CHAZ Killer’s Lenient Sentence Seen As Miscarriage Of Justice

The light sentence imposed on Marcel Long, the man guilty of fatally shooting 19-year-old Horace Lorenzo Anderson within Seattle’s infamous Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) in 2020, is a stark reminder of the danger of bending to lawlessness. Facing a potential life imprisonment and a $50,000 fine for his brutal act, Long was sentenced to merely 14 years behind bars. For Anderson’s grieving family, this decision is a bitter pill to swallow.

The heart-wrenching account of Anderson’s final moments illuminates the terror that reigned within the autonomous zone. Anderson, a black teenager with special needs, was pursued and gunned down by Long, the disturbing event captured by surveillance cameras. Despite the desperate attempts by a witness to distract Long by discharging his firearm into the air, Anderson was shot four times.

Sadly, Anderson’s demise was exacerbated by an environment where first responders were obstructed from carrying out their duties. CHAZ’s police-exclusion policy and hostile “security force” prevented access, losing valuable time as Anderson was transported to the hospital in a pick-up truck by CHAZ “medics.” It is disheartening to realize that the time wasted could have potentially saved Anderson’s life.

In a broader context, this incident is an unsettling testament to the breakdown of law and order within CHAZ. Rather than serving as a sanctuary, the “autonomous zone” became a haven for violence and crime. When police eventually entered the zone, they were met by an aggressive crowd, hindering their ability to secure the crime scene and gather evidence.

The blame game, typically a part of the political discourse, also came into play. Activists and city council members quickly blamed the “right wing” and former President Donald Trump. However, their accusations held no water, as official social media accounts for CHAZ acknowledged the attack as a result of gang violence.

Notably, Anderson’s family has relentlessly sought justice for their son. Anderson’s father filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city, claiming its officials fostered lawlessness within CHAZ, culminating in his son’s death. The city settled for $500,000, starkly contrasting the $3,650,000 paid to business owners whose properties were damaged during the CHAZ occupation.

Although Anderson’s mother and other family members filed a similar lawsuit, it was dismissed by a federal judge, stating the city bore no responsibility for his death. This ruling is currently being appealed, with the family persisting in their fight for justice.

While Marcel Long begins his 14-year sentence, the shockwaves of his actions and the response of Seattle’s leadership continue reverberating. The city’s tacit approval of lawlessness in CHAZ resulted in a life lost and a killer sentenced to a relatively lenient term. This is a sobering reminder that turning a blind eye to crime and disorder can lead to tragic consequences, especially for the most vulnerable among us. For Anderson’s family, the fight for justice and accountability continues, their grief echoing a heartbreaking plea for change.