Transcripts show conversation before Charleena Lyles was shot: ‘I don't have a taser'

Seattle Police Department transcripts reveal an officer did not have a taser before shots were fired killing 30-year-old Charleena Lyles, who was armed with two knives.

The police department released a full transcript – along with dashcam images and video that showed the hallway outside Lyles’ apartment. It shows the conversation exchanged before and during the shooting on Sunday Monday near Magnuson Park.

Watch the video and read the transcript it below.

First here’s what to know on the case.

  • Two officers responded to the Charleena Lyles' apartment in the Sand Point neighborhood on Sunday.
  • The Associated Press reported she came at the officers.
  • Five days prior, a Seattle Mental Health Court judge ordered Lyles not to possess "weapons or items that can be used as weapons."
  • Both officers fired their weapons. They have not been identified are on paid leave per standard procedure.
  • A June 5 police report indicates Lyles "experienced a recent sudden and rapid decline in her mental health."
  • Family told KIRO 7 News that Charleena Chavon Lyles was a mother of four children and pregnant.
  • Family members believe that race was factor in the shooting of Lyles, a black woman.
  • KIRO 7 News is sending breaking news alerts when a major development happens in this story. Download our app here

The transcript shows the conversation the two officers had between themselves and then with Lyles leading up to the shooting.  KIRO 7 News has divided the long transcript and nearly 10-minute long video into sections with time-stamps below.

[:31 seconds into video] The video, recorded on Sunday, begins with officers talking about a June 5 incident between police and Lyles, where she had armed herself with metal shears. 

Officer 1: You got a chance to pull that report up?

Officer 2: Which report?

Officer 1: It’s on the 5th.

Officer 2: Oh, this person did a report?

Officer 1: No, no, no. The, she’s got officer safety info from June 5th.

Officer 2: What’s that?

Officer 1: She, the...she called for a DV. She let them in and then she started talking all crazy about how she, the officers weren't gonna leave. And she had a giant pair of scissors and then started talking about her—

Officer 2: Has she got a mental caution on her?

Officer 1: She’s got an officer safety caution.

Officer 2: Okay, but no mental on her?

Officer 1: She...no...

Officer 2: Okay.

Officer 1: ...but this is the first—I’ve been out there for another DV with her son. I don’t know if you were here.

Officer 2: Wait, is this the one with...

Officer 1: Yeah.

Officer 2: ...like the three kids?

Officer 1: Yeah, yeah. So this gal, she was the one making all these weird statements about how her and her daughter are gonna turn into wolves, and this was on the 5th.

Officer 2: Okay. Officer 1: She might’ve just took a turn, so.

Officer 2: Okay. Officer 1: So I'm like, eh, I gotta go up there. ‘Cause they said she was fine at first and then they were inside with her and she had this giant pair of scissors and wouldn't put them down. And then—

[1:45 minutes into the video] Dashcam video shows officers are walking out of their vehicle toward the apartment. Watch below. (Note: Hear some of the audio in the video, but it is hard to hear. Scroll down to continue reading the transcript.)

[1:54 minutes into the video] The conversation between the two officers shifts from talking about the June 5 incident to Sunday’s burglary report that Lyles made into police.

Officer 2:  She’s alleging a possible burglary?

Officer 1:  She said she had a burglary, yeah, that a burglary occurred, so.

Officer 2:  Okay.  Which unit is she in?

Officer 1:  (Redacted).

Officer 2:  I wonder if the son’s still around.

Officer 1:  Well, that’s what I’m wondering, her husband and son.

Officer 2:  Said something about sending him to live with her grandparents or something.

Officer 1:  (Unintelligible)

Officer 2:  Or something.

Officer 1:  They arrested her that day.

Officer 2:  They did?

Officer 1: Yeah.  So.  Apparently she was like between them and the door and (unintelligible).

Officer 2:  Oh, she didn't wanna let them leave.

Officer 1: Yeah.  Yeah.

Officer 2:  Oh, golly.

