Federal judge asks for more information on clearing of Seattle police in Charleena Lyles shooting

U.S. District Judge James Robart is seeking the information before he decides whether to find the Seattle Police Department in compliance with a 2012 consent degree requiring reforms to address excessive force and biased policing.

A federal judge wants more information on the Seattle Police Department’s finding that the fatal shooting of Charleena Lyles by two officers was reasonable before he decides on the city’s request to be found in compliance with court-ordered mandates to address a history of excessive force and biased policing.

In an order issued this week, U.S. District Judge James Robart also requested additional details on the city’s recent approval of a labor contract with the Seattle police union that represents captains and lieutenants.

Lyles, a 30-year-old, African-American mother of four, was shot on June 18 by the two officers, who are white, after they said she suddenly pulled one or two knives on them while they were investigating a burglary call from her at her Northeast Seattle apartment.

Charleena Lyles shooting

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Robart is considering the city’s Sept. 29 motion to be found in full and effective compliance with a 2012 consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department, which listed reforms the Police Department must carry out before the agreement can be lifted.

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The Justice Department has concurred with the motion, as has the Community Police Commission (CPC), a citizen advisory body created as part of the consent decree.

Robart’s court-appointed monitor, Merrick Bobb, filed court papers in early September telling Robart the city has yet to meet its obligations. But sources not authorized to publicly discuss the matter contend that Bobb, since then, has somewhat softened his position.

Robart directed city attorneys and the Justice Department to submit simultaneous memorandums to him by Dec. 8. He also said the CPC may…

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