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Grieving mother sues producers of Capitol Hill Block Party, blames them for daughter’s death

SEATTLE — It’s been nearly a year since a 20-year-old Federal Way woman was shot and killed as she left the Capitol Hill Block party.

Now her mother has filed a lawsuit blaming the block party’s producers.

Essence Greene-Madden was trapped by an illegal street takeover, as she tried to leave Capitol Hill Block last year.

Her mother blames the producers, saying they simply put up barriers and left, leaving her daughter with no way to escape.

She says it has been a hard year. The young woman’s family is still grieving. So much so, they had a party for her last month on what would have been her 21st birthday. A birthday she couldn’t celebrate because her life was taken a month after she turned 20.

This is the last birthday Essence Greene-Madden celebrated. Just six weeks later, the newly minted 20-year-old was shot near the Capitol Hill Block party.

“She was my baby,” said Tina Madden, wiping away tears. “So, it’s tough.”

Essence was leaving the Block party last July when she encountered an unauthorized street racing event on Broadway at East Pike Street. But she, an older sister and friends were trapped by the vehicles. Someone pulled out a weapon and opened fire.

Essence and two others were shot. She is the only person who didn’t survive.

Madden was asked what she feels with the block party just a month away.

“I think it’s very disappointing,” she said. “When I saw that they were having it again, I was enraged. Because then I felt like, my daughter’s life didn’t mean anything.”

Now Madden is suing the Block Party’s producers, alleging they set up barricades as the party was ending and simply left, leaving no way out once the street racing started.

“The publicity was all towards the street racing,” she said. “What about the people that threw this block party? What was your security measures? What were things that should have been in place? Why were the police not able to get through the barricades at that hour of the morning?”

She was asked what she hopes the lawsuit achieves.

“Achieves accountability,” she said. “And when things are being planned like this, they should really think this plan out, for the safety of the people that are there. They’re just there to have a good time.”

KIRO 7 has messages out to the producers of the Capitol Hill Block Party but haven’t heard back.

As of now, the block party is most definitely still on. In fact, it starts, in just 32 days.

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