Housing agency added to suit over fatal Seattle police shooting of Charleena Lyles

 After her slaying, a photo of Charleena Lyles and flowers were left outside the apartment building where she had lived in Solid Ground’s Sand Point housing campus. (Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times)

After her slaying, a photo of Charleena Lyles and flowers were left outside the apartment building where she had lived in Solid Ground’s Sand Point housing campus. (Ken Lambert/The Seattle Times)

Seattle Times

December 28, 2017
By Steve Miletich
Twitter stevemiletich
smiletich@seattletimes.com

A newly amended lawsuit alleges that weeks before Charleena Lyles was fatally shot by Seattle police, the nonprofit agency Solid Ground failed to report to law enforcement a playground incident in which she allegedly threatened children with a knife.

The nonprofit social-service agency that provided housing to Charleena Lyles has been added to a wrongful-death lawsuit previously brought against the two Seattle police officers who fatally shot Lyles in June.

In new language added to the suit, Lyles’ estate and the appointed guardian for her four children allege that the agency, Solid Ground, failed weeks before the shooting to report to police a playground incident in which Lyles allegedly threatened children with a knife.

The suit, refiled Wednesday by attorneys Karen Koehler and Edward Moore, also accuses Solid Ground of failing to provide adequate services to Lyles after she moved into its Sand Point housing campus in Northeast Seattle in November 2015. 

Lyles, 30, was shot in her apartment on June 18 by Seattle police officers Jason Anderson and Steven McNew after she reported a burglary and, according to the officers, suddenly attacked them with one or two knives. Her death sparked protests, including allegations the shooting was racially motivated because Lyles was African-American and both officers are white.