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Pasco coroner plans inquest; says ‘We don’t want a Ferguson here’

Well, they’ve got one. And it isn’t the first time; Pasco cops are in the habit of mistreating people of Mexican descent.

The Seattle Times reported today that Governor Inslee has gotten involved in Tuesday’s police killing of a 35-year-old Mexican immigrant by Pasco police, and that Franklin County coroner Dan Blasdel may convene an inquest jury to consider whether the officers were justified in shooting Antonio Zambrano-Montes. “We don’t want another Ferguson here in Pasco,” Blasdel said.

According to the Times, “Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday his staff has been in touch with Pasco officials about the need for a full assessment of the shooting,” and the incident is “being investigated by a multiagency Tri-City Special Investigations Unit (SIU) made up of commanders and detectives from surrounding agencies.”

Meanwhile, the Mexican consulate in Seattle contacted Pasco’s police chief “requesting information on the disciplinary measures that could eventually be imposed on the police officers involved in the incident,” and protesters picketed city hall last night with signs saying “Don’t Shoot” and “Use Your Training, Not Your Gun.”

One of the cops who shot Zambrano-Montes was involved in a horrific incident of police brutality in 2012 that involved racial profiling. In that incident, he and another Pasco officer “stopped a 30-year-old woman, Maria Davila-Marquez, while responding to a complaint of a disturbance outside a home. Her attorney said that although she did not match a description of a teenage suspect, the officers stopped Davila-Marquez and then arrested her when she asked for an interpreter because she spoke little English. ‘The only commonality was that my client was a woman and a Latina,’ Davila-Marquez’s Yakima lawyer, Vito de la Cruz, told The Seattle Times on Thursday.”

While arresting Davila-Marquez, the cops pushed her face down on a scorching-hot vehicle hood and held it there. She suffered second-degree burns and has permanent facial scars. They also filed “hindering” charges against her, even though she had nothing to do with the disturbance, which eventually were dropped. She filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city that was settled for $100,000. Neither of the cops was disciplined, and as noted above, one of them participated in Tuesday’s controversial killing of a Mexican man.

Zambrano-Montes was married and had two daughters, ages 15 and 12. His family has filed a $25 million claim against the city of Pasco.

Photos: Maria Davila-Marquez’s facial burns; Antonio Zambrano-Montes.22673961_SA
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