A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in federal district court against the City of Seattle in connection with the June 20, 2020 murder of 19-year-old Horace Lorenzo Anderson, Jr. in the notorious “CHOP” zone, an area covering several square blocks in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood that had been literally taken over by protesters amid the turmoil following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan flippantly declared the city to be experiencing a “summer of love,” but the violence that unfolded in the CHOP zone put the lie to that claim.
The nine-page lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle on behalf of Anderson’s mother, Donnitta Sinclair. She is represented by attorney Mark Lindquist with the Herrmann Law Group.
The suspect in Anderson’s slaying has been identified as Marcel Long, 18, who remains at large ten months after the incident. He has been charged with first-degree murder, according to Fox News.
Anderson was one of two people murdered in the CHOP Zone during the weeks-long occupation that ended abruptly on July 1 when Seattle Police moved in to retake their abandoned East Precinct office and the neighborhood.
The CHOP Zone became a national embarrassment for the city. On the night of the shooting, according to KOMO News, the local ABC affiliate, Anderson was shot “at least four times when he visited the CHOP zone.”
According to the court document, “The City had no effective plan for providing police protection, fire protection, or other emergency services into the surrendered area. Violence, vandalism, open drug use, and a collection of other crimes predictably proliferated in CHOP. Local business owners were threatened with retaliation if they attempted to paint over ubiquitous graffiti.”
Perhaps the most damning claim of all is the allegation that Seattle police “adopted a policy and practice of not entering the area except in the case of life-threatening crimes, and sometimes not even then. CHOP became known as a ‘no-cop’ zone.”
Anderson, described in the lawsuit as a “special needs” teen apparently had an on-going “history of antagonism for about a year.”
Long was allegedly armed with a handgun, which under Washington State law, was illegal because the state requires a license to carry a concealed handgun and nobody under age 21 can obtain a CPL. Long apparently fled the area following the killing.
After Anderson was shot, he was first taken to a makeshift first aid “medical tent.” A Seattle Fire Department Medic One ambulance “was standing by about a block and a half away from where Anderson lay bleeding.” However, “miscommunication between” police and fire departments “caused a delay of approximately 20 minutes.” Finally, some people in the CHOP zone drove the fatally-wounded Anderson to the hospital.
Lindquist was quoted by KCPQ News, the local Fox affiliate, observing, “City officials can’t have it both ways. One day it’s a ‘summer of love,’ and the next day it’s too dangerous for police and medics to help someone who’s dying?”
Fox News is reporting that more than 200 officers have quit the Seattle Police Department during the past year.
“Many of the officers cited an anti-police climate in the city – including in the City Council — and disagreements with police management in their reasons for moving on, leaving the department with what Police Chief Adrian Diaz called a ‘staffing crisis’,” Fox reported.
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