A downtown Seattle rally and march for Charleena Lyles was “black-women centered” and led by black women.
Demonstrators marched through downtown Seattle following a rally Thursday evening for Charleena Lyles, a mother of four who was shot and killed by Seattle police Sunday.
The downtown Seattle rally and march was “black-women centered” and led by black women. Hundreds of people gathered at Westlake Park for the rally, where community activists and Lyles’ relatives spoke about the woman and called for an independent investigation into her death.
Lyles, 30, was fatally shot by police Officers Steven McNew and Jason Anderson in her Magnuson Park apartment after she called to report a robbery. Seattle police say she had brandished two knives after the officers arrived. Three of her four children were home at the time and her family says she was pregnant.
Organizers say police should have had a mental-health professional on hand and used a nonlethal method to respond.
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“They instead decided to murder her,” organizers wrote on the event page.
During the rally, Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant circulated a petition demanding that Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and the City Council appoint an independent committee to conduct an investigation into Lyles’ death.
Her death has prompted outrage from her family and community members who say that race was a factor — Lyles was black and the two officers are white. Hundreds of people attended a vigil Tuesday evening outside the Brettler Family Place apartment complex. Afterward, demonstrators marched for miles to the Montlake Bridge, chanting her name.
A GoFundMe page set up by Lyles’ sister to support Lyles’ children and family has raised $90,000 in the past four days.