June 22, 2017
Statement of In Our Own Voice Founder and Executive Director Marcela Howell
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Sunday, June 18, 2017, Charleena Lyles was shot dead, in her
own home, by two white, Seattle police officers, who responded to her report of a burglary.
Lyles was a 30-year-old Black woman. Her four children were in the apartment and may have
witnessed the shooting and her death. The officers report that Lyles, after calling them for help,
threatened them with a knife. Marcela Howell, founder and executive director of In Our Own
Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, issued the following statement:
“Charleena Lyles called the police for help and ended up murdered by the very people she
looked to for protection. Her name is added to the seemingly endless list of Black women and
men killed by police violence. Like always, Black communities will await the results of an
investigation to determine whether anyone will be charged with her death.