01:03 GMT02 December 2020
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    The three police officers who fatally shot an undocumented Mexican farmer in 2015 after he threw rocks at them will not be charged, the state of Washington has decided.

    The death of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, 35, on February 10, 2015, by police in Pasco, Washington, lead to protests in both the US and in Mexico. At the time, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto issued a statement decrying the officers' "disproportionate use of lethal force.”

    In bystander footage, Zambrano-Montes can be seen with his hands in the air as officers Ryan Flanagan, Adam Wright and Adrian Alaniz fire 17 shots at him. None of the officers were wearing body cameras. A toxicology report found that Zambrano-Montes had methamphetamine in his bloodstream at the time of his death.

    In a bizarre twist, it turned out that one of the officers, Adam Wright, had actually saved Zambrano-Montes’ life just weeks before he participated in taking it. In January 2015, Wright had found Zambrano-Montes sitting in a meth-induced trance outside of his burning apartment, and dragged him away from the fire.

    Zambrano-Montes was the third person killed by Pasco police in a six-month period.

    On Friday, Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that the actions of the officers were justified.

    "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 behavior," he said in a letter to Governor Jay Inslee.

    Two weeks prior to Ferguson’s announcement, the US Justice Department had declined to file federal charges against the officers.

    Relatives of Zambrano-Montes have filed a lawsuit against the officers charging wrongful death.


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    Police Accountability, Police Shooting, Pasco Police, Jay Inslee, Adrian Alaniz, Adam Wright, Ryan Flanagan, Antonio Zambrano-Montes, Washington, Pasco
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