Black teen shot during CHAZ occupation in 2020 brings suit against Seattle for allowing 'countless acts of violence'

"Despite knowledge of the violence and chaos, Seattle leaders failed Robert West and the other residents of CHOP. The 'summer of love' inevitably turned into the 'summer of blood.'"

Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
A lawsuit has been filed against the city of Seattle, as well as former and current city officials, on behalf of Robert West, a black teen who was the sole survivor of a shooting in Seattle’s deadly "autonomous zone." The lawsuit alleged that the city failed to protect him by allowing "countless acts of violence" in the summer of 2020.  

The suit names former mayor Jenny Durkan, former police chief Carmen Best, marxist councilmember Kshama Sawant, and fire chief Harold Scoggins.

According to West’s attorney Evan Oshan, he and his friend Antonio Mays Jr. were attempting to escape the barricaded zone on June 29, 2020, nine days after the fatal shooting of another teen, Lorenzo Anderson, in the same area.

It was the fourth shooting during the existence of the zone in Seattle’s Capitol Hill.

Mays Jr. was killed and West, then 15 years old, was left with “permanent and debilitating injuries,” including the loss of his eye, (and) removal of part of his skull.

According to the complaint filed in King County Superior Court, “Robert West was lured into the CHOP area by Mayor Durkin’s positive statements about the area on television and went to CHOP with the intention of participating in what we thought to be a peaceful protest in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Sadly, Mr. West soon realized there was nothing peaceful about CHOP."

“Despite knowledge of the violence and chaos, Seattle leaders failed Robert West and the other residents of CHOP. The ‘summer of love’ inevitably turned into the ‘summer of blood,'" Oshan added.

The suit noted that the zone was governed by a Seattle-based rapper named Raz Simone, who referred to himself as the 'Warlord' of the area and was widely accepted as the de facto police chief by authorities and even formed a make-shift civilian police force and provided them with AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifles.

According to the lawsuit, not only did authorities fail to exercise control over the zone or prevent Simone from handing out weapons to his make-shift police force, but it also accused Durkan, Best, and Scoggins of collaborating with him.

The suit also said Sawant “…who, acting under color of law, encouraged the CHOP participants to engage in lawfulness, and used the power of her office to open the doors of city hall to protestors.” 

The lawsuit notes the words of Defendant Durkan, saying Sawant used “her office ‘in violation of the law’ in a fashion that 'recklessly undermines the safety of others, all for political theater,'" noting that "Defendant Sawant’s actions were so egregious that she faced recall charges.”

Earlier this year, a federal judge imposed sanctions against the city for deleting thousands of text messages between Seattle officials, including Durkan, Best, and Scoggins during the armed Antifa and BLM occupation. Following the ruling, the city settled a lawsuit with business owners for $3.6 million who claimed the deadly autonomous zone violated their constitutional rights and caused damage to their property.

3 years later there have still been no arrests in the shooting.

Best told the media in a press conference after the shooting, “It is abundantly clear to our detectives that people have been in and out of the car after the shooting.”

In February 2021, The Post Millennial revealed that a man named Daniel Alan Baker had discussed tampering with the scene on social media.

Baker was suspected by private security, hired by residents and businesses in the zone, as well as zone activists, of being one of the shooters during the incident. Information on Baker was turned over to the Seattle Police and the FBI at the time and it was recommended that they investigate his involvement.

Baker, a US Army veteran-turned-Syrian militia member, who attempted to rally far-left activists to surround pro-Trump protesters with guns at the Florida state Capitol in January, was sentenced in October 2021 to 44 months in jail followed by three years of federal supervision.

During an interview with The Ari Hoffman Show on Talk Radio 570 KVI, Oshan said the investigation into what happened during the shooting and Baker’s possible involvement would continue. “We got to bring him back. We got to bring him back for the Robert West case. We got to bring him back to the Antonio Mays Jr. case. We got to bring him back and we got to hold him accountable… we need to gather evidence and information which has not been brought forward.”

It's gonna be a ‘peeling the onion’ event… we're gonna just have to keep peeling down the layers and see where they lead us.

To date, Seattle has settled millions of dollars in claims as a result of the zone.
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