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 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.