SEATTLE – A federal judge wants more information about the Seattle Police Department’s finding that the fatal shooting of a woman in June was reasonable before he decides whether the city is complying with court-ordered mandates to address a history of excessive force and biased policing.
U.S. District Judge James Robart this week requested the information in the shooting of Charleena Lyles and also requested further details on the city’s approval of a labor contract with the Seattle police union, the Seattle Times reported.
Lyles, a 30-year-old African-American mother of four, was shot June 18 by two white officers. The officers said she suddenly pulled one or two knives on them while they were answering a burglary call from her at her Northeast Seattle apartment.
The city in September asked the judge to find it in compliance with a 2012 list of Justice Department reforms. After an officer’s fatal shooting of a Native American woodcarver in 2010, a Justice Department’s investigation found that officers had been too quick to be physical, especially in low-intensity encounters. The 2012 settlement overhauled the department’s training, procedures and record-keeping.
The Justice Department agrees the city has met marks that were set, as does the Community Police Commission (CPC), a citizen advisory body created as part of the reforms.
Robart said he wants to see a report from the Police Department’s Force Review Board when it becomes available in the next few weeks that could contain a more expansive look at the shooting.
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