SEATTLE -- Last month, four people of color were shot and killed by police in King County -- all within nine days of each other.
Currently, there is an ongoing investigation of the Seattle Police Department in response to the killing of Charleena Lyles by officers Steven McNew and Jason Anderson.
Meanwhile, community members are demanding that justice be served. They're calling for an independent, community-based investigation into Charleena's death.
A direct action was organized on July 8 at the North Seattle Precinct Picnic centered on women of color, particularly Black women. The action was in response to several violent incidents within and on the Black community of Seattle -- including the silencing of Black and femme women from local known Black men.
On Saturday, the North Precinct Seattle Police Department hosted their annual community picnic. The event page was met with disgust by some community members who felt the celebration was in poor taste, in light of the current investigation of the SPD.
To date, there have been 15 reported police shootings and killings of civilians in Washington, seven of those occurred in King County and six of whom were identified as people of color. None of the police officers involved used body cam recordings.
According to a recent article by the Washington Post, 963 people were killed nationwide by police in 2016, and 508 so far in 2017.
Action organizers were motivated by the recent killing of pregnant 30-year-old Charleena Lyles -- a Black woman and mother of four -- by Seattle Police on June 18. Her unborn child also lost its life.
Lyles has initially called the cops to report a possible burglary, and instead officers Steven McNew and Jason Anderson shot her in front of her children.
Other recent killings by police include two youth of color: Tommy Le was shot by a King County deputy in Burien on June 13, and Green River College student Giovann Joseph-McDade was shot by Kent police on June 24.