A wrongful death claim has been filed against the city of Seattle by the mother of Lorenzo Anderson, 19, who was killed in the former Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHOP). This according to Komo News.
Donnitta Sinclair, Anderson’s Mother, alleges that city officials created a dangerous environment and failed to provide medical help to her son as he lay dying. A claim is typically the first step toward a lawsuit. Under state law, a claim must be filed 60 days before filing a lawsuit.
Anderson was one of two teens shot in Seattle's former Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone around 2:30 a.m. on June 20. Self-appointed medics took Anderson by private vehicle to Harborview Medical Center, where he later died.
Seattle Fire Department and Medics could not enter the area because standard operating procedure calls for Seattle Police to secure an area first before medical first responders can access the scene. This was not possible due to the occupation.
Following the takeover of the area by armed occupiers, Seattle Police were barred from the area by barricades and individuals. Anderson's mother, represented by the Herrmann Law Group, stated in the claim that her son was shot multiple times, but Seattle Police and Fire Department medics stood by and declined to help him as he lay bleeding to death.
Seattle police said they could not access the scene after the shooting because of a violent crowd that surrounded their officers as they approached. Sinclair’s lawyer Lara Herrmann said it appears that Fire Department medics wanted to go in and help Lorenzo but they could not get clearance or support from the city to do so.
Seattle Police were given the order to abandon the East Precinct, within what would become the autonomous zone, and allow Antifa and BLM members to occupy the area in June. This followed nights of riots and attacks against police protecting the precinct.
Rioters repurposed the barriers left behind by SPD and created the CHOP and would not allow police back into the area. There were five shootings with six victims, including two fatalities, in just over a week during the occupation. The CHOP was dismantled by SPD earlier this month.
Seattle City Council Member Kshama Sawant claimed that the shooting was a "right wing attack" even though representatives of the CHOP claimed it was gang violence. There are now others who claim the shooting was as a result of a fight over fireworks.
This claim now joins several other claims and lawsuits that have been filed against the city as a result of their handling of the CHOP. The City of Seattle has not yet responded to the claim.