The officers responsible for the shooting death of Antonio Zambrano-Montes will not face any charges, Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant announced.
According to the Guardian, Antonio’s death occurred on February 10, 2015, with the entire ordeal caught on video. Zambrano-Montes, apparently high on methamphetamine, was throwing rocks at vehicles, prompting someone to contact the authorities. When the three officers, Ryan Flanagan, Adam Wright, and Adrian Alaniz, arrived, Antonio started throwing the rocks at them. They attempted to subdue him with a Taser, but that didn’t work.
Antonio then threw a rock at one of the officer’s heads, prompting him to shoot Zambrano-Montes in the arm. A brief chase through traffic ensued, and then the officers repeatedly shot him until he fell to the ground after he turned around with a 2.8-pound rock in his hand.
Sant confirmed the decision to not press charges during a press conference on Wednesday. He said after their three-month investigation, they determined that the officer’s were only trying to protect themselves and others when they opened fire on Zambrano-Montes.
“In this case, there is no evidence that the officers did not act in good faith, and there’s no evidence of malice,” Sant said.
According to witnesses, Antonio was “hysterical and screaming” and had repeatedly told the officers to kill him. It was later determined through an autopsy that he had extremely high amounts of methamphetamine in his system.
You can view the video below.
Antonio’s death sparked outrage in the community and led to several peaceful protests.
“[He wanted] a better life for his family, to provide for his girls, so they could have a better future. The American dream. Every Mexican, every Hispanic that crosses the border, they want the American dream. A better future than what they had,” said his cousin Maria Madrigal-Zambrano.
“I just remember hugging him, telling him that I loved him. He said he loved me back. It was just a hug,” said Martha Zambrano, Antonio’s aunt and the last person to see him alive.
“I keep replaying visions in my head – on and on,” she said. “I still can’t believe it.”
Attorney Jose Baez said Zambrano-Montes’s family was “sorely disappointed” and “sharply disagrees” with the decision.
“This forces us to seek justice for Antonio and his family in a different forum, one of the family’s choosing, not in the police home court. Shortly, we will be filing a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of the proper plaintiffs,” Baez said in a statement.
Mike Ormsby, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, issued a statement Wednesday afternoon, saying his office and the FBI would continue to investigate the shooting.
“The FBI, the United States Attorney’s Office, and the Civil Rights Division will continue their independent review and analysis of the investigative materials received from the local Special Investigative Unit, review all other relevant information related to the incident, and conduct any additional investigation necessary to determine whether there exists a prosecutable violation of Federal law,” Ormsby said, according to the Spokesman-Review.
Do you think the officers should have faced charges for Antonio Zambrano-Montes’ death? Leave your comments below.
[Photo via YouTube video screenshot]