Charleena Lyles, a 30-year- black mother of four, was shot and killed by two white Seattle police officers in a transitional housing complex for the homeless on Sunday, leaving her family and the local community demanding responsibility for the officers' actions.
The recording, captured by microphones linked wirelessly to the dashboard video system in the officers' patrol vehicle, was publicly released in the interest of maintaining "transparency" in the investigation of Sunday's shooting, the Seattle Police Department said.
Monika Williams, front, a relative of the victim, is comforted at the scene a police shooting at the Brettler Family Place Apartments at Magnuson Park, Sunday June 18, 2017, in Seattle. Jamieson says it's unclear if the children witnessed the shooting.
Police said several children were in the apartment at the time of the shooting and were unhurt.
When officers went to the fourth floor, they confronted by Lyles who was allegedly wielding a knife.
Lyles' relatives told news outlets that she had battled mental health issues for the past year. 'Cause they didn't know whether to take her to jail or take her to mental health. "I could have taken her down", Williams said, overcome with emotion.
A police statement released with the audio stated that the officers indeed had "less lethal force options" on their person at the time. Both officers opened fire and the woman was struck multiple times.
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"We need help", an officer says.
The two officers involved have been placed on administrative leave.
Lhora Murray, who lives directly below Lyles, said that she heard the gunshots on Sunday morning and that police handed her two of Lyles' children: a 10-year-old and a toddler. Detectives have thus far justified the shooting saying Lyles was brandishing a knife.
"She's not big at all", said Lyles' brother, Domico Jones. According to law enforcement officials, because of this her name and residence were flagged in records so a larger police presence was sent to her home.
"At this point the footage is part of the police investigation", said Mike Buchman, Solid Ground Communications Director.
The officers can be heard talking to Lyles about the burglary on the audio recording of the incident. "Both officers fired their duty weapons, striking the woman". They don't believe police needed to use deadly force.
A court-ordered federal monitor issued a report in April asserting that the department had made a positive turnaround and that use of force by officers was down, reported the Times.
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