People gathered of Feb. 18 at Westlake Center to protest the killing of Antonio Zambrano-Montes at the hands of the Pasco Police Department.
Zambrano-Montes, an immigrant from a village in Southern Mexico and an agricultural worker, was shot and killed by three police officers on Feb. 10 at a busy intersection in the predominately Hispanic city of Pasco, one of the Tri-Cities in eastern Washington.
Zambrano-Montes had allegedly been throwing rocks at cars and then at police officers prior to his death. Multiple cellphone videos recorded by eyewitnesses captured the incident, showing Zambrano-Montes running from the three officers with his hands up before he was shot on the sidewalk.
The incident has prompted outrage and protests from the largely Mexican Pasco community, and the shooting has received national and international news coverage. An investigation is underway and being conducted by a Tri-Cities Special Investigations Unit, though local leaders in the Hispanic community are calling for a separate federal investigation and have sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice
All three of the Pasco police officers involved in the incident are currently on paid leave pending the result of the ongoing investigation, which could take months, according to Pasco Police Chief Bob Metzer.
Zambrano-Montes’s death marks the fourth fatal shooting at the hands of police in Pasco since last summer, the Washington Post reported.
The incident has also highlighted other underlying tensions in Pasco, such as wealth inequities and the lack of community representation on the Pasco City Council where six out of the seven members are white, according to Vox.com.