US protesters demand justice for slain black mom
Dozens of students have held rallies to protest police brutality against African Americans after the shooting death of a black pregnant woman by a police officer.
Protesters rallied on the steps of Garfield High School in Seattle, Washington, on Tuesday to demand justice for Charleena Lyles, who was fatally shot by a police officer on Sunday.
The group were chanting; “Black lives matter,” before they headed back inside to finish out the school day.
Lyles, 30, called police to report a burglary at her apartment, but the officers who arrived at the scene killed her because of her allegedly violent behavior.
According to a statement by Seattle police, the mother-of-four was “armed with a knife” and “confronted” two officers who were investigating her phone call.
Teachers wearing Black Lives Matter shirts were also protesting on Tuesday to encourage a conversation about race, inequality and safety.
Israel Presley, a Garfield Sophomore, said, “Just because we might not know her personally doesn’t mean we can’t relate.”
“We need to talk about it in class; we cannot just talk about it on social media. There’s a difference between typing something and actually doing something,” Chardonnay Beaver, who is also a sophomore, said.
Darrin Hoop, a Spanish teacher at Cleveland STEM High School, wore a Black Lives Matter shirt in his classroom. The union representing Seattle Public Schools teachers encouraged others to do the same.
Seattle police have admitted that they could have opted for “less lethal force options” at the time.
According to a four-minute audio recording of the black woman’s encounter with the cops, the officers had even briefly discussed Lyles’ mental issues before reaching her home.
Darrin Hoop, a Spanish teacher at Cleveland STEM High School, said, “I think it’s important to draw attention to the fact that this is not an isolated situation.”
Lyles’ death comes as there have been national debates about police’ excessive use of force against black people.
It happened days after a police officer in Minnesota was cleared of all charges in the 2016 shooting death of Philando Castile, an African American man who was killed in his car.