Family of teen shot, killed in CHOP zone files claim against Seattle

SEATTLE — The family of a teenager who was shot and killed during the CHOP protests in 2020 says they are suing Seattle.

CHOP stands for Capitol Hill Organized (or occupied) Protest. It was first known as CHAZ, for Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.

Antonio Mays Jr. was 16 years old when he was shot and killed in the zone in June 2020.

His family filed a tort claim, which is an official notice of an upcoming lawsuit.

KIRO 7′s Kevin Ko spoke with May’s father, who lives in California.

Antonio Mays Sr. and his attorney, Evan Oshan, say the 16-year-old was in California when he saw the headlines about CHOP.

“Calling it the summer of love, and how they were just protesting up there and what have you,” said Mays.

“He was here to participate in something bigger than him. Something that was going to change things to make the world a better place. And he was greeted by this insane situation up on Capitol Hill,” said Oshan.

Oshan claims city leadership failed to provide legally obligated emergency services to protesters demonstrating in CHOP. The tort claim filed on Monday does not specify a financial claim.

Mays said he doesn’t need it.

“I had been living my life for my son to give him a head start. What good does it give me an insurmountable amount of money?” he said.

The tort claim comes a month after the City of Seattle paid $500,000 to the father of Horace Lorenzo Anderson, a 19-year-old man who was shot and killed in CHOP.

The lawsuit accused first-responders of being unable or unwilling to enter the CHOP zone. It also claimed Anderson wouldn’t have died if he received immediate medical attention.

Mays is wondering the same thing about his son.

“I need answers. And I need justice. That’s what has not been coming forward. This isn’t about money,” he said.

KIRO 7 reached out to Seattle’s city attorney, city clerk and the mayor’s office.

“The death of a child from gun violence is a tragedy that no family should have to endure.  Mayor Harrell trusts that the City will respond to the claim and any related litigation in an appropriate manner,” a statement from the mayor’s office said.

A spokesperson for the Seattle City Council said the council does not typically comment on matters of pending litigation.