This is the message we'll send to Seattle Mayor Edward B. Murray and King County Prosecutor Attorney Dan Satterberg on your behalf:
Charleena Lyles deserves justice!
They. keep. killing. us.
Only two days after the cop who killed Philando Castile got away without a conviction, 30-year-old pregnant mother of four, Charleena Lyles, was gunned down by police in Seattle.
At every single turn, the Seattle Police Department failed. First, a couple weeks before her death, they ARRESTED her when she called for help with an abusive boyfriend. She spent 9 days in jail, because she was a survivor of domestic violence and struggling with mental health. Seattle police knew she needed help, not guns--they even had it marked in their system. But when she was robbed and called the police again, instead of sending a mental health practitioner to her home they sent more police officers than they normally would. On an audio recording, you can hear the two officers discussing her on their way to Charleena's home. They KNEW she was struggling with mental health. They were even equipped with non-lethal ways to subdue her. But when she opened the door, frightened, holding a knife, they reached for guns first. They didn't even TRY to de-escalate the situation to help her. They just chose to kill her--in front of her children.
It's obvious. These officers should be fired immediately and indicted on criminal charges--but that's just a start. We need full transparency in this investigation. The police should release the names of the officers who killed Charleena along with all video footage, not just the audio recording. We must demand that Seattle police aren't allowed to investigate themselves. And we must change the laws that make it nearly impossible to prosecute officers that use deadly force. Even when we know the system is designed to fail us, we can't stop fighting for justice. Will you join us?
Here is the Petition:
Dear Mayor Ed Murray and Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg,
The senseless murder of Charleena Lyles by two Seattle police officers is not only tragic but it should have never happened. She was a mother and loved one. It's time for the Seattle Police Department along with the two officers who showed up to Charleena's house and killed her be held accountable for their careless actions.
This could have all been prevented if the Seattle Police Department followed correct protocol for engaging with people with mental health issues. Now Charleena Lyles and her family deserve justice and it starts with a thorough investigation. From the decision to send more police to her house instead of mental health practitioners to the decision to kill her rather than de-escalate the situation, Seattle Police failed Charleena at every single turn. I join people across the country in rage and a demand for justice.
We demand the following:
- The immediate firing and indictment of the two officers who killed Charleena Lyles.
- Full transparency. The public deserves a release of both officer's names and all video recordings of the incident.
- Prosecuting Attorney Satterberg must take action to procure a special prosecutor to run an independent investigation. The Seattle Police Department cannot investigate itself.
- The City of Seattle must take action to change the laws that govern how deeply we are able to hold police accountable and allow fair prosecution of deadly use of force.
- The City of Seattle must also take clear and forceful steps to change how it responds to the mental health needs of Black communities—police, incarceration, and violence do not solve mental health issues, but only exacerbate them.