- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 27, 2015

PASCO, Wash. (AP) - A special investigative unit’s report on the Feb. 10 shooting death of an unarmed Hispanic man in the central Washington city of Pasco is expected Thursday, the Franklin County prosecutor said.

The unit, including officers from area police agencies, was asked to investigate the death of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, 35, who was fatally shot by Pasco police nearly four months ago.

Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant said he hopes to outline Thursday what comes next in the review process.

Zambrano-Montes was fired upon 17 times by Pasco police officers Ryan Flanagan, Adam Wright and Adrian Alaniz after he reportedly threw at least one rock at them at a Pasco intersection. The orchard worker was not carrying a gun or knife. A rock was found near his body, which was struck by at least five bullets.

The shooting, captured on video, led to weeks of protests.

Also upcoming is a coroner’s inquest that will allow a jury of six civilians to determine the cause and manner of Zambrano-Montes’ death. The jury also will decide if the shooting was justifiable.

Sant ultimately will decide whether criminal charges should be filed against the officers. They have been placed on leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Also on Wednesday, the U.S. Office of Community Oriented Policing Services said it will offer technical assistance and training to the Pasco Police Department. The decision follows a request from U.S. Attorney Michael C. Ormsby and Pasco Police Chief Robert Metzger.

COPS, an arm of the Department of Justice, said the decision was prompted by the shooting.

The COPS office will work with Pasco officers over the next year, providing training in community policing and problem-solving, fair and impartial policing, and procedural justice.

The office has recently worked with police in cities such as Ferguson, Missouri; Detroit; Seattle; New Orleans; and San Diego.

Ronald Davis, director of COPS, said a lack of trust between a community and the police is at the core of much tension in the United States.

“The recent tragic shooting of Antonio Zambrano-Montes in Pasco has brought that fact to light,” Davis said. “It is absolutely critical that the police department do all it can to strengthen police and community relations and rebuild the community’s trust.”

Pasco is an agricultural city of 68,000 that is mostly Hispanic.


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