SPD guild president: Tasing Lyles would be a ‘violation of department policy’

Jun 23, 2017, 7:53 AM | Updated: 9:44 pm
Taser, Charleena Lyles fatal shooting...
The two officers who shot and killed Charleena Lyles acted within department policy, according to a review board. (SPD)

The head of the Seattle Police Guild says all the evidence he’s seen so far related to the fatal shooting of Charleena Lyles suggests it was a case of suicide by cop.

Kevin Stuckey, who says he is not involved in the investigation, also told KIRO Radio’s Jason and Burns that critics who say the officers who shot her should have had and used Tasers are wrong.

“Even if they did have a Taser, this would not be a Taser situation,” he said. “As a matter of fact, we are trained to meet lethal force with lethal force.”

But it’s unknown if the situation would have been different had one of the officers pulled out a Taser, instead of a gun.

“Less lethal doesn’t always work. I’ve been around people who get Tased who are in crisis who pull the Taser darts out. I’ve seen people pepper sprayed move through it like they’ve been sprayed in the face with water. It’s not the end all, be all.”

“When [Lyles] acted the way she did, they had 2.5 to 3 seconds to react,” he continued. “In 2.5 to 3 seconds, you fall back on all kinds of things you’re taught … Why he said it [tase her], you’d have to talk to him. But I’m telling you, that actually would have been a violation of department policy.”

Stuckey explained that an officer must have lethal cover if he/she wants to deploy less lethal force against a lethal force situation. A third person is also needed to actually handcuff the person. The officers were not prepared for that level of responses as it was a “route code burglary call,” according to Stuckey.

He says the fact that Lyles had knives she refused to drop gave officers the right to respond with lethal force.

Meanwhile, SPD released hours of footage from outside Lyles apartment the day of the shooting that shows she never left her apartment that day and, according to the footage, it appears nobody broke in — which is why she called the police.

The department also now admits the officers did get a mental health warning about Lyles, despite earlier reports to they hadn’t.

You can listen to the entire interview here.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
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SPD guild president: Tasing Lyles would be a ‘violation of department policy’