Quantcast

1497830560 charleena lyles

A pregnant black mom of four was shot by two police officers Sunday morning in her Seattle apartment, where three of her children also were. The victim, Charleena Lyles, reported a burglary, and after Seattle police arrived at her home, she was holding a knife, according to the Seattle Times. In an audio recording released from the police department, the situation was calm at first, but suddenly escalated before several gunshots were fired.

Lyles’ apartment complex is a residential facility to help people transition from homelessness. She had a history of mental illness, her family told the Times, and the Seattle Police Department had been to her home before and were aware of her illness.

Her family also said they believe her death was racially motivated. The police department did not release the names of the officers, but said one has been on the force for 11 years and the other was “newer.” They were both white.

Lyles’ downstairs neighbor told The Stranger that she heard gunshots, and afterward police officers handed her two of Lyles’ children. One of them told her, “They shot my mom.”

This incident adds to the growing trend of police officers targeting both people of color and the mentally ill. Following Lyles’ death, 100 of her friends and family gathered outside of her apartment for a vigil.

Activists on social media have been calling attention to her death with the hashtags #CharleenaLyles and #SheHasAName. Her GoFundMe page has raised almost $20,000.

#BlackLivesMatter.

More from BUST

Three Women Who Are Fighting For Social Justice And Changing The World

These Indonesian Schoolgirls Started A Metal Band, Prove You Can Headbang In A Hijab

How We Turn Those Revolutionary Women's Marches Into A Political Movement

Brianna is a BUST editorial intern from Indiana. After finishing her bachelor's in telecommunication news and journalism from Ball State University, she went to Syracuse for her master's in arts journalism. She likes writing about movies, performance art and advocacy. You can follow her on Twitter @BriKirk, and reach out to her at briannakirkham@gmail.com.

Support Feminist Media! During these troubling political times, independent feminist media is more vital than ever. If our bold, uncensored reporting on women’s issues is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $25, $50, or whatever you can afford, to protect and sustain BUST.com. Thanks so much—we can’t spell BUST without U.