Horace Lorenzo Anderson, the father of a 19-year-old black teen shot and killed inside Seattle’s Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) is speaking out and demanding the city bring in the National Guard to help break up the increasingly violent protest, now in its third week.
Horace Lorenzo Anderson, Jr., was the first person killed in CHOP, more than a week ago, during an outbreak of gun violence inside of the “autonomous zone.”
Anderson’s father, Anderson, Sr., spoke late Monday, after another black teen, this time a 16-year old, was killed in the CHOP over the weekend, and a 14-year-old left wounded.
“I ain’t been sleeping. You see my eyes. I’ve been crying. I’m trying not to cry on TV,” Anderson said in the Monday press conference, according to KIRO Seattle.
“This doesn’t look like a protest to me no more,” said Anderson. “That just looks like they just took over and said we can take over whenever we want to.”
Since last week, at least two people have been killed and several others wounded in CHOP gun violence. And although Seattle’s mayor Jenny Durkan has pledged to bring an end to the demonstration, which is occupying six square blocks of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, including the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct, many believe Durkan is sympathetic to the plight of protesters and reticent to use force.
Anderson, to the contrary, says that if the city cannot break up the protest alone, officials should bring in the National Guard.
“They should deployed them here to say ‘Man, it’s time to go,’” Anderson said. ” ‘It’s time to move on. And break this up.’”
Seattle Chief Carmen Best, also present at the press conference, challenged the mayor to assist the police in moving the demonstration out.
“I’m not going to let the detractors and the naysayers and the agitators be the ones that are the voice here,” she said of the Capitol Hill situation as protesters jeered her from afar. “There are people who live here. There are multiple people who are being injured and hurt. And we need to do something about it. It is absolutely irresponsible for this discontent to continue.”
So far, though, KIRO reports, the mayor has done little but issue strongly-worded pleas for protesters to vacate Capitol Hill and promising city social services to those who have nowhere else to go or are suffering from addiction or mental health issues.
A federal lawsuit, filed against the city of Seattle last week by long-term Capitol Hill residents and small business owners, alleges that the city has deliberately allowed CHOP — and its inherent lawlessness — to flourish.
For their part, protesters say they have no plans to leave, even though CHOP’s leadership has called for a transition to “virtual activism.” On Friday, the city’s public works department tried to remove signs marking CHOP’s borders but were turned away by angry demonstrators who even staged a “die-in” to block construction equipment from moving concrete barriers.
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