The Seattle Police Department on Monday evening released a dash cam video and a transcript of the moment Charleena Lyles—a 30-year-old black mother believed to have been pregnant with a fifth child—was fatally shot in Magnuson Park after calling police to report a burglary. Three of Lyles's children were in the room when officers killed her.
The transcript helps fill in some holes to the hazy conversation between officers leading up to the shots fired. Most notably, one of the officers told another to tase Lyles (at 7:05 in the dash cam embedded below) when it sounded like the situation began to escalate. The officer replied, "I don't have a Taser," while they were both shouting for Lyles to get back. Seattle police said the officers were equipped with "less lethal force options," though apparently that didn't include Tasers.
For those who don't want to listen to the audio, here's the transcript—near the end, it's slightly off. (Officers talk about the Taser before Lyles's "fuckers" comment, and before one calls for help and describes "a woman with two knives.") The transcript begins with officers discussing a June 5 incident with Lyles as they're heading to her apartment, located at 6818 62nd Avenue Northeast. She had no "mental caution," just an "officer safety caution."
Here's what happened just two weeks earlier: Officers on June 5 were dispatched to her apartment after a report of a physical domestic disturbance, according to the Seattle police narrative released Monday. By the time they arrived, the male suspect was gone. Officer Davidson Lim said he arrived to find Lyles sitting on the couch with her four-year-old daughter, armed with "a pair of extra long metal shears" and threatening two officers already there. Both officers had their service pistols drawn, according to the report, while they told Lyles to drop the scissors; she eventually let them fall to the floor. Police called family members, who then responded to the scene and got ahold of Lyles's daughter.
"After talking with Lyles's family, we learned that Lyles has experienced a recent sudden and rapid decline in her mental health," the report said. "When we explained to her family the behavior and statements Lyles made to us, they were surprised and informed us she had not had any behavior similar to this in the past. Lyles's family is concerned for her and they have a strong desire to stabilize her mental health condition before it gets worse."
Lyles was then taken to the North Precinct without incident.
Updated June 20, 2017, at 12pm: This post includes that the male suspect of the disturbance left by the time officers arrived.