Body of Mexican man shot by police flown to Mexico, buried

AP News
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Posted: Mar 06, 2015 9:24 PM
Body of Mexican man shot by police flown to Mexico, buried

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The body of a Mexican man shot dead by police last month has been flown to Mexico and buried in the man's home village, the Mexican Consulate in Seattle said Friday.

Antonio Zambrano-Montes was flown to Mexico on Thursday and buried in La Parotita in the state of Michoacan on Friday, consulate spokesman Pablo Mendicuti Villafan said.

The body of the 35-year-old orchard worker was flown first from Washington state to Guadalajara, Mexico, then transported to the village by a funeral home, he said.

Police reports said Zambrano-Montes was shot on Feb. 10 at a busy intersection in downtown Pasco, Washington, after throwing rocks at passing vehicles and responding officers. The shooting was caught on video by passersby and has been viewed thousands of times on social media. Police said Zambrano-Montes wasn't carrying a weapon.

The shooting has sparked numerous protests and marches in the past three weeks in Pasco. The southeastern Washington city of 68,000 people is majority Hispanic, but most of the police force and power structure are white.

The three officers involved have been placed on paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.

Earlier this week, a Hispanic activist group called for a special prosecutor in the case. In a letter, Consejo Latino asked Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant to step aside and have the state attorney general appoint a special prosecutor.

Consejo Latino contended that Sant has a conflict of interest because he's appeared at news briefings with the spokesman for a regional police unit investigating the shooting.

If the prosecutor rejects its request, the group said it will ask Gov. Jay Inslee to intervene.

Consejo Latino has also asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the shooting.

Police have said three officers fired a total of 17 shots at Zambrano-Montes. Three different autopsies — conducted on behalf of authorities, the man's estranged wife and his parents — have determined he was struck by between five and seven bullets.

Zambrano-Montes' parents are represented by well-known civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump of Florida, who also represented the family of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Crump, who has likened the killing of Zambrano-Montes to events in Ferguson, has said the parents have asked Attorney General Eric Holder for a federal investigation.

Zambrano-Montes' mother traveled to Pasco after the shooting to retrieve his body. A memorial service attended by his large extended family was held in the city last week.

Police have offered no motive for Zambrano-Montes' behavior the day he was shot. They are asking the public for details about the man's recent life.

Zambrano-Montes moved to Pasco about a decade ago to find work in the region's large agriculture industry. In recent months he had been burned out of his apartment, broke his wrists in a fall from a ladder, and was thought to be living on the streets.