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Attorney for CHOP shooting victim: City had no plan to deal with trouble

(Photo by Karen Ducey/Getty Images)

Donnitta Sinclair lost her 19 year-old son, Lorenzo, to a gun homicide in the CHOP zone, and is now suing the city. Sinclair is represented by the Herrmann Law Group. Her attorney Mark Lindquist is a former Pierce County prosecutor and joined the Jason Rantz Show to discuss the lawsuit.

What is at the core of the lawsuit against the city?

“We’re focused on two of the mistakes in particular the city made: Number one, the city abandoned the East Precinct and the surrounding area. Number two, the city had no plan to deliver essential services into this abandoned area,” he said.

“When the city abandoned the area, it was foreseeable that trouble would follow, and the city had no plan to deal with that trouble.”

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Does he think the city is going argue that they tried to send police into the CHOP, but they just weren’t allowed, and felt that if they pushed harder there would have been more potential for violence?

“Looking at the videos, at least in front of the medics, it appears fire[fighters] had a pretty clear path to Lorenzo. The police — and it’s unclear why — were staged in a completely different area. The police and the firefighters — had they been together in that area where the firefighters were staged — would have had a clear path to Lorenzo. And there were people saying to them, ‘Come in, come in. He needs help. You can save his life. We need you.’”

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Does the ultimate responsibility fall to the mayor,or is that something that should be put on the police chief?

“It’s an ongoing investigation, but I think it falls on the shoulders of all the elected and appointed officials that they weren’t on the same page, that they didn’t have a plan, that they weren’t focused on public safety,” Lindquist said. “You can have lawful protests and still have public safety.”

What role does Lindquist believe the CHOP activists played in all of this?

“I want to say that the Seattle police are investigating the shooting and even though that’s separate — the criminal action separate from the civil action — obviously, as a former processor, I want to see justice on that as well. But bringing it back to the situation of the activists. The activists, unlike the city, don’t have the duty and the obligation, it’s not the job of the activists to come up with a public safety plan,” he said.

“It is the job of the city to have a public safety plan, to deliver essential services, to protect people.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3 – 6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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