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Officer John Hill and Ryan Miles, a designated mental health professional with the Tacoma Police Department.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Could Charleena Lyles still be alive today if police had not gone to her apartment alone? 

In Tacoma, an officer can call for help dealing with someone who might be mentally ill. They can call a mental health co-responder. And now, this co-responder program might go statewide.

KUOW’s Bill Radke speaks with Tacoma Patrol Officer John Hill and a mental health co-responder who works with officers – Ryan Miles.

Dianne and Michael Murphy, parents of Miles Murphy who was shot by Seattle Police in 2009, were dismayed by the King County inquest process.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

For Michael and Dianne Murphy of Maple Valley, the inquest examining their son’s death left them completely disillusioned. “It was a joke,” Michael said.


It's rare for a law enforcement officer to be convicted of homicide for shooting someone while on duty. According to a new NPR data analysis, 2,400 people have been killed this way in the last two and a half years; the vast majority of those cases were found to be justified, but NPR found 20 officers who faced charges. Of those, six have been convicted or pleaded guilty.

File Photo: Seattle Chief of Police Kathleen O'Toole
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Show up.

That was the gist of an email from Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant to the police chief. A public forum was set for Tuesday on the shooting of Charleena Lyles.

Charleena Lyles' father, Charles, speaks to the crowd at the UW's Kane Hall as City Council members watch on Tuesday, June 27. 'She died on Father's Day. Every Father's Day I'll think of that,' he said.
KUOW photo/Amy Radil

"We elected you. And you're going to do something this time."

That was one message to City Council members Tuesday night at a public forum on the shooting of Charleena Lyles.


A grand jury indicted three Chicago police officers on felony charges on Tuesday, accusing them of conspiring to cover up the facts of a fatal police shooting in October 2014 of a black teenager in order to shield their fellow officer.

Officer Jason Van Dyke, who is white, shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times, according to prosecutors.

Twin sisters Makalah, 12, left, and Akalah, right, sit on the steps at the Solid Ground Brettler Family Place, on Monday.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

In the minutes after Charleena Lyles was shot by police, a 12-year-old girl slipped by police officers and ran up four flights of stairs.

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke talks to Ijeoma Oluo, editor at large of The Establishment, and Eula Scott Bynoe, co-host of HellaBlackHellaSeattle, about the conversations they've been having in the wake of the shooting of Charleena Lyles. 

What can prevent tragedies like Charleena Lyles?

Jun 21, 2017

Bill Radke talks with former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper and state Representative Morgan Irwin, also a Seattle police officer, about the shooting of Charleena Lyles by Seattle police and what, if anything, could have been done to prevent it.

Irwin says the officers followed proper protocol during a tragic, isolated incident. Stamper says it points to larger problems of implicit bias and how police perceive danger on the job. 

A state senator from Seattle is renewing his call to rewrite Washington’s police deadly force law. Democrat David Frockt represents the legislative district where Seattle police shot and killed Charleena Lyles, a pregnant mother of four on Sunday.

On Monday, Seattle officials released dash cam audio of a Sunday morning police shooting that left Charleena Lyles, a pregnant mother of three, dead. The two Seattle police officers had been called to Lyles' apartment so she could report a burglary.

The shooting is under investigation by the Seattle Police Department's Force Investigation Team, and also SPD's Office of Professional Accountability, but here's what we know now:

Candles surround a photograph of Charleena Lyles after a vigil was held at Solid Ground Brettler Family Place on Tuesday, June 19, 2017, in Seattle, Washington.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Reporter Patricia Murphy talks to Bill Radke about the fatal police shooting of 30-year-old Charleena Lyles that happened in her apartment near Magnuson Park Sunday morning. 

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle police officers are heard on an audio tape yelling “Get back! Get back!” before firing a volley of shots that killed a woman who had called in a burglary.

Charleena Lyles was shot Sunday morning. Police said she brandished a knife. But family members say police knew Lyles had mental health issues.

Dozens gathered Sunday evening, June 18, 2017, for a vigil held for Charleena Lyles, who was shot to death by Seattle police.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

Dozens of people gathered at a vigil last night for Charleena Lyles, a mother of four who was shot by Seattle Police Sunday morning.

The shooting occurred in a Solid Ground housing complex for formerly homeless families in the Sand Point neighborhood shortly after 10 a.m.

