King County opens inquest into Seattle police shooting of Charleena Lyles
An inquest into the fatal shooting of Charleena Lyles by Seattle police officers was ordered by King County Executive Dow Constantine Tuesday.
In June 2017, Lyles called police to her apartment, reporting a burglary. Four-months pregnant at the time, she allegedly attempted to stab the two officers on the scene. The officers shot her seven times. Family members have said Lyles had mental health problems and that the confrontation could have been resolved without her death.
Officers found no evidence of a burglary.
The Seattle Police Department’s Force Review Board ruled unanimously in November 2018 that the two officers used proper tactics and decision-making, followed their training, and did not violate deescalation and crisis-intervention policies. In January 2019, a lawsuit against the officers was thrown out.
Now, King County will conduct its own investigation, using “a pool of retired judges serv(ing) as pro tem Inquest Administrators to oversee the process.” A staff attorney will run the proceedings and provide assistance to the administrators.
The inquest will have “the chief law enforcement officer” testify about SPD’s use of force training. A verdict will be reached by a jury of six, with a slightly different directive than what’s been determined int he past.
“Instead of being asked whether the officer had reason to fear for their life, jurors will now be asked to determine whether the officer’s actions complied with department training and policy,” a news release from the King County Executive’s office reads.