Police Killing in Wash. State Raises Specter of Ferguson

Death of Antonio Zambrano-Montes was 3rd police killing in less than a year
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2015 10:40 AM CST
Police Killing in Wash. State Raises Specter of Ferguson
In this still frame taken from a cellphone video taken on Feb. 10, 2015, Antonio Zambrano-Montes, left, lies on the ground after he was shot by police in Pasco, Wash.   (AP Photo/Dario Infante)

Police in Pasco, Wash., are facing international scrutiny in the shooting of a Latino man who had been throwing rocks at officers. Video of the incident shows Antonio Zambrano-Montes fleeing from officers before being shot dead, and the event has prompted protests and reminders of Ferguson, the New York Times reports. Some 500 gathered on Saturday to protest the incident: "What happened could have happened to any family, to my family," a woman tells the Times. A mostly white police force in the 56% Hispanic town has killed three people since July; just 14 of 68 officers are Hispanic. "People are finally getting their feelings out through this whole Antonio issue," says a protest organizer. "The Hispanic community is finally trying to have the power."

The city's manager sees a "community emerging … and frankly, it's welcomed." The three officers involved in the shooting, one of whom is Hispanic, are now on paid leave. But both locals and those abroad have been shocked by the video, which has faced criticism from Mexico's president. "It’s like having the badge gives you the right to take the life of a Mexican," says one local woman. Relatives have filed a $25 million claim against the city, saying Zambrano-Montes was killed "execution-style," CNN reports. Zambrano-Montes was born in Mexico and entered the US illegally as an orchard worker. He had a series of run-ins with the law and pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer in June. His family said he had recently suffered from emotional trouble, though his reasons for throwing rocks weren't clear. (More Washington state stories.)

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