Seattle police officers cleared in 2017 fatal shooting of pregnant woman

A Washington state judge recently dismissed negligence claims in a wrongful-death lawsuit against two Seattle police officers involved in the 2017 fatal shooting of a pregnant woman.

The Jan. 4 ruling by King County Superior Court Judge Julie Spector clears the way for the city of Seattle – also named as a defendant in the suit -- to move to have the case against officers Jason Anderson and Steven McNew dismissed, the Seattle Times reported.

Charleena Lyles, a mother of four, was shot in her apartment on June 18, 2017, after reporting a burglary. The officers said she attacked them with one or two knives. Her death sparked protests and allegations that the shooting was racially motivated because Lyles was African-American and the officers are white.


Attorneys for the officers argued that Lyles' death was the “direct result of her commission of felonies and failure to follow the clear verbal commands of Officers Anderson and McNew to ‘get back,’” according to court documents.

Lawyers for Lyles estate and her children said she was suffering from mental illness at the time of the incident. The Seattle Police Department Force Review Board cleared Anderson and McNew of any wrongdoing, according to the Times.

“We are confident the court’s ruling is wrong and are in the process of filing an appeal,” Karen Koehler, an attorney for the Lyles estate and her children, said in a statement to the Times. “Sometimes cases spend a lot of time going through the court system and this is unfortunately one of them.”