When Anthony Planakis was going through the New York Police Academy, they told him to write his interests down on a little card.

"Beekeeping, of course I put that down," says 54-year-old Planakis, who is a fourth generation beekeeper. "And the very first job, the sergeant comes right up to me and I just look up and go, 'Hey, Sarge,' and he goes, 'Bees?' and I go, 'Yeah, where?' 'Harlem.' And I go, 'Cool.' That was it, that was the first job I handled," he says.

KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Auburn police officer Aaron Williams furrows his brow as he reroutes his patrol car to a 911 call.

“Yeah, you can send me,” Williams responds to the radio dispatch.


Seattle Police Officer Louis Chan, center, talks with a man in Ballard about his erratic and threatening behavior. Chan is partnered with a social worker to help deescalate volatile situations.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

If people want to take pictures or video of police making an arrest they have the legal authority to do so in Seattle. The Seattle City Council passed a so-called "Public Safety Bill of Rights" on Monday.

Attorney Bree Black Horse (left) and Renee Davis' foster sister Danielle Bargala at Davis' home.
KUOW Photo/Dan DeLong

Jurors in an inquest found unanimously that two King County deputies feared for their lives when they shot Muckleshoot tribal member Renee Davis last October. Half of the jurors also found the deputies — upon entering Davis’ bedroom —  were not concerned about her welfare.  

Lorena Gonzalez at her election night party on Nov. 3, 2015, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Jeannie Yandel talks to Seattle City Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez about the legislation the City Council passed that will increase civilian oversight of the Seattle Police Department. 

Seattle police officers observe marchers moving down 4th Avenue during the Black Lives Matter rally in Seattle on Saturday.
KUOW Photo/Daniel Berman

The Seattle City Council has unanimously passed a measure to put civilians in charge of police oversight. It comes five years after a federal judge called attention to excessive force and biased policing within the Seattle Police Department.

A march protesting the Seattle police shooting of Che Taylor on Feb. 21, 2016 moves through downtown Seattle on Feb. 25, 2016.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle Police reforms that are five years in the making took a big step forward this week. A City Council committee approved a measure to put civilians in charge of police oversight.

Recruits from around the region, including Seattle Police Department, on the first day at the police academy.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

After years of work, the Seattle City Council is finally going to vote on police accountability legislation.

A council committee is expected to vote on the bill Thursday and it's expected to go to the full council next week.

Major Mitzi Johanknecht, the first woman to lead the King County SWAT team, is running for sheriff. She says recent sex abuse allegations against Urquhart influenced her decision to run.
Mitzi Johanknecht

The first woman to lead King County's SWAT team wants to be sheriff. 

Major Mitzi Johanknecht says after 32 years on the force she's qualified to take the sheriff's office in a new direction. She's challenging incumbent John Urquhart.

The Washington State Patrol has put another dent in its trooper shortage. Forty-nine new troopers were sworn-in Wednesday at a ceremony in the Capitol rotunda.

Among the troopers in formation was Robert Reyer of Salzburg, Austria. 



school desk
Flickr Photo/VictorBjorkund (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/hPKtwF

Police are handling routine discipline issues in many Washington schools – sometimes even arresting children — finds a new study from the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET.

The U.S. Justice Department has escalated its approach to so-called sanctuary cities, writing at least eight jurisdictions Friday to put them on notice they could be failing to cooperate with immigration authorities.

Alan Hanson, the acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's grant-making arm, warned the cities that they're required to submit proof that they comply with federal immigration law.

One casualty of the looming end of Washington state’s legislative session is a bill on police use of deadly force.

Washington has one of the highest bars in the nation for charging police officers who use deadly force. They are protected as long as they act in good faith and without malice.

Updated at 11:45 a.m. Friday

Associate Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, the first African-American woman to be appointed to New York's Court of Appeals, was found dead on Wednesday in the Hudson River.

She had been reported missing from her home in Harlem.

The New York Times reports:

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Liz Jones talks with Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson about the role of local governments in federal immigration enforcement. The Attorney General's office produced a document that lays out best practices and policies for police departments, schools, hospitals, and other public agencies.

Read the full document online here.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

When it comes to undocumented immigrants, what's your role as a city, school or hospital? Or cop?

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