On June 18, Charleena Lyles, a pregnant mother of four, was shot dead by a Seattle cop when she approached his partner on duty with a blade.
Now, just days later it has emerged that the cop who killed Charleena, Officer Jason Anderson, had debated giving up his stun gun for months before he finally did so two weeks ago.
However his reason for no longer carrying his taser has shocked many.
Anderson didn’t carry his taser because it took up too much ‘real estate’ on his belt, according to the NY Daily News.
In transcripts released by the Seattle Police Department’s Force Investigation Team, Anderson said:
I’m a … quite slender guy. I don’t have a lot of room for equipment on my belt.
Instead he carried a baton and pepper spray.
Two weeks prior to the fatal shooting, Anderson’s Taser stopped working and instead of telling a senior officer and having it replaced or fixed he put it in his locker and refused to take it out.
Recruit photos of SPD officers Steven McNew and Jason Anderson from training commission. On leave following Charleena Lyles shooting. pic.twitter.com/KurLWT9nvo
— Graham Johnson (@GrahamKIRO7) June 23, 2017
Now he is under scrutiny from the force as it is law that all trained officers carry a Taser at all times during their shifts to avoid unnecessary fatalities such as, most probably, that of Charleena Lyles.
Anderson and his on-duty partner, Steven McNew, attended Lyles’ home in relation to a stolen video games console. However while the officers were taking notes, Lyles reportedly produced a blade and had McNew cornered.
It was then that Anderson, ‘fearing she would kill my partner’, opened fire and killed Lyles.
During the investigation it was questioned why Anderson didn’t use his Taser on the woman.
Just two weeks previous, police attended Lyles’ home where she reportedly acted erratically, confronting officers with scissors, and claiming she and her daughter would turn into wolves.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.