SEATTLE - The inquest into the death of Charleena Lyles, King County's formal investigation into what happened the day Seattle police officers shot and killed her in her apartment, officially begins Tuesday morning.
In June 2017, Lyles, a pregnant mother of four, called police to report a burglary at her Magnuson Park apartment. The officers who responded say she charged at them with a knife. According to court documents, they shot her seven times, killing her.
While the inquest is starting today, this is not a criminal trial. Prosecutors say it could help determine if criminal charges should be filed against the officers.
The inquest will be streamed live on our website, as well as on the FOX 13 News app starting at 9:00 a.m.
An Inquest Administrator has ruled that the proceedings of an inquest into the police shooting death of Charleena Lyles can be livestreamed, despite officers filing to keep their faces concealed.
Lyles was shot and killed by officers Jason Anderson and Steven McNew in June 2017. They responded to Lyles’ apartment after she called 911 to report a burglary. According to the officers, she suddenly attacked them with one or two knives, and they shot her seven times in her kitchen.
She was 15 weeks pregnant at the time of her death and already a mother of four.
Her family said she has documented mental health issues and that police didn't do enough to de-escalate the situation. The city of Seattle paid Lyles' family $3.5 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit.
"I just want to say, no amount of money will bring my mom back," said Charleena Lyles' son. "I appreciate the money, and it helps us, but we won't get my mother's emotional support."
"I still want criminal liability that is yet to happen for our family, for the officers who murdered my cousin," said Katrina Johnson.
An inquest is not a trial, but rather, an investigation into why a deadly police shooting happened and how to prevent them.
After years of legal challenges, at the end of March, King County resumed inquests into law enforcement-involved deaths. The first inquest hearing in four years involved the shooting of Damarius Butts, who was killed by Seattle Police in 2017.
In 2017, inquests were paused over concerns of transparency and clarity of the process—alleging rushed deadlines, access to witnesses and unwieldy orders issued by the inquest administrator.
Butts' inquest is over, but including Lyles, there are currently several inquests on the docket.