SPOKANE, Wash. — The state on Thursday closed its investigation into the shooting death of a Mexican national by Pasco police, and concluded that no charges would be filed against the three officers involved.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Thursday that the 2015 shooting of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, 35, was found by his investigators to be justifiable.
Three members of the Pasco Police Department shot Zambrano-Montes numerous times after he threw rocks at officers and passing motorists at a busy downtown intersection.
The death of the orchard worker was captured on video that went viral and sparked weeks of peaceful protests in Pasco, a city of 60,000 people that is majority Hispanic. Gov. Jay Inslee then asked Ferguson to investigate the shooting.
“Attorney General Ferguson has determined that the Pasco officers’ actions on February 10, 2015, did not exceed the legal standards for the justifiable use of deadly force,” Ferguson’s office said in a press release.
This is the third and final review of the shooting by a prosecuting attorney’s office.
The Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington both concluded earlier after separate investigations that no charges would be filed against the officers.
Ferguson said a team of experienced state prosecutors reviewed a substantial body of evidence in this case before deciding that no charges would be brought.
Police Officers Adrian Alaniz and Adam Wright have returned to work. Officer Ryan Flanagan has since left the department.
The parents of Zambrano-Montes have filed a lawsuit in federal court contending the officers used excessive force. That case is scheduled for trial next May. Several other lawsuits have also been filed.
After the shooting, the Justice Department asked the Police Executive Research Forum to provide training and technical assistance to Pasco police.
That group recently released a report concluding that the Pasco Police Department should take steps to ensure all officers speak some Spanish, improve the training of officers to deal with mentally ill people, and hire more Spanish-speaking officers.