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Fatal Pasco police shooting sparks protests; march planned for Saturday

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(CNN) — The police shooting death of a man who allegedly hurled rocks at vehicles and officers in Pasco, Washington, has sparked anger at what some say is another example of police brutality and excessive force.

About 100 protesters marched outside Pasco City Hall Wednesday, with some chanting “It was only a rock,” CNN affiliate KEPR reported. Later in the evening, more protesters took to the intersection where the shooting occurred.

A rally is to be held at noon Saturday at Volunteer Park, which is across from City Hall. From the park, the protesters plan to walk to 10th and Lewis for a vigil, police said.

Police say the man — who was later identified as Antonio Zambrano-Montes, 35 — had allegedly been throwing rocks at cars and trucks when he was confronted by officers.

Officers attempted “voice commands and low level force,” and used a taser, police said, but those efforts were unsuccessful.

After two officers were struck with rocks — at least one of them as large as a softball — police said the officers resorted to deadly force.

A video posted on YouTube shows Zambrano running across a street with police in pursuit before he was gunned down by police. The video has had 170,000 views since Wednesday.

Multiple videos of the shooting have popped up online. Q13 FOX News has not embedded the video because it is extremely graphic. But here is a link to the video if you wish to view it.

Zambrano’s family and protesters are pushing for answers. His cousins were in the crowd outside City Hall Wednesday. They told reporters Zambrano wouldn’t have been able to understand the commands.

“He didn’t understand English and they were talking to him in English,” one cousin said. “Why not get a Hispanic officer?”

A witness, Juan Rodriguez, told KEPR that Zambrano was “telling them to stop… but then the cops, they didn’t listen and they just shot him. All three cops started shooting him.”

The shooting is under investigation by other law enforcement agencies outside the Pasco Police Department, the department said in a statement, and the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave.

Franklin County Coroner Dan Blasdel said Zambrano’s shooting death was the fourth fatal officer-involved shooting in the area in the past six months. According to the Tri-City Herald, officers were cleared in the other three shootings.

The coroner said his office would conduct a separate inquest in the Zambrano case with six community members after the law enforcement investigation is complete.

“I’m looking at doing an inquest because it’s so controversial to the community,” he told CNN. “It takes the burden off the law enforcement and puts it in the hands of the citizens, and puts the facts in public. They can decide if it was justifiable based on the facts of the case.”

The results of the law enforcement investigation will be sent to the Franklin County Prosecutor’s office, which will consider whether to file charges against the officers.

They were identified as Ryan Flanagan, a nine-year veteran; Adam Wright, a firearms instructor with eight years’ experience; and Adrian Alaniz, who has two years on the job.

The shooting comes in a period of strained police-community relations following the police-involved deaths last summer of Eric Garner, 43, on Staten Island in New York and Michael Brown, 18, in Ferguson, Missouri.

The medical examiner ruled Garner’s July 17 death a homicide due to compression of his neck and chest when he was taken down by an officer using a chokehold. His death sparked street protests, a review of police procedures and calls for a federal civil rights investigation. A grand jury declined to prosecute Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the case.

A few weeks later, Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson shot Brown after an altercation in the street. The death of Brown, who was unarmed, thrust into the forefront the issue of law enforcement’s use of deadly force. A grand jury declined to prosecute Wilson, a decision that led to national demonstrations.

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40 comments

    • The one and only

      It’s unfortunate but I’d guess that they’d get sued for only shooting and wounding the suspect. Kind of simular to if someone breaks into your house and you shoot and kill them it’s self defense; but if you wound them and they get away they may be able to sue you.

    • Larry Thomas

      Why do you criminals feel you have the right to go break laws at anytime you want and have no consequence for your actions. Please think before you speak. Weather the force was over or under that is not the problem. The problem is criminals.

  • Kit

    Shot dead for throwing rocks? Looks like the police over reacted to the situation. The man was probably drunk and high on some substance that sent him out of control. A hard thing to deal with.

      • Kit

        So, he must have had an unlimited supply of deadly rocks tucked in his pockets? This event is more like Albuquerque New Mexico than Ferguson.

      • Disgusted

        There are many countries where the only weapon they have is a rock and they are quite deadly.

        Do I think use of force is an issue in general, yes I do. But having said that, he was drunk, intoxicated, didn’t speak English, are poor excuses for breaking the law. And don’t tell me throwing rocks at moving cars isn’t breaking the law.

        • Disgusted

          And please don’t mistake my comments for saying the police were justified in shooting this man 14 times. I am saying please don’t pretend the perps are innocent of wrong doing.

    • 03sv1g

      Why not? I’d shoot someone for throwing rocks at me. A rock can kill you. If you don’t believe me, we should get together and see how much you like being hit with a rock the size of a softball.

  • IP: 174.34.753

    Just not seeing anything resembling a “throwing stance” in the videos. To have a rock in your hand out in front of you basically gives you the ability to flick it to the ground. Its not something that just shoots out of a hand. If we are alright with allowing police to kill for this, it seems we would need to allow police to kill when only seeing a pistol in a holster and without the person reaching for the weapon. Did this suspect ever draw is arm back?

