Settlement reached in death of pregnant woman shot by Seattle police officers in 2017


Settlement reached in Charleena Lyles wrongful death lawsuit

The City of Seattle will pay $3.5 million to settle a lawsuit in the wrongful death of Charleena Lyles.

The city of Seattle will pay $3.5 million to settle a lawsuit in the wrongful death of Charleena Lyles, who was 30-years-old when she was shot multiple times and killed by police in 2017. 

Lawyers in the case said Lyles, who was a pregnant mom of four, called 911 on June 18 to report a burglary at her apartment.

Court documents said Lyles was shot seven times by two Seattle Police officers after police claimed she charged at them with knives.

According to her lawyers, she had a history of mental illness and domestic abuse. Lead attorney Karen Koehler said officers failed to de-escalate the situation and could’ve taken less-lethal action.

“I just think about someone so weak and so vulnerable, and all she wanted to do was protect them [her children]. They shot to kill her. They didn’t shoot to wound her. They shot to kill her dead,” Koehler said. 

“I just want to say, no amount of money will bring my mom back. I appreciate the money and it helps us, but we won’t get my mother’s emotional support,” said Q, Lyles’ son. 

The $3.5 million settlement will financially support Lyles’ children, who range in age from 5 to 16-years-old.

RELATED: Washington Supreme Court expands options for families of people killed by police

In regards to the settlement, a spokesperson with the Seattle City Attorney’s Office said:

“It is indisputable that this has been a tragedy, and we are glad to have some level of closure for the parties. we stand by the multiple layers of review of this event and are pleased that the officers will be dismissed from the lawsuit. the remaining parties will be mutually seeking judicial approval for a resolution of all claims.”

Seattle Police also said: 

“We too stand by the multiple layers of review this case has undergone and hope that this resolution brings closure to all in our community affected by this incident, especially to Ms. Lyles’s children, extended family, and to the officers involved.”

The family said this is just the start of their healing process and they want the officers to be held criminally liable.

The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office says the case is slated for an inquest. An inquest looks for the facts in a case and could determine if criminal charges are filed.

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