Group protesting Washington police shooting blocks bridge
PASCO, Washington (AP) — Protesters demonstrating against a police shooting that left a Mexican immigrant dead rallied in a Washington state city, staging a march that shut down traffic on a bridge over the Columbia River.
The Tri-City Herald reports that more than 50 people were in the group of protesters Saturday evening.
Demonstrators blocked traffic along the cable bridge as they slowly marched from Pasco toward Kennewick. Many motorists yelled and honked in support.
The protesters then turned and marched back toward Pasco, blocking traffic heading north as the sun set on the Columbia River. The marchers shouted “We will not be silenced” and “We are all Antonio,” referring to Antonio Zambrano-Montes, who was killed by police.
“This is about the right not to be shot by police because you have a rock in your hand,” said Alfredo Lamedo, 53, of Spokane, as he marched. “How many bullets were in that rock?”
The Herald said that there were no arrests reported and police had little contact with protesters, according to authorities. Pasco police officials decided not to have patrol officers intervene when protesters marched across the bridge.
The Feb. 10 killing of Zambrano-Montes — captured on cellphone video by an onlooker — has sparked calls for a federal investigation. Police have said Zambrano-Montes did not have a gun or a knife.
The killing was the fourth by law enforcement officers in Pasco in less than a year. It has roiled this fast-growing agricultural city of 68,000, where more than half the residents are Hispanic but few are members of the police force or the power structure.
On Friday, the Mexican government said it expects Zambrano-Montes’ body to be returned to his hometown in Michoacan state, Mexico, late next week, according to McClatchy Newspapers.
Mexico’s consul in Seattle, Eduardo Baca Cuenca, made a special trip to Pasco on Friday to meet with family members and community leaders.