President Donald Trump called Horace Lorenzo Anderson Sr. on Thursday to offer his condolences over the death of his son, Horace Lorenzo Anderson Jr., who was shot and killed inside Seattle’s Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP).
The CHOP was an area of several square blocks surrounding the East Precinct of the Seattle Police Department, which law enforcement was forced to abandon by city leaders after days of confrontation with Black Lives Matter protesters.
Following the departure of the police on June 9, the activists set up barricades and declared themselves the Seattle Autonomous Zone (SAZ) or Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ). Local Democratic leaders prevented the police from returning to enforce the law. Mayor Jenny Durkan downplayed public concerns, telling CNN June 11 that the zone was “more like a block party atmosphere” and that “[w]e could have the summer of love.” But it was not to be.
The CHOP was peaceful during the daylight hours, but violent at night, as armed groups roamed the streets with weapons and enforced their own brand of vigilante discipline. Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best openly criticized city leaders for allowing lawlessness to prevail, as did President Trump, who constantly challenged Durkan and Gov. Jay Inslee to intervene to end the chaos. On June 20, two people were shot, one fatally — the first of several shootings.
Fox News reported that Trump called Anderson after seeing him interviewed on Hannity the night before:
“We just talked to the president of the United States,” Anderson’s friend and family spokesman Andre Taylor, who took part in Wednesday’s interview, told Fox News. “How are you going to top that?”
Taylor said Trump told Anderson he saw his interview with Hannity Wednesday night and was moved by the grieving father’s grace in the face of tragedy. In what Taylor said was a seven-minute call, Trump offered his condolences and support.
“He said he watched ‘Hannity’ last night, and told Horace, ‘Your son is looking down on you and watching over you,’” Taylor recounted. “He was incredibly gracious, and it gave Horace some extra help as he buried his son.”
Anderson said that Mayor Durkan had never contacted him, though she did after his interview aired on Hannity.
In the Hannity interview, Anderson said that something should have been done to end the CHOP long before, and that Black Lives Matter was “not my movement right now.”
Taylor said that CHOP should have been dismantled a week before the shooting, at the first sign of violence.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.