No charges in police killing of Pasco orchard worker

Antonio Zambrano-Montes was throwing rocks at the officers

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2015, file photo, marchers carry photos of police shooting victim Antonio Zambrano-Montes during a rally in Pasco, Wash. A witness said Zambrano-Montes appeared to be trying to put down a rock when three police officers shot him to death in February, according to investigative documents released Wednesday, July 1, 2015. (Joshua Trujillo/ via AP, File)

PASCO, Wash. (AP) – A prosecutor says three police officers in Washington state who fatally shot a rock-throwing Mexican immigrant in February will not face criminal charges.

The death of 35-year-old Antonio Zambrano-Montes was captured on cellphone video and sparked months of protests in Pasco, an agricultural center in eastern Washington. Witnesses said Zambrano-Montes fought with an officer, threw rocks and told officers to shoot him before they opened fire.

At a news conference repeatedly interrupted by protesters Wednesday, Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant said the evidence showed the officers used legal force as they tried to arrest a man who had assaulted them. Sant said he could not meet the high bar for criminal prosecution, which would require a showing that the officers acted with malice.

George Trejo Jr., a lawyer for Zambrano-Montes’ wife and children, said in an email that he was disappointed.

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