Pasco Police Shooting News Update: Demonstrators Shut Down Bridge in Washington Following Police Shooting of Unarmed Hispanic Man
Dozens of demonstrators in Washington temporarily shut down a bridge over the Columbia River in protest of a recent police shooting of an unarmed Hispanic man.
The incident occurred on Feb. 10 when Antonio Zambrano-Montes was gunned down by police in a predominantly Hispanic community in Pasco, about 200 miles away from Seattle. Video footage of the incident shows the 35-year-old Mexican migrant running away as police appear to open fire. Zambrano-Montes was then fatally shot after he stopped running and turned toward the police.
Police said Zambrano-Montes was throwing rocks at police cars at a busy intersection in Pasco before the shooting and then refused to drop the stones. They also said they tried to use a stun gun to subdue him. However, protesters are demanding the Department of Justice launch a federal probe to investigate the incident.
According to The Tri-City Herald, over 50 demonstrators took over the cable bridge that connects Pasco to Kennewick Saturday evening. Although the demonstrators impeded traffic as they slowly marched south toward Kennewick, many motorists showed their support by yelling and honking. The protesters then turned around and marched toward Pasco, blocking north-bound traffic. While marching, they chanted, "We will not be silenced," and, "We are all Antonio."
"This is about the right not to be shot by police because you have a rock in your hand," said protester Alfredo Lamedo, 53, of Spokane, reports The Associated Press. "How many bullets were in that rock?"
Authorities said there were no arrests during the march and that police had little contact with protesters. Pasco police officials also decided not to intervene when protesters marched across the bridge.
Last week, Felix Vargas, the chairman of Consejo Latino, argued any probe should be handled by the Justice Department.
"In all, about 15 rounds were fired in a very congested area during rush hour," Vargas wrote, reports Fox News Latino. "Having mortally wounded him, the police proceeded to handcuff this dying man without rendering aid or even checking his pulse."
The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on leave.