Photo by Ken Lambert for the Seattle Times

Just a few days after a police officer was acquitted of murdering Philando Castile during a traffic stop, yet another episode of horrifying police brutality has occurred that makes it clear that African-Americans cannot engage in routine interactions with law enforcement without being murdered.

Charleena Lyles, a pregnant black woman of thirty years with a history of mental issues, called the Seattle police to report a burglary. At “some point” during the according to the officers, Lyles produced/picked up a knife.

Both officers immediately gunned her down, in front of her children, in her own home, after she had called the police herself.  

“Why couldn’t they have Tased her?” mourns Lyles’s sister, Monika Williams. “They could have taken her down. I could have taken her down.”

Both officers carried nonlethal weapons, but chose to end a woman’s life instead. They have been placed on administrative leave before inevitably being exonerated of any wrongdoing.

This story has had little coverage in the mainstream media, which just goes to show how successful American society has been in normalizing the constant killing of black Americans by the holders of the state’s monopoly on violence.

452 people have been killed by police officers this year; in general, black men are killed five times more often than white men, according to the Guardian. 

Charleena Lyles asked the police for help and invited them into her home – and now her children don’t have a mother because two cops with itchy trigger fingers murdered her for no reason.

It should not matter that she was holding a knife in her own home after it had been burglarized. It should not matter that she was known to have mental issues. It should not matter that she had previously had a confrontation with police officers.

Police officers are supposed to be brave. They are supposed to protect and serve their community, to put their own lives on the line for the people they are supposed to protect- not to murder mothers in their homes.

Every time one of these killings happen and go unpunished, our nation tells black Americans that their lives don’t matter.

An audio of the killing can be heard here. WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT

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