Seattle Judge Tosses Lawsuit Against Officers Who Fatally Shot Pregnant Woman

(Monika Williams GoFundMe)

A Washington state judge has dismissed claims in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of Charleena Lyles, a pregnant mother of four who was killed by Seattle police.

According to the Seattle Times, on January 4  King County Superior Court Judge Julie Spector dismissed the claims against Officers Jason Anderson and Steven McNew with prejudice. When a case is dismissed with prejudice, it cannot be refiled but may be appealed to a higher court.

The Lawsuit filed against the city by Lyles’ family still stands.

Lyles, 30, was fatally shot on June 18, 2017, after reporting a burglary at her Northeast Seattle apartment. Anderson and McNew said Lyles confronted them at the scene and came after them with a knife. She was shot seven times and died at the scene.

In the wake of the shooting, questions were raised about why the officers did not use nonlethal force on Lyles, who weighed less than 100 pounds and had mental health issues.

According to the Seattle Times, officers allege when Lyles moved toward them with the knife, McNew asked Anderson to use a Taser on her. Anderson said he did not have his Taser, he had left it in his locker, and they both shot her.

Three of her children were reportedly in the apartment at the time of the shooting. According to a transcript of McNew’s interview, “one of the little babies” crawled into the room after the shooting and rested “his head against” his mother’s body.

“There is no reason for her to be shot in front of her babies,” Lyles’ sister, Monika Williams, told reporters at the time. “She had mental health issues that nobody is trying to address.”

The officers acted in self-defense, their attorneys argued.

“Ms. Lyles’ death is a direct result of her commission of felonies and failure to follow the clear verbal commands of Officers Anderson and McNew to ‘get back,’” the attorneys wrote in court papers, the Times reported.

Spector’s ruling did not include a detailed analysis of her findings.

The family’s attorney, Karen Koehler, will reportedly appeal the ruling.

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