Seattle: Hundreds Rally and March to Demand Justice for Charleena Lyles, Murdered by Police

June 22, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |



On June 20, two days after the Seattle police murdered Charleena Lyles, a 30-year-old Black woman with four kids, hundreds of people rallied and marched in outrage. The protesters gathered at the scene of the murder and marched for miles, chanting to demand justice and doing a call and response: “Say her name—Charleena.”

Lyles had called police on Sunday, June 18, to report an attempted burglary at her apartment at the Brettler Family Place housing project. Two white cops arrived at her door—and they both fired their weapons, hitting Charleena Lyles multiple times and killing her.

Family members said Charleena Lyles was several months pregnant and that one of her children has Down syndrome and requires constant care and vigilance. A police spokesman said the cops fired because she had a knife. She had reported a burglary—so, if she did have a knife as the cops claim, wouldn’t it make sense that she was trying to defend herself? Charleena’s family said she had some mental health issues—but as in so many other such cases, the police acted as executioners instead of helpers. Whatever the case, there is no justification whatsoever for the pigs to have gunned down Charleena Lyles in cold blood!

Her relatives said that she was small in size and was no threat to anyone. One of her sisters, Monika Williams, said, “Why couldn’t they have Tased her? They could have taken her down. I could have taken her down.” Another sister, Tiffany Rogers, said, "I'll never see my sister again. Her kids will never see her again… I just want to grieve right now. I can’t even do that because I’m so angry. I'm scared of our so-called protectors. I was before, but I definitely am now."

The Seattle mayor made a pitiful statement that the killing of Charleena Lyles was “a tragedy for all involved.” No, goddamn it! This was an intolerable crime—committed by the armed enforcers of a criminal capitalist-imperialist system that rules over the people.

Charleena Lyles was murdered after calling the police for help. Two days after her murder, a cop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who had gunned down Sylville Smith, a 23-year-old Black man, last year was acquitted of all charges. And two days before Lyles was killed, a court in Minneapolis delivered a not guilty verdict on the pig who murdered Philando Castile, who was doing everything they say you’re supposed to do when stopped by the police. The month before that it was the pig who murdered Terence Crutcher in Oklahoma who walked free… and on and on.

It’s righteous for people to be out in the streets against these intolerable outrages. And, as Carl Dix said in his statement about the system’s stamp of approval on the police murder of Philando Castile, “We must do this as part of getting ready and in position for an actual revolution, one that overthrows this system because that's the only way to end this horror, and all the other horrors this system enforces on people around the world and in this country.”



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