The mother of a young man who was murdered inside of the occupied zone, “CHOP”, in Seattle is now suing the city for their failure to due their duty to protect their citizens.
Lorenzo Anderson, 19, was one of two men shot in Seattle’s former Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone around 2:30 a.m. on June 20.
Donnitta Sinclair, Anderson’s mother, is represented by the Herrmann Law Group, and contends 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.
“I believe the city let me down, they let my son down (and)they let the community down,” Sinclair said. “And they need to be responsible.”
Civilian medics eventually loaded Anderson into a pickup truck and drove him to Harborview Medical Center, where he later died.
“Explain to me why they didn’t go in there and help my son,” Sinclair said.
Attorney Mark Lindquist said the city created a dangerous environment by allowing lawlessness in the CHOP to flourish.
“The city abandoned this area and the city had no safety plan in place for this abandoned area,” Lindquist said.
Her claim is the first step toward a lawsuit that she plans to file against the city of Seattle. Under state law, a claim must be filed 60 days before filing a lawsuit.
Sinclair’s lawyers, Lara Herrmann and Lindquist, said the actions and inaction of city officials in the case were “outrageous.”
“Lorenzo’s family needs justice. The community needs the truth. Seattle government needs to be more transparent and accountable,” they said in a prepared statement.
Seattle police later said they could not get to the shooting scene because of a violent crowd that surrounded them as they approached.
“One day this is a block party, the next day it’s so dangerous you can’t send in medics,” Lindquist said. “I mean which is it?”
Officers abandoned the East Precinct and the former CHOP zone about 10 days before Anderson was shot. Over an eight-day period, there were five shootings in the CHOP area with six victims.
It’s not clear at this time who gave the order for police to abandon the East Precinct.
Herrman says it appears fire department medics wanted to go in and help Lorenzo but they could not get clearance or support from the city to do so.
The CHOP zone was reclaimed by police two days after a final shooting incident on June 29 that left a 16-year-old dead and a 14-year-old wounded.
There was no immediate response to the claim from Seattle city officials.
Sinclair says she is seeking financial damages but hopes the legal action will prevents something like this from happening again to another mother.
“I am hoping the city takes responsibility,” she said.