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Police Shooting Protesters Plan Vigil in Wake Of Decision To Not Charge Pasco Officers

Olivia Weitz
Northwest News Network
At a press conference, Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant announced that police officers involved in a February shooting of a farmworker will not be charged.

People upset about the decision not to charge three Pasco, Washington, police officers after the fatal February shooting of Mexican orchard worker Antonio Zambrano-Montes are planning a vigil Thursday afternoon.

On Wednesday, Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant said he has concluded the lethal use of force was reasonable under the circumstances.

Delia Zambrano, a cousin of Zambrano-Montes, and several other family members repeatedly shouted questions and objections during the announcement of the charging decision.

“Seventeen shots is not the way to take somebody and then consider that justice,” she said.

Zambrano-Montes was shot dead after he threw rocks at passing cars and police responders at a busy Pasco intersection. Sant said two of the officers first fired non-lethal tasers to stop the 35-year-old man, to no effect.

“When Zambrano whipped around again at the officers and began to throw another rock it appears that the officers were reasonable in their belief that no reasonably effective alternative to the use of force appeared to exist at this time,” he said.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson has agreed to conduct an outside review of the prosecutor’s charging decision at the request of the governor. In Governor Jay Inslee’s words, that’s “to ensure that people have confidence and trust in the decision that is made in this case.”