Unreal: Shooting Victim Wants to Sue Police for Responding Too Slowly to CHOP

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Posted: Jun 26, 2020 3:45 PM
Unreal: Shooting Victim Wants to Sue Police for Responding Too Slowly to CHOP

Source: AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

A shooting victim in CHOP (Capitol Hill Occupied Protest) within Seattle is seeking legal assistance to file a complaint against the police department for not helping him. 

CHOP, previously called CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone) was established by protesters, rioters, and anarchists for the explicit purpose of barring the Seattle police from entering. Signs bearing messages such as "No Cop Co-Op," and "Literally, Abolish the Police," have littered the area for weeks as the local police precinct was forced to vacate their facility. Makeshift walls and barricades were also placed by the CHOP campers to specifically keep the police away from the area. 

"We could have the summer of love," Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) said days after the criminals, vandals, rioters, and activists set up shop on her city streets. "[CHOP] is more like a block party atmosphere. It's not an armed takeover," she also said. 

But the summer of love turned bloody in just a matter of days with several shooting incidents and fatalities. Mayor Durkan announced that the "block party" would have to come to an end, and police would be moving back into the precinct she forced them to abandon. However, the police, she said, would be asking the occupants nicely to leave. As of Friday, there are still protesters in the area, though residents are quickly losing patience. 

One of the shooting victims, 33-year-old activist DeJuan Young, found out the hard way that culling law enforcement from CHOP didn't really serve his best interest. In fact, despite participating in the assembly of police barricades and protesting against the idea of sustained law enforcement, Young is now trying to sue the police department for not responding to his attack. 

"I was shot in Seattle, in CHAZ, on Friday," Young said from his hospital bed. "The cops left me out there to die." While he expressed interest in obtaining legal representation against the police department, however, Young gave no indication that he was interested in finding out who the perpetrators were. He says, however, the unidentified shooter was a racially motivated attack. 

"I’m positive this was a hate crime," Young said. "When he shot me, the recoil and the surprise pushed me on top of the hood of the vehicle." He continued, "at that time, he stood over top of me and continued to shoot. And I tried to block myself ... So basically I was shot by, I’m not sure if they’re ‘Proud Boys’ or KKK. But the verbiage that they said was hold this ‘N—–’ and shot me."

Young claims that the police abandoned him as he bled in the street and only bothered to show up after he had been transported from the area. A representative from Black Lives Matter Seattle claimed that police were not needed on the scene as the "CHOP medics" had taken Young to the local hospital. 

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Witnesses from the CHOP were immediately skeptical of Young's claim to be a victim of a hate crime, sharing footage of him involved in an earlier altercation with a journalist attempting to film inside the zone. Young's assertion that police abandoned him was also debunked after footage emerged showing police unable to respond to shots fired because of the area's barricades. Despite this, Young says, they had no excuse because he was "technically" outside of CHOP. 

"I was in Seattle streets. So what’s the excuse now?" he said. Video shows, however, that police did try to enter the area of the shooting and were not able to get to Young before he was taken to the hospital in a civilian vehicle. An ambulance would not enter the area without a police escort, which could not be provided because of the barricades. 

Young's attempt to sue the police will also be thwarted, even if he does retain legal counsel, as complaints with the Seattle Police would be the responsibility of the city. In order to sue the city, he'll have to get in line behind residents and business owners taking on the city for allowing the melee to occur in the first place.