Background of the Case
Antonio Zambrano-Montes, 35, served as an orchard worker in Mexico’s Michoacán State. The incidence occurred in Washington State, city of Pasco, and initiated protests from the public. Protesting public accused Pasco police of brutally dealing with residents of the city with Hispanic backgrounds.
Zambrano-Montes allegedly had thrown stones at the police before attempting to disappear to a crowded neighborhood. Based on a video evidence taken by a witness in the case, the unarmed Zambrano-Montes was shot while running from the Pasco police. As the police went close to Zambrano-Montes, he stopped. Even after raising his arms, the police shot seven times at him. Accounts by Charles Herrmann, the family attorney, reveal that Zambrano-Montes succumbed to seven shots including those directed to the chest and face. The attorney also presented evidence showing that Zambrano-Montes had bullets shot on the back. Accounts by the family attorney and that of Pasco law enforcement department were contradicting. The police deny proof that Zambrano-Montes had bullets shot from his back. According to police investigations on the incident, three officers directed bullets at Zambrano-Montes and shot nearly 17 times after he defied their commands to surrender. He had almost five or six bullet shots (Cedeno, 2015). In response to the brutal shooting of Hispanics in the city, there has been an assurance by the FBI of a comprehensive investigation of the incident. Besides, the U.S. attorney’s office for Eastern District of Washington has assured local communities of a fair legal process and probe into the killing. The incidence has drawn condemnation from federal agencies and the Mexican government. The Mexican foreign relations departments criticized the incidence.
Hispanics in Pasco City
Notably, Hispanics form the greatest part of the city’s population. Among Pasco city’s 68,000 residents, 56 percent are Hispanic (Turkewitz, & Oppel, 2015). Latino workers started to stay in the city since 1960s. The incidence and subsequent protests reveal great division between Pasco city’s immigrant residents, which forms the majority. In addition, whites mostly head the city’s power structure. Largely, whites control the city’s police and city government. The city council, for instance, has a single Latino member. Only 14 of the 68 officers in the city have Hispanic backgrounds. In some instances, residents cite challenges such as language barriers with the police that complicate their interactions.
The Pasco incident is similar to others in the country in which the police used excessive force on Black Americans and Hispanics. Among the incidence involved the shooting of a teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. Another related incidence was that of brutal police shooting in New York City.
The Ferguson, Missouri shooting occurred on August 9, 2014. Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed an unarmed 18 year-old Michael Brown. Similar to the Pasco shooting, the incidence at Ferguson, MO, attracted demonstrations from the public. Federal agencies including the Office of the President and DOJ expressed concerns regarding the incidence at Ferguson (Reuter, 2014). Tom Jackson, the police chief in Ferguson assured the public of fair investigation in the incidence. In response to the incidence, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Missouri and FBI conducted investigations. According to the report of the investigation, Wilson fired at Brown turned in self-defense (Department Of Justice, 2015, p. 82). The shooting, therefore, was not objectively unreasonable as provided in the Fourth Amendment.
In a similar incidence, in New York City, the 43-year-old Eric Garner died after Officer Daniel Pantaleo placed him in a checkhold on July 17, 2014. The officer caught Garner for allegedly distributing unlicensed cigarettes. After arrests, the officer