Father of Black Teen Gunned Down During Black Lives Matter Protest Sues Seattle

Flowers, candles, and other items are shown, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, at a growing memorial
Ted S. Warren/AP

The father of a teen killed in Seattle’s Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone (CHOP) in 2020 is suing the city, former Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, and Councilmember Kshama Sawant for allowing a ‘lawless’ environment and botching the investigation into his son’s death.

Antonio Mays Jr., 16, drove to CHOP in a white Jeep to participate in what he thought would be ‘peaceful protests’ following the death of George Floyd, according to the lawsuit. The city abandoned the eight-block autonomous zone “without a working plan to provide essential services, creating a danger,” the lawsuit alleges.

Mayor Durkan described the zone as a ‘block party’ to Chris Cuomo.

“It’s not an armed takeover,” Durkan said.  “It’s not a military junta. We will – we will make sure that we can restore this.”

Mays was shot and killed on June 29, making him the third fatality in the autonomous zone in the third week of the protest.

“Despite knowledge of the violence, chaos, danger, and potential danger, Seattle leaders failed Antonio and encouraged lawlessness to reign. The Defendants are responsible for the death of Antonio Mays, Jr., a kind, friendly soul, who was an asset to his community,” the suit alleges.

The lawsuit states Mays was reportedly shot by CHOP “cops” —  self-appointed security guards who received training from the Seattle police. After he was shot, CHOP medics rushed to help Mays and take him to city paramedics who “did a U-turn and sped away in the other direction,” according to the lawsuit.

Nine days before Mays’ death, 19-year-old Lorenzo Anderson bled out in the CHOP after first responders refused to enter CHOP due to safety concerns. The city settled a lawsuit with Anderson’s family for $500,000.

Donnitta Sinclair, mother of Lorenzo Anderson, who was killed nearby by gunfire days earlier, pauses as she talks about her son's death during a broadcast by Converge Media, Tuesday, June 23, 2020, in Seattle, where streets are blocked off in what has been named the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest zone. Anderson, who was 19, was one of two people shot Saturday morning at the edge of the Capitol Hill protest zone known as CHOP. Faced with growing pressure to crack down on the area following two weekend shootings, Seattle's mayor said Monday that officials will move to wind down the blocks-long span of city streets taken over two weeks ago. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Donnitta Sinclair, mother of 19-year-old Lorenzo Anderson, who was killed in Seattle at the Capitol Hill protest zone known as CHOP by gunfire days earlier, pauses as she talks about her son’s death. (Elaine Thompson/AP)

Seattle Attorney Evan Oshan, representing Mays’ family, claims investigators failed to follow up on subjects and leads. He cites YouTube footage showing the night of Mays’s murder and said they were never informed of any suspects.

“Is this a cold case? Oshan asked in a letter to the Office of Police Accountability. “Is this a cover up for Police executing an unarmed black teenager? Or his death just doesn’t matter?”


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