Dori: After CHOP lawsuits are over, ‘city will end up paying millions,’ says attorney

Jun 13, 2022, 6:36 PM | Updated: Jun 14, 2022, 8:46 am
AP image of Lorenzo Anderson’s mother – Donnitta Sinclair...
AP image of Lorenzo Anderson’s mother – Donnitta Sinclair

Now that at least one lawsuit has been settled out of court in connection with Seattle’s 2020 racial justice protests in the now-dismantled Capitol Hill Occupied Protest(CHOP), another legal wave against the city of Seattle and its taxpayers believes it is gaining momentum.

“Before the legal smoke clears, I expect the city will end up paying millions,” attorney Mark Lindquist told The Dori Monson Show on Monday.

Seattle pays $500,000 to settle wrongful death suit over CHOP shooting

On Friday, the city paid $500,000 to the father of a Horace Lorenzo Anderson, 19. The elder Horace Anderson originally sought $3 billion in the wrongful-death lawsuit filed in late 2021.

Seattle Police say surveillance video shows the teen – called Lorenzo – was shot and died in June 2020 after arguing with another man near the CHOP. The six-block protestor-created police-free area was also known as the CHAZ – Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone surrounding the Seattle Police East Precinct. These protests forced the city to abandon the precinct, not far from the 10th Avenue and East Pine Street spot where Lorenzo was shot.

With the father’s case completed, Lindquist updated Dori’s listeners on the case he has filed on behalf of Lorenzo Anderson’s mother, Donnitta Sinclair. Her original case, filed as a federal civil rights lawsuit, was dismissed in November. It has since been appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, explained Lindquist, a former Pierce County Prosecutor and now a Seattle/Tacoma attorney.

“Our argument is, No. 1: the city created a dangerous situation; and No. 2: city officials lured individuals into this dangerous situation by misrepresenting this danger,” Lindquist said. “And then finally, the city failed to promptly provide medical care after [Lorenzo] was shot and he laid bleeding.”

Lindquist referenced former Mayor Jenny Durkan calling CHOP activities “the summer of love” and a “block party” in the days and weeks following the Minneapolis killing of George Floyd.

“I’ve been to block parties,” Lindquist told Dori’s listeners. “This was not a block party.”

Lindquist said Friday’s settlement is the “first of many defeats that the city is going to have. It’s some accountability, but it’s not full accountability.”

Without a dollar amount attached to Donnitta Sinclair’s lawsuit, Dori asked, what are you asking for?

Financial figures are not required in a federal lawsuit, Lindquist explained.

“Money will come into play at some point. All lawsuits do to some degree” because they “are representative of other things like accountability and justice and closure,” he continued.

What bugs Dori? That taxpayers will ultimately have to pay for it.

Between city leaders’ “horrible judgment, the fact that they are able to slough off their malfeasance – it never sits right with me that they get to pass it on to us,” Dori said. “This story isn’t going away any time soon.”

Listen to Dori Monson weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Dori: After CHOP lawsuits are over, ‘city will end up paying millions,’ says attorney