The *other* lawsuit at 23rd and Union: Activist sues property owners, City Hall for ‘strong racial hostility’

The battle to sell off the Midtown Center property at 23rd and Union is keeping the courts busy. CHS broke the news this week on the family legal fight holding up a $23.5 million deal to sell the property to a California-based apartment developer.

Now we have learned of another legal fight stemming from the issues at Midtown that might have more immediate ramifications for the block while setting up a last stand of sorts for a long time part of the activist community around Africatown.

Omari Tahir-Garrett is suing everyone from the family partnership behind Midtown Center to Kshama Sawant and Seattle City Light in a federal civil rights lawsuit brought after utilities were cut off the property where his UMOJA P.E.A.C.E Center is located at 24th and E Spring.

In his suit, Tahir-Garrett alleges that the long list of defendants acted on “strong racial hostility” and violated his first amendment rights because of “Black community activism” —

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CHS reported earlier on a group of former Nickelsville residents who had moved onto the property and set up a camp mid-March. A member of the Midtown Partnership told CHS they were not approached about the encampment and that the campers would soon be given a 10-day notice to vacate the property. Garrett and some of the campers said they are on the search for a more permanent location.

In the legal filings, Tahir-Garrett alleges that defendants including Sawant, and City Council member Bruce Harrell, plus the Midtown Partnership are “engaging in ethnic cleansing” and attempting to oppress Black Culture.

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Tahir-Garrett’s lawsuit calls for “injunctive relief” and back pay for the years he says he worked to manage the property plus $5.5 million for racial harassment and another $100,000 against a member of the Midtown Partnership for defamation of character. By our math, the claims total around $5.7 million.

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Meanwhile, Western Washington District Court Judge the Hon. Brian A Tsuchida granted Garrett’s request to have his legal fees in the case waived. Tahir-Garrett is representing himself.

 

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24 thoughts on “The *other* lawsuit at 23rd and Union: Activist sues property owners, City Hall for ‘strong racial hostility’

  1. What a joke. The city should countersue to recover money wasted by administrative staff.

    But of course we won’t do this…we will form a committee to study how better to not offend psychotic people’s warped view of reality.

    Maybe I should sue Omar whatever his name is for racism for elevating the status of his life above mine due to his skin color

    • Isn’t this the father of Wyking Garrett, the one running the Africatown center that had the false-flag robbery/racist attack last week? I understand the family is close with the mayor, so it’s most likely the city will simply pay the family off. It’s all business.

  2. Omari… this is the guy that smashed then mayor Shell in the face with a bullhorn breaking his checkbone in front of dozens of people. In court, under oath, he stated his proof that he didn’t do it (despite all the eye witnesses) was that a cleaning lady that he hired once confessed to him that she had done it by accident… that she tripped and hit the mayor. Of course he had no idea of this cleaning lady’s name or where she lived, he just knew this mystery cleaning lady was the one who hit the mayor in the face.

    Also, in that court hearing he testified that he receives permanent disability payments from the state for “delayed-stress syndrome due to racism” and described himself as “a refugee of the African slave trade.”

    Oh, what would the CD be with out Omari… a little less nuts maybe… AND A LITTLE LESS RAVINGS IN CAPS!!!

    • Oh, but you can. You CAN make this stuff up.

      The problem is, with somebody this loony-toons, you can’t tell whether the story is real, or it’s an Onion-like April Fools Day joke. You just never know…

    • From your link:
      “Judges sometimes warn a party “in propria persona” of the old adage that “anyone who represents himself in court has a fool for a client and an ass for an attorney.”

      Legal humor! ZING!

  3. “… demolishing the Black historical Liberty Bank site thereafter replacing it with schedule one drug store…”

    I guess lawsuits don’t need to be fact checked…

  4. No doubt, there is racism in the CD and in Seattle, but Omari throws around a lot of false accusations (and statements in the past that are racist against asian people and other groups.) A lot people assume that he is the black spokesperson of the CD, which unfortunately minimizes the other (real) concerns of other people of color in the CD. Hopefully, people don’t see him as such a figurehead and instead rally around other people of color to work toward an inclusive solution and strategy against racism in our neighborhood.

    • Isn’t this the father of Wyking Garrett, the one running the Africatown center that had the false-flag robbery/racist attack last week? I understand the family is close with the mayor, so it’s most likely the city will simply pay the family off. It’s all business.

    • Thank you for making that point. The one who shouts the stupidest and loudest gets the headlines (Trump?). The loud and obnoxious voices drown out the sensible ones. Hopefully they won’t drown out the important dialogue surrounding the past, present and future of the CD. The community needs to stay focused on the important issues and turn its back to the clown show.

  5. Isn’t this the father of Wyking Garrett, the one running the Africatown center that had the false-flag robbery/racist attack last week? I understand the family is close with the mayor, so it’s most likely the city will simply pay the family off. It’s all business.

  6. I’m ashamed and angry that our city seeks to appease virulent racists like that. He and his ilk are no different than Aryan Nation except we live in a time and place where city officials appeasing or associating with AN would be the end to their career. I don’t know why it is so hard for politicians to condemn these jerks just like they would AN.

  7. In regards to the 23.5 million dollar squabble.Something like that is as old as civilized people.One side wants to settle for the offer,the otherside wants more money.

  8. It is very clear that the city council is willing to any idiot that likes to make noise, even if they are obviously a nutcase that does their best to make an area worse rather than better. Moving him out of the area will be a big step forward in improving the CD.