Donnitta Sinclair Martin, the mother of Horace Lorenzo Anderson, Jr., a 19-year-old black man who was shot and killed in the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, or CHOP, is suing the city of Seattle, her lawyer says, because city officials abandoned the six-block “autonomous zone,” leaving her injured and bleeding son to wait for emergency care that never arrived.
“The mother of a 19-year-old Seattle man fatally shot last month in the Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) zone filed a wrongful-death claim against the city of Seattle on Monday, alleging city officials created a dangerous environment by allowing protesters to occupy six city blocks and that police and fire officials failed to protect or medically assist her son,” the Seattle Times reported, citing the mother’s attorney.
Anderson and another man, a 33-year-old, were shot multiple times near the boundary of the CHOP zone, the outlet says, but protesters, concerned with preventing police from clearing the site, blocked emergency vehicles and other first responders from attending to Lorenzo Anderson, Jr.
“Anderson and a 33-year-old man, who was critically injured, were shot that Saturday and were transported in private vehicles to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center by volunteer medics,” Seattle Times says. “At the time, demonstrators had largely blocked off law enforcement access to the CHOP area amid demands for racial justice and calls to defund the Seattle Police Department (SPD).”
The suit also alleges that protesters from CHOP also blocked any investigation into Anderson’s death. Police, for their part, say they have yet to identify a suspect in the shooting.
Anderson’s mother says that the city of Seattle had a duty to tend to her son, and by allowing the CHOP protest to continue, despite knowing that there was the possibility of violence, Seattle bears responsibility in his death.
“I feel like my son was not properly served,” she told media Monday. “I feel like nobody cared. Lorenzo was fighting all his life and now I have to fight for him.”
Seattle says it has yet to receive Martin’s complaint.
Anderson’s parents have been vocal in pressuring the city of Seattle to take responsibility for the violence that occurred in CHOP, even before Mayor Jenny Durkan who, at one time, referred to the ongoing demonstration as a “block party” and the start of a “summer of love,” ordered the protest be dismantled by Seattle police.
Anderson’s father, Lorenzo Anderson, Sr., told a press conference in late June that he believed Seattle did not intend to address the death of his son and order an end to CHOP.
“This doesn’t look like a protest to me no more,” Anderson told media at the time. “That just looks like they just took over and said we can take over whenever we want to.”
“They should have deployed [the National Guard] here to say ‘Man, it’s time to go,’” Anderson added. ”It’s time to move on. And break this up.’”
There are at least two other lawsuits related to Seattle’s tolerance for CHOP pending before a Federal district court. Both of those suits were filed by longterm residents and business owners of the Capitol Hill neighborhood, who say the city abrogated its duty to protect their property and safety when it failed to evict CHOP.