the suicide by cop in Seattle news of Charleena Lyles

It is in the Seattle news that a lot of people are being concerned about the shooting death of a woman named Charleena Lyle or Lyles and some people are complaining about “police” shooting “blacks” again.

I assume that the young lady has not left a note, but the situation seems to be suicide by cop.

Is it negligence on the part of the news media to avoid mentioning the possibility?

The police also know that tasers do not always work and police have been killed after using a taser that did not incapacitate a person. Therefore, within a given distance, a police person is more likely to draw a gun rather than a taser.

The “public” does not know that, or some part of the public seems to not know that.

A woman is depressed and her depression is perhaps made worse by getting herself arrested somehow. She lacks a gun and wishes to die and calls in a burglary report request. During the report visit, she pulls out a knife and while wielding it, confronted, menaces and approaches the officers, while also saying, “Do it.”

That is kind of unfair to the two police officers, but it seems to happen several times a year.

If a person is going to kill himself, then, this is certainly one of the worse ways, spiritually, I think. A lot of people are upset or concerned; some people are placing the blame on police in part.

This is bad, but we shall hope that God straightens everything out at some point . . . Presumably it is not a good idea to make extra work for God when it comes to straightening things out.

I see that I get to watch kiro or king or someone at 11 for more discussion of the situation.

For continuing news on this topic, including the town hall meeting of June 27 at Kane Hall at the UW, try here.

2 thoughts on “the suicide by cop in Seattle news of Charleena Lyles

  1. Lola E. Peters

    It used to be that the police tried to talk people *out* of committing suicide. Apparently Seattle police are now authorized to participate in assisted suicide plans? I don’t remember reading where the public, State Legislature, OR the City Council authorized that.

    1. zaitzeff Post author

      Greetings Ms Peters

      Thank you very much for having visited my blog and considering the question of the suicide by cop by Charleena Lyles. It seems a bit funny that the blog I started on the topic of walking at Greenlake in no clothing has morphed into occasional discussion of other issues–but it appears from the absence of media discussion of these issues, to be necessary.

      In defense of the SPD, please note the following:

      1) it apparently is being reported that one of the officers who visited with Charleena on the day of her death had previously visited her for her DV call a few weeks previously, and in that call that officer had helped her put away her weapon without firing on her; we may conclude therefore that the officer is not trigger happy, although, as would be reasonable, he did draw a weapon in reaction to weapon-wielding by Charleena;

      2) the officers who fired on Charleena have been named and identified and one of them has previously received a commendation by his supervisors in handling another case of a knife-wielder in which the officers helped the man not get himself killed;

      3) kiro7 news is currently reporting that the surveillance cameras in the hallways of Charleena’s apartment have footage which has been reviewed and which indicate that there was no strange intruder who entered and stole anything;

      4) therefore, the mental illness of Charleena appears to have been her decision to not regard her life as worth continuing and to view suicide by cop as a reasonable form of death. It very much appears right now that Charleena planned the whole thing before even having made the call to 911 . . . that while she was calling 911, she was planning on getting into an altercation or threat with the officers that would result in her getting killed, wounded or shot, as a means of changing her life situation; Charleena had previously abused meth and alcohol; getting off of these drugs is alleged to leave some persons substantially depressed;

      5) there are about 14 seconds from the time that police recognize the threat and the start of shooting. If SPD killed her for simply drawing a knife they could and perhaps would have fired immediately and there would be no 14 second delay. Charleena saying “Get ready motherfuckers,” suggests she is giving them warning she is about to rush them;

      6) police in Japan are regularly trained in martial arts and fairly highly skilled and may be able to reliably disarm a knife-wielder. If it were up to me, I’d have all SPD engage in the same training, but even some martial arts teachers in Seattle believe it is very dangerous to get in a fight with a person with a knife;

      7) Charleena was armed with 2 knives; it would have been difficult to have stopped her even with a sword in a nonlethal way;

      8) officers have been killed when pepper spray failed to subdue;

      9) officers could have and I believe should have begun the conversation with an inquiry and check for the location and security of all kitchen and other knives of Charleena. Such a weapons check would have been justified in part by their experience with her 2 weeks previous. However, it is probably not a part of police training to begin a crime report conversation with weapons check.

      10) So, one of the real questions is whether or not officers should have checked the apartment for knives on kitchen counters and drawers and for other knives before taking a burglary report. I would do that with a mentally unpredictable lady, but the question is whether or not court rulings forbid it. It is actually kind of necessary, but we are viewing everything in retrospect.

      11) when it is convenient, you or some of the press should take one of those little knife defense classes for $150 or so. A knife can be deadly or dangerous and it takes quite a bit of skill to shot a knife wielder who is running at you. Sometimes these knife-wielders do not die at the first shot. There are persons legally carrying around guns now who would have difficulty hitting a target at 10 feet. Police do better, but even a lot of their shots miss.

      12) Times of tasers failing to subdue a person are all over the news; they are simply the minority of cases. Police have been shot or killed after tasers failed; Rodney King was still resisting after being hit with taser 3 times.

      13) Normal conversational distance between persons sharing a report is 2.5 to 5 feet. This is probably too close for a police to face a knife-wielder because of the speed at which a person can cover 3 feet.

      14) Now, I am all for the police training regularly in some martial arts and I am all for a check of Charleena’s kitchen and counters for knives. Do you favor or oppose these things? Or, do you wish to assume that tasers are infallible?

      15) the other question is why there is all this media coverage and none of the media have used the phrase “suicide by cop” or discussed the limitations of non-lethal defense at 4 feet from a person with a knife.


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