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Yesterday, Seattle police officers shot and killed Charleena Lyles, a black 30-year-old mother of four having a mental health emergency, in front of “several children.” According to the Seattle Times, Lyles had a history of mental health struggles and was three months pregnant with her fifth child when she was shot by police. Lyles had called the police to report a possible burglary and was killed by responding officers.
 
Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, the executive director and CEO of MomsRising, an organization of more than 1 million mothers and their families, who is also a Seattle resident, issued the following statement responding to the shooting:
 
“The police killing of Charleena Lyles, a pregnant black woman in the midst of a mental health crisis who called the police to report a burglary, is an unacceptable tragedy. There is no question that the Seattle police department could have and should have used de-escalation tactics, instead of shooting first and asking questions later. 
 
“MomsRising mourns Charleena’s death in solidarity with the Lyles family and her four children who watched their mother be gunned down by police.  
 
“It is clear that the ‘historic reforms’ within the Seattle police department, a department with a long record of racially discriminatory violence, have fallen far short of what was needed to keep Lyles and her family safe. And this isn’t just a Seattle problem: across the country, Black people are three times more likely than White people to be killed when they encounter police.
 
“Enough is enough. Charleena Lyles’ life matters. Black lives matter.
 
“It's time for each of us to stand up and demand an end to what we're all seeing in the news and reading in reports: Structural racism permeates our criminal justice system from the moment the police are called (as this mom did) all the way through sentencing and beyond. This has to stop.”


The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of MomsRising.org

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