The parents of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, a Mexican immigrant fatally shot by police in Pasco, Washington, have filed a wrongful death suit against the city and and the officers who killed him, accusing them of excessive force, an attorney said on Wednesday.
Zambrano-Montes, a farmworker, was shot by three patrolmen on Feb. 10, 2015, during a confrontation that was recorded by a passerby and posted online. In the video he is seen throwing rocks at the officers near a busy intersection before running away.
In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for Eastern Washington, Zambrano-Montes' parents say their son's death was a violation of federal law that prohibit police use of excessive force when making an arrest.
"In this case, it’s obvious that 17 shots, resulting in seven to eight bullet wounds in a man who was first fleeing and then attempting to surrender, was excessive in the extreme," attorney Charles Herrmann said in a press release.
The killing was one of a number of police-involved fatalities across the United States that have put law enforcement agencies under scrutiny over their use of force, particularly against minorities. It prompted demonstrations in the small city of Pasco, which is 200 miles southeast of Seattle and has a Latino majority.
The lawsuit names as defendants the city of Pasco, its Police Chief Robert Metzger and the three officers who fired at Zambrano-Montes.
Two of the officers involved, Adam Wright and Adrian Alaniz, were cleared of wrongdoing in September and returned to duty after an internal police investigation. The third officer, Ryan Flanagan, resigned. Police said the officers followed proper protocol and two stun guns failed to subdue Zambrano-Montes.
His widow, Teresa de Jesús Meraz-Ruiz, filed a federal wrongful death suit last year seeking more than $25 million in damages.
His parents' legal action does not name an amount, but The Tri-City Herald newspaper reported that a claim seeking $4.76 million was filed with Pasco before the lawsuit.