Who is Mr Anderson and why is the story of his son's death moving America to tears?
The civil unrest in the US caused by the death of 46-year-old Black man George Floyd encouraged hundreds and thousands of people to take to the streets to stage protests demanding justice for Floyd and the rest of the Black community. On June 20, another life was taken when shots were fired in Seattle's CHOP (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone), killing 19-year-old Black teenager Horace Lorenzo Anderson Jr.
On Wednesday, July 1, the father of the victim, Horace Lorenzo Anderson Sr, during an interview with Sean Hannity, revealed a few disturbing details concerning his teenage son's death and the ill-treatment of authorities. An emotional Anderson is seen telling Hannity that he wasn't allowed to see his son's body for a week following his death, before breaking into tears. He even says that, to date, no one has approached him to provide answers to daunting questions about his son's death.
"They need to come talk to me and somebody needs to come tell me something because I still don't know nothing. Somebody needs to come to my house and knock on my door and tell me something. I don't know nothing. All I know is my son got killed up there. They say, 'He's just a 19-year-old.' No, that's Horace Lorenzo Anderson [Jr]. That's my son and I loved him," Anderson said.
Anderson told the host that he found out about his son's death through two of his friends, who happened to be near the CHOP. "They weren't even from Seattle. Now, mind you, I haven't heard — the police department, they never came. Someone should've come and knocked on my door and should've talked to me and let me know about my son. To this day, I really don't know nothing. I'm still here sitting. I don't know nothing," he said.
Anderson said, "My son needed help, and I don't feel like they helped my son... I feel like he doesn't — without this, he would just be nobody. He's just, it doesn't matter, he's just another guy. Just another child, just swept up under the rug and that's it and forgotten about."
He also said that his motive with the interview was to let the world know who his son was. Anderson’s heartwrenching words left internet users highly emotional, who took to Twitter to extend their love and support to his family. One twitter user wrote, "God bless you Mr Anderson... you and your beautiful family are in my prayers. I can teach my kids how to live, not how to die."
Another emotional user noted, "Horace Lorenzo Anderson Jr, rest In Peace. Thank you for giving dad time on the show tonight, Sean. Well done Mr Anderson!! Raw emotion and unscripted comments were heartwarming and healing. Conversations like this will surely serve to unite the USA. We can still learn." And some thanked Hannity for making Anderson's story heard. "This was one of the most gut-wrenching moments on TV. Who killed his son? Will we ever know. I bet Hannity pays for the funeral, quietly, privately. He was visibly shaken in a way he normally does not get!" read a tweet.
Editor's Update: An earlier version of this article erroneously stated that Horace Anderson Jr was shot and killed by the police. That is incorrect, and has since been changed. We apologize for the error.