Monday, September 12, 2016

No charges over Mexican labourer's slaying

Throwing rocks is a bit primitive but it is still dangerous behavior -- and throwing rocks at cops is really dumb

The US state of Washington has decided not to file criminal charges against the three police officers who fatally shot a migrant Mexican farm worker in 2015 after he threw rocks at them and ran through a crowded intersection.

The killing of Antonio Zambrano-Montes in the southeastern farming hub of Pasco, captured on video by witnesses and shared widely online, sparked days of protests from the city's majority Latino community and drew criticism from the Mexican government and human rights activists.

Zambrano's death was among a series of police shootings across the United States that have put law enforcement agencies under scrutiny over their use of force against minorities.

In announcing his decision, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he determined the officers' use of deadly force was justified under state law.

Even so, in a letter to the state's governor, Jay Inslee, who had asked Ferguson's office to review the shooting, Ferguson wrote that he was "deeply troubled by Mr Zambrano-Montes's death."

"I believe that the use of deadly force in this case, though legally justified, was not the only possible way to protect the police and the public from his dangerous behaviour," he said.

His decision comes two weeks after the US Justice Department said the Pasco Police Department needed to improve officer training on use-of-force, recruit more Hispanics and women, and increase the number of officers fluent in Spanish.

Ferguson's decision also mirrors the 2015 charging decision by a local prosecutor.

Zambrano's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit earlier this year accusing the officers of excessive force.

The officers fired 17 shots at Zambrano after he ignored orders to stop throwing rocks and jogged across a busy intersection. He collapsed on the sidewalk after a volley of bullets, as several witnesses reacted with shock or anger.

The 35-year-old undocumented immigrant, who arrived in Washington state seeking opportunity about a decade ago, battled drug use and homelessness in the months leading up to the shooting.

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today. Now hosted on Wordpress.  If you cannot access it, go to the MIRROR SITE, where  posts  appear as well as on  the primary site.  I have reposted  the archives (past posts) for Wicked Thoughts  HERE or HERE

No comments: