Dear Mayor Ed Murray and Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg,
The senseless murder of Charleena Lyles by two Seattle police officers is not only tragic, it should have never happened. She was a mother and loved one. It's time for the Seattle Police Department, along with the two officers who showed up to Charleena's house and killed her, to be held accountable for their careless actions.
This could have all been prevented if the Seattle Police Department followed correct protocol for engaging with people with mental health issues. Now Charleena Lyles and her family deserve justice, and it starts with a thorough investigation. From the decision to send more police to her house instead of mental health practitioners to the decision to kill her rather than de-escalate the situation, Seattle Police failed Charleena at every single turn. I join people across the country in rage and a demand for justice, including:
- The immediate firing and indictment of the two officers who killed Charleena Lyles.
- Full transparency. The public deserves a release of both officer's names and all video recordings of the incident.
- Prosecuting Attorney Satterberg must take action to procure a special prosecutor to run an independent investigation. The Seattle Police Department cannot investigate itself.
- The City of Seattle must take action to change the laws that govern how deeply we are able to hold police accountable and allow fair prosecution of deadly use of force.
- The City of Seattle must also take clear and forceful steps to change how it responds to the mental health needs of Black communities—police, incarceration, and violence do not solve mental health issues, but only exacerbate them.