Saturday hundreds of people took to the streets in a Washington state town to protest the police killing of a homeless man who had been throwing rocks. Caught on video, the police shooting of Antonio Zambrano-Montes appeared to many to be an overreaction compared to the threat he posed.
Reports the Tri-City Herald:
The family of Antonio Zambrano-Montes linked arms and wiped away tears as they led a swift-moving crowd of several hundred people through the streets of Pasco to the spot where the father of two was fatally shot by police.
Chants for justice rang out while the army of about 700 protestors, some carrying portraits of Zambrano-Montes, made their way from a rally in Volunteer Park to the site of Tuesday’s controversial shooting. They stopped along the way to let their cries be heard.
“We are here for Antonio,” protestors yelled. “We are here for justice”…
No arrests were made during the rally, though there were some tense moments later in the day when protesters staged a “die in” and lay down on the street where the shooting took place. About 30 officers from across the Tri-Cities responded and worked to clear the streets.
Zambrano-Montes is the fourth person in the town of 68,000 who has been shot dead by police since last summer.
Here’s more background, via Global Grind:
Metzger said the officers first used a stun gun on the man, identified as Antonio Zambrano-Montes, but it had no effect. After Zambrano-Montes refused to put the remaining “softball size” rocks down, the officers opened fire.
The police chief said he does not know whether a weapon was found. Zambrano-Montes, whose last address was a homeless shelter, was pronounced dead on the scene.
Witnesses say the rocks thrown did not hit the officers.
Dario Infante, 21, of Pasco, recorded video (above) from a vehicle about 50 feet away as the scene unfolded. In an email interview, he said he decided to start recording when he saw an officer trying to use a stun gun on the man. Infante said he saw the man throw a few rocks at police officers but he didn’t see him hit any officers. Five “pops” are audible shortly after the video begins, and the man can be seen running away, across a street and down a sidewalk, pursued by three officers.
“He didn’t throw any rocks after he started running,” Infante said.
Another witness noted that the victim’s back was turned when he was shot dead by officers.
“I really thought they were just going walk up and tackle or tase him,” he said. “But they opened fire. His back was turned.”
Patrick’s wife, Shannon, also said the man was running away. The shooting happened in front of her young children.
“He turned around to take off running and the cops just shot him,” she said. “All he was trying to do was walk away.”
Other witnesses heard officers give the man orders to stop and drop the rock. They said the man refused to listen.
A cousin of Zambrano-Montes spoke to reporters about the force police used in the incident, saying the shooting “could have been avoided.”
“We just want justice because today it happened to us, tomorrow it could be any other family,” Blanca Zambrano, a cousin of Zambrano-Montes, told KNDO/KNDU. “It could have been avoided, there could have been other ways around it,” she continued in Spanish. “[The family] can’t believe it.”
She said Zambrano-Montes, who had two daughters, worked at an orchard and had lived in Pasco for more than 10 years. She said he recently suffered from depression after breaking both wrists in an accident at work.
The three officers on the scene have been identified as Ryan Flanagan, Adam Wright, and Adrian Alaniz. All three have been placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation. This is the fourth fatal shooting involving an officer in Pasco in the last six months, according to the Chicago Tribune.
All officers involved in a fatal shooting during that time period have been cleared of any wrongdoing.
Hundreds Protest Police Shooting Of Homeless Man For Throwing Rocks [VIDEO] was originally published on globalgrind.com