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Pall bearers carry the casket of Charleena Lyles during a burial ceremony at Hillcrest Burial Park on Monday, July 10, 2017, in Kent, Washington.
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Pall bearers carry the casket of Charleena Lyles during a burial ceremony at Hillcrest Burial Park on Monday, July 10, 2017, in Kent, Washington.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Judge dismisses claims against two Seattle Police officers in Charleena Lyles case

A King County judge has dismissed negligence claims brought against two Seattle police officers who fatally shot 30-year-old Charleena Lyles in 2017.

The claims were part of a wrongful death and civil rights lawsuit brought against both the officers as well as the city of Seattle.

The officers were responding to a burglary call at Lyles' apartment in June of 2017 when they say the pregnant woman and mother of four tried to stab them.

On January 4, King County Judge Julie Spector granted officers Jason Anderson and Steven McNew's motion for summary judgement. The motion argued that the officers were not legally liable for the negligent infliction of emotional distress because Lyles was committing multiple felonies while she was shot.

Lyles' relatives, however, say she was mentally ill and believe the officers could have deescalated the situation without killing her.

Now, attorneys for the family of Lyles say they plan to appeal Judge Spector's decision. Meanwhile, the claim against the city of Seattle in this case is continuing.

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The Seattle Police Department’s Force Review Board ruled unanimously in November that the two officers used proper tactics and decision making, followed their training and did not violate deescalation and crisis-intervention policies.

Following Tuesday’s dismissal, the attorneys for the two officers praised Judge Spector's ruling.

"While this case stems from a tragedy, we are pleased that the Court reached the correct conclusion and recognized that our clients’ use of force was reasonable and appropriate under the challenging and rapidly evolving circumstances they faced," attorneys Robert Christie and Megan Coluccio said in a statement.

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