I want to thank the Pasco Police Department for providing me the opportunity to feel shame in my community and my community's law enforcement community. I had never felt ashamed of local law enforcement before this week.
I have been denied the opportunity to serve on Benton County juries twice because I told the attorneys that I would give police officers the benefit of a doubt when they testify.
But, what has happened? The fourth fatal shooting in Pasco in six months! (And that doesn't include recent shootings in Kennewick and Richland this year.) This one, however, was the most shameful. A homeless man, one who had recently lost his job, was shot and killed while running away. A man that was the type of person our "peace" officers should be trying to help was murdered instead.
I notice that Pasco Police cars have the quote "serving our community since 1910" on them:
Too bad the police officers who killed Antonio Zambrano-Montes weren't serving anything but death and fear.
As I said, I want to thank the Pasco Police for showing me that we are no better than Ferguson or New York City. The question is will the Franklin County justice system reach a higher bar? Or will we have another day of shame?
It was even more shameful that we are represented by these officers in the national press. The LA Times, the Chicago Tribune, CNN, Al Jazeera America -- they all reported on this tragedy. Let's hope that when the investigation by Tri-City Special Investigation Unit is complete and the Franklin County Prosecutor makes his final determination that we will not have another reason to be ashamed. That we unlike Staten Island and Ferguson, can hold our police officers accountable.
Man shot by Pasco police identified; protestors picket City Hall