the second one bearing a child.
The other was Alteria Woods of Gilford, Fla. who was shot and killed during a SWAT team raid of her boyfriend’s apartment in March.
She was four months pregnant when Indian River County Sheriff’s deputies targeted what they suspected to be a drug den.