Officer 1:  So I'm like—

Officer 2: Don’t let her behind us.  I thought you said, were saying that she wanted them to leave.

Officer 1:  No, no, no.

Officer 2:  And brandished the scissors.

Officer 1:  No, like a—

Officer 2:  Like a kidnapping.

Officer 1: Yeah.

Officer 2: Try, oh, geez, what is it?

[3:05 minutes into video ] At this point in the transcript, the officers appear to have arrived at Lyles’ front door. The officers ring the door bell, according to the transcript.

Coverage about police shooting that killed Charleena Lyles



Officer 1: Hi, this is Officer (Redacted), Seattle Police Department.

Officer 2: There you go.

Officer 1: I remember when we went in for the (unintelligible) it was on the end unit.

Officer 2: Yeah.

Officer 1: What’s the address?

Officer 2: 430— UNKNOWN: (Unintelligible) just got the caution for the general location.

Officer 1: Hello, good morning, did you call today?

LYLES: (Inaudible)

Officer 1: Okay. Hi, I’m Officer (Redacted), all right if we come in?

LYLES: (Inaudible)

Officer 1: Hi, so what’s going on?

LYLES: (Unintelligible) down here and had a, or a (unintelligible) someone broke into my house and took my things.

Officer 1: (Unintelligible) Was your (unintelligible)?

LYLES: Yeah, it was, and, um, I just ran out to the store so I left it unlocked.

Officer 1: Okay. Oh, Okay. Does anyone, do you have any idea who it might have been, or anything like that, or?

LYLES: I have no idea.

Officer 1: Okay. She said the door was unlocked.

Officer 2: You said the door was unlocked?

LYLES: Yes. (Unintelligible). It looks like they tried to (unintelligible)

Officer 1: And what’s your name real quick?

LYLES: Charleena, C-H-A-R-L—

Officer 1: And then is it Lyles?

LYLES: Yes. Officer 1: L-Y-L-E-S?

LYLES: Yes. Officer 1: Middle C., (Redacted)?

LYLES: Yes. Officer 1: Okay. And then a contact number, (Redacted)?

LYLES: Yes. If you guys wanna come back here, there’s a (unintelligible).

UNKNOWN: (Unintelligible)

LYLES: (Unintelligible)

Officer 1: Okay. Was there anything else that was taken or gone through while you were gone?

LYLES: They went through like this (unintelligible) necklace with my gold...and this bag that I had open with my clothes and stuff on my bed. And the brown (unintelligible).

Officer 1: Yeah. So you said a X-Box was taken?


Officer 1: And then what was the (unintelligible)?

[7:06 minutes into video] Moments after this conversation, some kind of shuffling is heard in the audio and a child starts crying. Then officers gave orders as seen in the transcript below.

LYLES: (Inaudible)

Officer 2: Get back, get back, get back.

Officer 1: Fast back-up.

Officer 2: Get back.

LYLES: Get ready, m---------kers.

Officer 2: We need help. (Unintelligible) a woman with two knives.

Officer 1: Hey, get back. Get back.

Officer 2: Get back. Tase her.

Officer 1: I don’t have a taser. Get back, get back.

Officer 2: Get back.

Officer 1: Get back.

[7:14 minutes into video] Shots can be heard in the video. 

Officer 2: Suspect is down, we need officers on-scene, we need medics as well. We are not under control. Officer (Redacted), are you all right?

Officer 1: I’m all right, are you all right?

DISPATCH: Shots fired. Suspect is down, (unintelligible) they’re not under control.

DISPATCH: Shots fired, 6818 62 Ave NE. They’re not under control. Fast back-up 6818 62 Ave NE. (unintelligible).

The remainder of the video released by SPD shows the hallway of Lyles’ apartment – including when officers walked onto her building floor.

Seattle police report that though the use of deadly force investigation is ongoing, they released the transcript and videos for transparency. Meanwhile, a memorial grows outside of Lyles’ apartment as family and friends mourn her death.