Deliberations underway in Charleena Lyles' fatal shooting inquest




  • In US
  • 2022-07-06 13:42:30Z
  • By KIRO

King County inquest jurors looking into the fatal police shooting of Charleena Lyles have been deliberating since Tuesday afternoon.

On Father's Day 2017, Lyles, 30, called police to report a burglary at her Magnuson Park apartment.

Seattle police officers Jason Anderson and Steven McNew shot her seven times. They said Lyles suddenly came at them with a knife.

Lyles' family insists she had a history of mental health problems and that the officers failed to de-escalate the situation before shooting her.

In the final day of testimony on Tuesday, McNew said there was no time to give Lyles detailed verbal warnings before he fired his gun.

He said he had to protect himself.

"I felt that, that was - in that moment, with what we had - trying to respond to her behavior, felt that it was clear that if I've got my gun pointed toward you and I'm a police officer and you're coming toward me with a knife and I say, 'get back' - that's sufficient warning," said McNew.

The other officer - Anderson - originally told investigators he was trapped in a confined space and his back was against a closed door when Lyles lunged at him. But surveillance video actually shows the officers backing up through an open door into a hallway.

Anderson agreed that his memory and the video don't match.

"I was talking to Ms. Lyles. I was somewhere at the corner of the peninsula talking to Ms. Lyles, she's in front of me, I see her produce the knife, she's lunging it towards me and I (demonstrates a jump to the jury) did one of these movements. You know there's very little space behind me and you know I go for the hall, I hit the door - I don't remember that," said Anderson.

Both Anderson and McNew were cleared by Seattle police and are still on the job. No criminal charges were filed, but the inquest could change that, based on what the King County prosecutor decides from answers provided by the jury.

Jurors are expected to answer 123 questions about whether police followed procedures and if a crime occurred.

Deliberations will resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday and are set to go until about 4:30 p.m., unless the jury completes its work sooner.

If the jury does not finish on Wednesday, deliberations will resume on Thursday.

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