Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett hosted a rally and benefit for the children of Charleena Lyles, killed by Seattle police on June 18, at Judkins Park on Saturday.
Bennett, an active Black Lives Matter supporter, helped put together the event in hopes of bringing change and awareness, but also to raise money and support for Lyles’ family and children.
Lyles, 30, had reported a burglary attempt at her Magnuson Park home. The two officers who responded to her call contend Lyles was shot after brandishing a knife. An investigation is ongoing.
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During his speech opening the event before a crowd of several hundred, he announced his plans to raise money throughout the upcoming NFL season to pay for scholarships for each of her three children.
Following Bennett’s words, families who said they were victims of police violence spoke about the loss of their loved ones.
RELATED: Questions linger over Charleena Lyles shooting
Lyles’ cousin performed spoken-word pieces and prominent Black Lives Matter and racial equality activists also spoke.
Charleena Lyles is a 30-year-old, pregnant mother who was shot and killed by two Seattle police officers. The police officers claim that Lyles was unruly and unstable, her sister Monika Williams says that isn’t true about her sister at all. Williams explains, “if you met her, you would be drawn in. I don’t care what she was going through or what anybody was trying to bring to her, she would hit it with a smile.” Her family has spent the last few weeks celebrate Lyles’ life and trying to reach as many people as they can to let them know that Lyles’ was innocent and wrongfully killed.
Bennett signed Seahawks-themed chairs and a canopy, which were auctioned to kick off his fundraising effort.