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Lawsuit CHOP, Seattle activists
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Family files federal lawsuit against Seattle over son killed in CHOP last summer

Barriers in front of the CHOP. (Getty Images)

The mother of a 19-year-old shot and killed at the CHOP last June has officially filed a lawsuit in federal court against the City of Seattle for the wrongful death of Horace Lorenzo Anderson.

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

Anderson was shot multiple times in the early hours of June 20. Witnesses say Seattle Fire and Seattle Police stood by and declined to assist the teen as he bled to death. The lawsuit points to video on social media showing a man yelling at a Medic One driver near the scene, saying “You guys could be saving this man’s life right now … He’s dying. He needs your help.”

A civilian vehicle eventually transported Anderson to Harborview Medical Center, where he later died.

The lawsuit places blame at the feet of a handful of city officials, including Mayor Jenny Durkan, then-Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best, and City Councilmember Kshama Sawant. More specifically, it demands answers regarding who it was that gave the order to abandon SPD’s East Precinct, a move that spurred the creation of the so-called “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest.”

“Someone in city leadership gave the order and there should be accountability,” Mike Lindquist, one of the lawyers representing Anderson’s mother, said in a written release. “You can make space for peaceful protest without cutting off police, fire, and other critical services.”

Seattle business: Nothing done about CHOP until it affected officials

Both Best and Durkan have denied they gave the order to clear the precinct, with the mayor claiming last summer that the decision was made by “SPD Frontline Commanders on site.”

Anderson’s family first began to mount its legal battle against the city last year, when it filed a claim — a process that precedes the official filing of a lawsuit — against the City of Seattle, King County, and Washington state last July.

Capitol Hill business owners and residents filed a separate class action lawsuit last June, alleging the city created conditions that led to “extensive harm” done by the CHOP. That suit claims that the city denied businesses and residents of their constitutional right to access their properties through policies that allowed CHOP protesters to move in and occupy the area.

Six people shot in the CHOP last summer. Of those victims, Anderson and a 16-year-old boy died.

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