Durkan, Sawant and Seattle sued for death in CHOP zone

SEATTLE — A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of Horace Anderson and the estate of his deceased son, Lorenzo Anderson, a 19-year-old who was shot near the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone.

The lawsuit holds Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, City Council Member Kshama Sawant and the City of Seattle responsible for the death.

CHOP was a seven-block, police-free protest zone that the mayor, City Council and other government entities allowed during the George Floyd protests.

Lorenzo Anderson was shot in the early morning hours of June 20, 2020, on Pine Street, and Seattle medics refused to enter the CHOP zone because Seattle police could not secure the scene.

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A bystander took him to Harborview Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The lawsuit claims there are more than 2,400 pages of exhibits that provide evidence showing that actions and inactions by the defendants “were directly responsible for the chaos promoted and encouraged that lead to the wrongful and preventable death of (Lorenzo) Anderson.”

Attorney Evan M. Oshan said key exhibits include a reprimand of Sawant and more than 300 pages of invoices showing funds were mismanaged to promote the CHOP zone.

A news release from Oshan said other exhibits show how Seattle medics and police officers were nearby and available to help the dying teen when 911 calls were received, but they failed to perform their duties “as a result of failed Seattle leadership.”

A federal wrongful death lawsuit was filed against the city in April this year on behalf of Anderson’s mother, Donnitta Sinclair, but Oshan said it was dismissed this week.