It is starting to sound like a broken record every time there is a deadly, police killing involving a black person in America. The officers claim their life was endangered, then they are placed on paid administrative leave, where they will remain until they are found not guilty. Well, just a few days after Philando Castile‘s killers were acquitted for murder, another black person has been shot and killed by the police. This time 30-year-old pregnant Charleena Lyles was gun down by Seattle police officers on Sunday morning in front of her children. It is documented on Lyles’ record that she suffers from mental health issues.
On Sunday (Jun 19), Seattle Police officers were responding to a home break-in and when the police officers were greeted by Lyles. According to the police audio tape, initially, everything was copasetic between the officers and the victim. There was an exchange of dialogue and then the police yell “Get back!” That is when they opened fire on the pregnant woman stating that Lyles charged at them with a large kitchen knife, leaving them feeling as if their lives were in danger.
Monika Williams describes her sister as being small in nature and her mental state was denigrating over than past year. According to the Huffington Post, she has a son with Down Syndrome who requires “round-the-clock attention.” Of course, many are outraged about the way the responding officers handled the mentally ill woman and the family is demanding answers to why was she killed when she “weighed nothing wet?” Why is it their first instinct to fire their weapons when in combative encounters with blacks? Are officers not trained to handle mental patients? Are they not trained de-escalate and disarm a person? Why didn’t the officers use their tasers or batons to disable Lyles?
A black disabled woman called the police for help, but instead was gunned down by police. Who should we call for help? #CharleenaLyles
— Blair LM Kelley (@profblmkelley) June 19, 2017
One of the officers is 20-year veteran, raising the question of how could a seasoned police officer with more than two decades on the force not be trained to disarm a pregnant woman without harming her? The sad truth is the system is not and was not designed to protect Black people. For when the system was created blacks were considered property and had no rights, but the record keeps spinning and playing the same sad tune. #SayHerName
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