Civil lawsuit filed against Seattle police officers who fatally shot Charleena Lyles

A civil lawsuit was filed Friday against the two Seattle police officers who fatally shot Charleena Lyles in June. Attorneys representing Lyles’ estate say the suit is in response to the Seattle Police Department’s failure to release additional information about the shooting.

Attorneys representing the estate of Charleena Lyles filed a civil lawsuit Friday against the two Seattle police officers who fatally shot the pregnant mother of four in her Magnusson Park apartment in June.

The suit alleging civil rights violations and wrongful death names Officers Steven McNew and Jason Anderson as respondents. They are indemnified as city employees, which means should there be a civil judgement or settlement agreement against them, damages would be paid by the city.

During a Friday news conference outside the Seattle Police Department’s Fifth Avenue headquarters, Seattle attorneys Karen Koehler, Ed Moore and Travis Jameson explained the legal maneuver is meant to speed up the clock on getting answers to outstanding questions surrounding Lyles’ death.

On Aug. 11, the attorneys filed a notice of claim, which is a precursor to a lawsuit, against the City of Seattle, which still has 32 days remaining to respond before a lawsuit can be filed.

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Provided the city doesn’t respond to the claim or offer a settlement, the attorneys will add the city as a participant to the lawsuit now underway against the two officers, Koehler said.

Meanwhile, the officers will have 20 days after being served with the lawsuit to file their responses — and the earliest they would be subject to video-recorded depositions would be 120 days after that, Koehler said.

Koehler and her colleagues decided to expedite the process after she said SPD failed to follow through on promises to release additional information about the fatal shooting. The attorneys said they’ve learned SPD has consulted with a variety of use-of-force experts across the country, a clear sign that the department is building its case and intends to fight the suit filed on behalf of Lyles’ four children, ages 1, 4, 11 and 12.

The Seattle City Attorney’s Office did not immediately return a phone call Friday seeking comment. An SPD spokesman said Friday the shooting is still under investigation.

The attorneys also announced Friday they would not participate in an inquest into Lyles’ fatal shooting, with Koehler…

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