Coroner warns of ‘another Ferguson’ after fatal police shooting in Washington

This isn't the first fatal police shooting in Pasco.

Mar 1, 2020, 10:11 am*

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Patrick Howell O'Neill

A fatal police shooting in Pasco, Wash., has drawn hundreds of protesters and comparisons from a city official to “another Ferguson.”

Antonio Zambrano-Montes, a 35-year-old orchard worker and Mexican citizen, was killed on Feb. 10 in one of Pasco’s “busiest intersections,” according to the Seattle Times.

A YouTube video of the incident shows Zambrano-Montes throwing rocks at cars and police officers and then turning to run away. Within a few seconds, Zambrano-Montes turns around to face the three officers and police fire at least seven shots, causing him to instantly crumble to the ground.

The video has been viewed well over 1.3 million times in under a week.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-0uqFTBclo

Franklin County coroner Dan Blasdel said the shooting would warrant a coroner’s inquest so that jurors are presented evidence surrounding the shooting in order to decide if the use of deadly force was justified.

“We don’t want another Ferguson here in Pasco,” he said, according to the Seattle Times.

A coroner’s request would “make this whole investigation transparent,” Blasdel told the press.

The officers involved are currently on administrative leave.

The Mexican Department of Foreign Relations condemned the shooting and offered legal assistance to the family. Members of the community are calling for a full, possibly federal investigation.

Protests on Saturday saw hundreds raise signs like “Stop Police Brutality: It was just a rock!!!,” “Use Your Training, Not Guns,” and “Good Police We Respect You,” according to the AP.

Prior to protest, organizers met with police and the Zambrano-Montes family, as well as community leaders to “ensure everyone is on the same page,” Fusion reported.

“We all want to make sure that this rally and march go without incident and we will have our own people involved with crowd control and de-escalation as well for any incidents that arise,” an organizer explained on Facebook.

The context surrounding the shooting is important to understand as well.

Four fatal police shootings have taken place since last summer in Pasco, a town with a population of as much as 77,000, where half of the residents are Hispanic.

H/T Fusion | Illustration by Max Fleishman 

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*First Published: Feb 15, 2015, 2:01 pm