  • John Fuller

    It’s all about police culture. Remember, the Fraternal Order of Police is a Masonic organization. Full Illuminati New World Order values. Blacks and Hispanics are like dogs to them, but they wouldn’t shoot dogs dead though…

  • Todd

    You only draw your firearm to shoot to kill…. This isn’t the movies. … Rocks can kill people if it’s a big enough rock and thrown hard enough. Remember when they used to stone people to death?

  • Mark DeGregg

    Sure they can shoot when being threatend, Even if its 3 against 1. But where is chilvary, or compassion? The cops didnt look like little guys to me. Where is do on to other as you would have them do on to you. What would those cops think had it been thier son killed?

    • Gritz

      Mr. Atkins, after reviewing your last few post, I have come to the conclusion that you are a racist. Your post have no merit, due to the fact, that the race of the individual has more to do with your bias than the relevance of the actions. Jan. 29 – Another hispanic, merely here for a better life (at our expense). Feb 10 – Hispanic, so maybe someone stole his Bud Light and that set him off? Feb 10 – Yes another black killing a white – but the media does not want you to know this. it’s true. Today’s post just shows the same. The fact that the man showed no threat to the police, that they could clearly see his hands were empty, that they knew who he was, that they had the means available to apprehend without risk to themselves, property or others, kind of means that we have bad people who are armed, in our community.

    • copsarethugs

      If the dead guy was white, then the police are wrong. Yes the cops are racist and so are you if you think the cops are justified. I really dont care what you think.

  • Allen Collins

    My father was an officer for 30 years with the WSP. In his first year on the job in a routine traffic stop a much larger man than he is was high on PCP and they got into an altercation when my father went to arrest him. At one point the man had his hands on my father’s gun. It took 6 officers to take this man into custody and they DID NOT shoot him. This was 1976.

    Not once did my father ever have to shoot. There was no cause here. Not one of these officers stepped up and took control of the situation. My father would have had one officer cover the other two while they moved in to subdue and arrest him. There was no justification.

    As the son of a police officer I often find myself siding with the law given my knowledge of my father, his work, and his colleagues. I now believe they are cut from a different cloth than current officers. Many of the officers from my father’s generation were veterans of Vietnam and had taken lives in that war. The experience from that I feel gave them superhuman patience when it came to such situations. They did not want to experience that again.

    These officers seem all too eager to shoot.

  • The World is Ending

    Didn’t understand English, and stupid,(True) police SOP is the same everywhere the police say stop and put your hands up and kneel. As Dara’s not understanding English if you are going to live and work in the US learn English, same go if you are going to live and or work in any other country, learn the language be it Mexico, France, Japan, or anywhere else.

  • jenkins

    The stupid moron did not “deserve” to die, but he should have been smart enough to understand that you do not inflict physical harm on a law enforcement officer so I have no sympathy for him. He made that choice. Better 500 dead defiant, cop-threatening, low-IQ morons that “do not deserve to die” than one dead cop. And that’s a fact.

  • Jennifer

    I like how they show a still shot! Maybe real truth and fox just don’t jive! There are videos from every angle of this shooting. The guy was shot in the back the first, three times. Fox grabs a screen shot of him when he turns around (while yelling stop, in Spanish) then is killed. Also, in no way was this protest like Ferguson. I live here. It was a peaceful march in front of city hall. There were no fires, no arrest, no looting. Nice job on skewing the facts Fox!

  • Robert Chase

    No; it’s murder, and it is a (so far one-sided) war being waged against the American People by the two criminal political associations with a stranglehold over our politics, the Fascist (Republican) and Collaborationist (Democratic) Parties, who comprise only a minority of those living in our country. Many of the traitors who have openly abrogated the Bill of Rights are concentrated in the Capitol.

    • Mot Rentlek

      After firing 13 rounds at the man, 13 rounds, the cops put handcuffs on him, so he won’t get up and run from them again. The EMT’s show up and treat the shooters for their injuries. What assistance was given to the man, in cuffs on the sidewalk ? Pasco police are the greatest marksmen since Annie Oakley and Carlos Hathcock !! 4 or 5 rounds each from 25′ or less, real deadeye Dicks.

      • Mot Rentlek

        Fully automatic rock thrower, with a 30 round magazine, Sticks and stones will break your bones but 9mm automatics will kill you

  • tada

    “He didn’t understand English and they were talking to him in English,” one cousin said. “Why not get a Hispanic officer?”

    Go back to mehico and throw rocks at people there. We don’t owe you a damn thing.

  • Bigdog

    You idiots come from Mexico and think none of our laws apply to you! Well, the message should be clear now! Rocks are probably more deadly than bullets! If this jackass had hit a driver, there could have been a terrible wreck, and possibly innocent bystanders killer!