Monday, November 15, 2021

SEEKING JUSTICE: Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Filed by Mother of Man Killed During CHOP Anti-Police Protests

Source: Seattle Times

Published: November 1, 2021

By: Mike Carter

A civil-rights lawsuit filed by the mother of a 19-year-old Seattle man fatally shot during last year’s Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) has been dismissed by a federal judge, who concluded the city did not create a dangerous situation for the young man when police abandoned the department’s East Precinct during the unrest.

In formally dismissing the lawsuit Monday, U.S. District Judge John Coughenour ruled that Donnitta Sinclair, the mother of Horace Lorenzo Anderson, could not show that the decision by city officials to vacate the embattled East Precinct during the racial unrest after the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police caused the circumstances that led to Anderson’s shooting death.

Coughenour cited law that states, as a general rule, that “members of the public have no constitutional right to sue [city officials] who fail to protect them against harm inflicted by a third party,” unless they can prove some action by the city created a danger would not have otherwise existed.

“In other words,” the judge wrote, “the City must have known that something was going to happen but chose to ignore the risk and expose plaintiff to it anyway.”

The city contended that it could not have foreseen that Anderson would run into a rival, 18-year-old Marcel Long, on Capitol Hill early on June 20, 2020. Bad blood between the two young men led Long to allegedly shoot Anderson on the sidewalk across the street from Cal Anderson Park, according to police.

Sinclair’s lawsuit, filed earlier this year, alleged the city’s decision to abandon the department’s East Precinct and surrounding area, invited “lawlessness and … a foreseeable danger” that led to Anderson’s death.

Long was arrested in July of this year and faces first-degree murder charges.

Sinclair’s lawyer, Mark Lindquist, acknowledged the lawsuit was “unconventional” and sprang from a “unique scenario” that does not easily fit into the case law.

“Cities and counties can’t be sued for every homicide and there are good policy reasons for this,” Lindquist wrote in an earlier email after a magistrate judge had recommended Sinclair’s lawsuit be dismissed. “The question here is whether or not the city created the danger and therefore can be sued.”

He said he expects to appeal the judge’s decision, which dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice, meaning it can’t be refiled.

“I’m confident a higher court will nonetheless recognize the city did create the danger and therefore can be held be accountable,” Lindquist wrote.

Dan Nolte, a spokesman for the Seattle City Attorney’s Office, said the office would not comment because Anderson’s father and estate have filed similar claims against the city that remain pending.

The judge also dismissed a motion by the National Police Association, a nonprofit law-enforcement advocacy group based in Stafford, Texas, to join Sinclair’s lawsuit as a “friend of the court,” claiming that the city’s actions to abandon the precinct endangered the public and law enforcement and “should shock the conscience of this Court, sworn to uphold the rule of law against anarchy.”

Anderson, who went by his middle name, had graduated from an alternative youth-education program on June 19, 2020, and visited the CHOP zone the next day, where he ran into Long, according to police. The pair had a history of animosity, and according to police and witnesses, they exchanged words.

Police said that video surveillance showed that Anderson was walking away when Long, who had been restrained momentarily by others, pulled a handgun and shot him several times.

Read more at:
Discerning the Mystery is a website dedicated to awakening and educating the people to their true potential of mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical growth. It can be difficult work, but if just one person benefits from these efforts, it is entirely worth it. 

If you enjoy what you read here, please give the post a like and share on social media. Also, if you enjoyed this article, please consider leaving a donation.

Feel free to send us an email and tell us what you think. If you have any suggestions or subjects you would like to see discussed, please let us know.

Thank you for your support.

No comments:

Post a Comment