A father whose teenage son was fatally shot in Seattle's "CHOP" Zone in 2020 has filed a wrongful death complaint against the city, saying it "encouraged lawlessness" to prevail in the protest area that summer.
Protesters occupied the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone, originally called the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, in the weeks following George Floyd’s killing by a police officer in May 2020.
In his suit filed with Oshan & Associates this week, Antonio Mays, Sr., says the city was well aware of the violence in the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest Zone but had abandoned it "without a working plan to provide essential services." His 16-year-old son, Antonio Mays, Jr., was fatally shot after he had traveled there from California for what he thought was a "peaceful protest in support of the Black Lives Matter movement."
"Sadly, Antonio soon realized that there was nothing peaceful about CHOP," the suit states.
Former Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, D., was heavily criticized after she said the CHOP Zone had a "block party atmosphere" and felt like the "summer of love" during a television appearance in June 2020.
Mays' lawyer says the city was "on notice" about the violence in the area, noting another young man was killed there nine days before his son's death. The two teenagers' deaths prompted the city to shut down the protest zone on July 1, 2020.
"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 states.
The lawsuit names the City of Seattle, King County and the State of Washington as responsible for the 16-year-old's death.
A "makeshift security team" of "Chop Cops" trained by the city's police force shot and killed the teen in the early hours of June 29, 2020, according to a report by the Seattle Office of Inspector General cited in the suit. It adds city paramedics "failed their duty" when they drove away from the violent area, as civilian medics attempted to get Antonio the medical attention he needed.
The dangerous situation created by the "action and inaction" of the city of Seattle led to Antonio's due process rights under the Washington State Constitution to be violated, the suit alleged.
"The City of Seattle, County of King, State of Washington and their actors and agents carried out outrageous conduct and encouraged the City of Seattle and others from participating or engaging in similar dangerous conduct. Crime soared in CHOP after the city abandoned the area. The City of Seattle instituted protocols and practices that emboldened the lawlessness in this zone and engaged in affirmative conduct that placed Antonio in foreseeable danger and made it difficult for emergency services to adequately respond," the suit states.
The city of Seattle's attorneys told Fox News Digital they "would review the pleadings and respond as appropriate."
Last year when the suit was announced, the office of Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, D., released this statement in response: "The death of a child from gun violence is a tragedy that no family should have to endure. Mayor Harrell trusts that the city will respond to the claim and any related litigation in an appropriate manner."
Fox News' Amy Nelson contributed to this report.