The autopsy report has been released of a pregnant woman who was shot and killed by cops after she called to report a robbery in June.
Charleena Lyles, 30 year old mother of 4, was about 4 months pregnant on June 18 when she called police to report an Xbox stolen at her Seattle apartment.
The details of the confrontation are unclear, but in less than 3 minutes, the 2 officers opened fire on the mentally ill woman in front of three of her children.
The officers, Jason Anderson and Steven McNew, claimed that they started shooting at Lyles when she lunged at them holding knives.
The autopsy report, released Wednesday, shows that Lyles was shot 7 times, 2 of them were in the back and 1 was through her unborn baby.
‘Not one shot should have been fired, let alone seven,’ lawyer Karen Koehler told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
One of the bullets perforated her uterus, striking her unborn baby boy. Both mother and son died at the hospital.
The report also included toxicology reports, showing that Lyles did not have alcohol or drugs in her system at the time she was killed by police.
Her father, Charles Lyles said, ‘Hearing the details of the shooting just makes me feel more empty. I lost my daughter and my next grandson. I just don’t have the words.’
The officer’s story seems suspicious to begin with, but considering the 2 shots in the back, family members are questioning it even more.
‘Did they shoot her as she fell to the ground? Was she running away?’ cousin Katrina Johnson asked. ‘How did she get shot in the back? I still don’t know that and understand that, but any which way, it was excessive force. Seven times for her little pregnant 100-pound self was out of control.’
Koehler wanted to release the autopsy report to get rid of the false assumptions people made about the victim.
‘If you have been reading the dialogue you might have assumed she was a poor, single black woman with multiple children who must have been on drugs, and that is a false assumption and a false narrative,’ Koehler told the Seattle Times.
Jason Anderson (left) and Steven McNew (right) are the two officers who shot Lyles dead. They are on paid administrative leave pending the results of an internal investigation
On the day of the fatal shooting, Lyles called police reporting a robbery at her apartment, saying that she came home and found her Xbox missing. Surveillance footage would later show that no one entered her apartment in the hours before she was shot.
The Seattle Police Department is still investigating the deadly shooting, and both officers remain on paid administrative leave in the meantime.
Earlier this month, Lyles’ family filed a claim against the city – the first step in filing a lawsuit. Ninety days after the claim is filed, the family will be able to formally sue.
The family’s claim says the two officers ‘lost their composure’ when Lyles came at them with knives, and that they failed to order her to drop her weapons as a warning before shooting.
They also say the two cops knew about Lyles’ mental illness and should have had a plan for dealing with her, as is required by the 1999 Americans with Disabilities Act.
‘The police narrative is that she had a knife and they were justified in shooting her dead,’ Koehler said. ‘They don’t want to talk about the fact that they knew she had recent mental-health issues but chose to go in without any game plan.’
(Article By James Carter)