News Roundup

Charleena Lyles, Government Shutdown, and Health Care

A roundup of three top stories to watch out for this week.

By Hayat Norimine June 26, 2017

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Council member Kshama Sawant speaks at a rally in front of the Brettler Family Place apartments in North Seattle, among family members and supporters of Charleena Lyles on June 20, 2017. 

Charleena Lyles

The Seattle Police Department at 6:55pm on Friday released 86 pages' worth of transcripts of interviews with the police officers who last week fatally shot Charleena Lyles, a 30-year-old black mother of four.

And the biggest revelation is that Jason Anderson, an officer trained to use a Taser, stopped carrying his Taser for about two weeks after its battery died and didn't tell his superiors. SPD policy requires that Taser-trained officers carry their Tasers on their shifts. Anderson also said he wasn't trained how to disarm a person with a knife, but said that the situation warranted lethal force regardless. He said he was carrying a baton and pepper spray. 

Audio and a transcript of the incident showed Steven McNew, who voluntarily trained another 40 hours to become certified in crisis intervention, told Anderson to tase Lyles seconds before the officers fired shots. "I don't have a Taser," Anderson responded. The Seattle Times on Saturday reported that the Office of the Professional Accountability is currently investigating Anderson for the policy violation.

The city council will hold a public hearing at 6pm on Tuesday. 

Government Shutdown

Senate Republicans and House Democrats are still playing their game of chicken as they face a government shutdown on Saturday. They have yet to come up with a solution to the McCleary decision, a Supreme Court mandate for the state to fund basic education, which led to local jurisdictions heavily relying on local levies. According to the Office of Financial Management, 32,000 state employees would get temporary layoff notices.

What exactly would a government shutdown mean? It would affect about 2.2 million individuals' health care services; child support offices would close; more than 50,000 older residents would not get meal services; more than 10,000 legal immigrants wouldn't get food assistance; and 12,000 people with disabilities would lose vocational rehab services. To name a few. Here's the full list

The GOP Health Care Plan

The CBO score, a financial forecast expected Monday, could make or break the Senate Republicans' unpopular health care bill that GOP leaders want Congress to pass before the July 4 recess under reconciliation, a fast-track process that doesn't require a public hearing or committee hearing. 

Senator Patty Murray said the legislation would "gut Medicaid" and has been staunchly opposed to the law since its inception.

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