Charleena Lyles younger sister, Tiffany Rodgers, and other family members led a march in the wake of Lyles death.
Charleena Lyles' younger sister, Tiffany Rodgers, and other family members led a march in the wake of Lyles' death. nate gowdy

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The family of Charleena Lyles does not plan to participate in a public hearing tonight about her death, according to Andre Taylor, a local reform advocate who's been working with Lyles' family since Seattle Police killed her on June 18. That day, Lyles, a pregnant mother of four, called police to report a burglary. When officers arrived at her apartment, police say she threatened them with a knife.

Lyles' family has questioned why police didn't use non-deadly force like a Taser. (Neither officer who shot her carried one.) In response, the Seattle City Council has scheduled a hearing tonight for members of the public to comment on the death and the ongoing police investigation. But that hearing will not include anyone from the Seattle Police Department, including Chief Kathleen O'Toole.

Taylor, whose brother was shot and killed by Seattle police last year, says if SPD doesn't show up, neither will Lyles' family.

"We asked for a public meeting for [a] chance to talk directly in public to Chief O'Toole," Taylor wrote in a Facebook post last night. "And this public hearing falls short. We will not be participating."

Taylor told The Stranger he has talked to Lyles' family. While he does not expect any members of the family to attend the hearing, the family is large and some members have traveled from California, he said.

Tonight's public hearing is scheduled for 6 pm in the University of Washington's Kane Hall. You can watch a live stream of the meeting here. Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant said yesterday O'Toole should be at the hearing to "directly answer" questions from the family. Council Member Lorena González, who chairs the council's public safety committee, argued the meeting should not "be a public deposition of elected leaders and our chief of police."

Read Taylor's full statement below:

My job is to protect the family of Charleena Lyles, from any hint of being politicized.

We asked for a public meeting for an chance to talk directly in public to Chief O'Toole. And this public hearing falls short. We will not be participating. We asked specifically for a meeting space where the police chief and her officers would address questions. And this public hearing, which is being described as being for Charleena is not what we asked for! We wanted the Police Chief and her officers to answer questions about the murder of Charleena. And today we learned that law enforcement will not be there to answer those questions. We appreciate City Council but question the value of this and who it is really about. It is not unreasonable to request the opportunity to talk to the police and Chief in a public forum. So, we will not support this event because it's not about Charleena and the other families of police violence. We need substantive honest conversation, not just another hearing on a topic we have grown too familiar with.