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Mayor Harrell Statement on Conclusion of Inquest into Death of Charleena Lyles

Statement from Mayor Harrell:

“The killing of Charleena Lyles was a tragic event that rightfully shook our community and should serve as a true point of inflection – we must drive continuous learning and reform, and prioritize de-escalation, as now required by Initiative 940. My heart is with the Lyles family and so many others in our community who have said loudly and clearly that death is not an acceptable outcome for a person in mental health crisis who calls for help.

“I want to thank the community members who served on this inquest jury and their commitment to finding justice. We can have safety and we can have accountability. In fact, to ensure safety, we must have accountability.

“I continue to believe we are asking the wrong questions – not whether the use of lethal force was justified, but whether it was necessary. Could we have ensured officer safety and saved a life? How can we improve training and adopt practices that reflect a commitment to ensuring lethal force is used only when absolutely necessary?

“We will push for the kinds of needed reforms and improvements that make our city safer – for every community and person. That means building and innovating our systems of public safety so that we can truly and appropriately meet the diverse needs of those in our community, no matter what context they arise. That work must continue.”