Councilmember M. Lorena González, Chair of the Council’s Safe Communities Committee, and Councilmember Rob Johnson, Council representative for District 4 (Northeast Seattle), issued the below statements following the fatal officer-involved shooting at Magnuson Park yesterday:
Councilmember Rob Johnson (District 4, Northeast Seattle) said, “I am incredibly saddened by the death of Charleena Lyles and my heart goes out to her family and friends. People should not fear getting shot when they call law enforcement for help. I expect a full and fair investigation of this tragedy and will work with my colleagues, the Mayor, the Community Police Commission, and the Office of Police Accountability to ensure that we get swift answers for Ms. Lyles’ family.”
Councilmember M. Lorena González (Position 9, Citywide) said, “It is tragic that on a day meant for the celebration of family, a pregnant mother of four was taken from the arms of her loved ones. The City of Seattle grieves for Charleena Lyles and for the loss her family and friends are experiencing.
“Sadly, this incident demonstrates why our police accountability legislation, which will be submitted to the court later this week, is needed. It can and will provide transparent, civilian-reviewed investigations that the community will trust and see as legitimate. However, the City needs to do more to train officers in de-escalation, to continue to refine the use of Crisis Intervention Teams and to ensure that we do everything in our power to avoid unnecessary loss of life.
“People need to feel comfortable calling the police when they need help. Our trust in officers and their trust in community is paramount to the success of Seattle’s public safety system. Undoing centuries of social injustice takes time, ongoing vigilance and enormous systemic overhauls. I am grateful to the brave community members, government employees and officers who have committed themselves to these reforms.”