Police officers in Pasco, Wa., did not violate policies and procedures when they shot an orchard worker to death as he threw rocks at them, said an independent review issued yesterday, the Associated Press reports. The review by the Police Policy Studies Council of Spofford, N.H., determined that Antonio Zambrano-Montes, 35, controlled much of his interaction with the officers, and their use of deadly force was consistent with Pasco police department policy. “We have exhaustively reviewed this incident,” Pasco police chief Robert Metzger said. “We will also continue to work in partnership with the community to accomplish our mission of reducing the fear of crime while affording dignity and respect to every individual.”
Zambrano-Montes was throwing rocks at officers when he was chased and shot at 17 times at a busy intersection; he was struck five times. An autopsy showed he had methamphetamine in his system at the time of the shooting. He also had a history of mental illness and previous interactions with police. Metzger said officers Adam Wright and Adrian Alaniz will return to work immediately. The February 10 shooting of Zambrano-Montes, a Mexican national, was captured on cellphone video that went viral and prompted weeks of peaceful protests. “It is unfortunate the [police department] has endorsed a policy that permits their officers to gun down unarmed individuals instead of subduing them with non-lethal force,” said George Trejo Jr., an attorney who represents Zambrano-Montes' estranged wife and two daughters in a lawsuit against the city.