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Policies Around Use Of Less-Lethal Force By Police Can Be Complicated

Ted S. Warren
AP Photo
Seattle Police officer Eric Pisconski, of SPD's crisis response unit, responds to a call in Seattle.

The shooting death of Charleena Lyles by Seattle police has once again brought the use of deadly force into the spotlight. Friends and family of Lyles have asked why other less-lethal force wasn’t used when two officers responded to an attempted burglary report at Lyles’ apartment Sunday morning.

Police confirmed the officers didn’t have tasers when responding. The city’s police department will conduct an extensive review of what happened as part of the federally-mandated reforms included in the consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice. That investigation is expected to take months. 88.5’s Kirsten Kendrick spoke with our law and justice reporter, Paula Wissel, for some background on the use of less-lethal force by Seattle police.

Paula is a former host, reporter and producer who retired from KNKX in 2021. She joined the station in 1989 as All Things Considered host and covered the Law and Justice beat for 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.
Kirsten Kendrick hosts Morning Edition on KNKX and the sports interview series "Going Deep," talking with folks tied to sports in our region about what drives them — as professionals and people.
Ariel first entered a public radio newsroom in 2004 while in school at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. It was love at first sight. After graduating from Bradley, she went on to earn a Master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Ariel has lived in Indiana, Ohio and Alaska reporting on everything from salmon spawning to policy issues concerning education. She's been a host, a manager and now rides shotgun with Kirsten Kendrick as the Morning Edition producer at KNKX.