Police Abuse

Police Shoot Rock-Throwing Man, Could Lead to Largest Protest in Washington State Tri-City Area

Thirty seconds of the incident were caught on video, helping to spur protests expected to be some of the area's largest.


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Police in Pasco, Wash., shot and killed Antonio Zambrano-Montes, a 35-year-old orchard worker, after he allegedly threw rocks at police and then tried to run away. Hundreds of people are expected by organizers at a rally this weekend, some hoping it'll be the largest rally in the tri-city area's history, in part because thirty seconds of the incident, showing cops trying to use a stun gun and then shooting Zambrano, were caught on video:

A "special unit" of various local police are investigating the shooting, while Pasco police say cops fired because they felt threatened by Zambrano. The police chief, Bob Metzger, spoke with organizers at a local café, telling them police would give them anything they need. "At the end of the day, we want to be safe," he told them. "We all want to make sure we got home safely to our families. That's really what I am here to help you with." Court records show Zambrano had been previously arrested for allegedly throwing objects at officers and allegedly trying to grab an officer's gun, but wasn't convicted, and police aren't saying cops were aware of that.

The county coroner says he is considering whether to request an inquest into the homicide—he's only done so twice in the last twenty years but says it's an "open and transparent" process.  He may wait until the police investigation is over.

One of the three cops involved in the shooting, Ryan Flannigan, was previously the target of a federal civil rights lawsuit over excessive use of force, where he was accused of brutalizing a 30-year-old mother on her way to pick up her children because she was a Hispanic woman like the teenager police say they were looking for. She says she suffered second degree burns from  Flannigan and another cop pressing her face into the hood of their car after she asked for an interpreter. She was briefly charged with "hindering" the investigation but those charges were dismissed.  The city settled for $100,000 and Flannigan kept his job.

Zambrano is the fourth man shot by police in Pasco, a city of 68,000, in the last six months. The previous three shootings, each described by police as a confrontation involving an armed suspect, were all ruled justified—one  of the men was killed by a SWAT team during a four-hour stand-off after firing more than 70 rounds at police, another after allegedly leading cops on a chase in a stolen car and pointing a pellet gun at them.

The third, Brad Jensen, was shot while refusing to drop a knife after police responded to a call about a man brandishing a knife. He was the son of a former city detective and councilman. If the shooting of Zambrano is ruled justified, it's likely to be described as a confrontation with an armed man as well.

Related: Police registries and other policies to help cops chill out.

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  1. I watched that video ten times and unless something absolutely amazing was left out what occurred was a murder, plain and simple.

    1. When I first heard the cops shot a guy who was throwing rocks at them, I thought maybe there might be some justification, a rock to the face/head at close range could be pretty bad and possibly deadly. But then I saw the video and it seems they actually shot the guy not while he was throwing rocks, but while he was running away. Puts a whole different spin on it.

      1. He was obviously going to get bigger, sharper, more dangerous rocks.

        1. He might have been trying to pick up a pointed stick.

      2. Police can shoot a ‘dangerous felon’ they have verified is capable of committing extreme violence if he is fleeing them.

        I have absolutely no fucking idea, though, how some random cuckoo can be deemed dangerous and then worthy of execution due to rock-throwing and severe mental instability.

        1. Any failure to immediately obey is considered to be a dangerous threat.

        2. I don’t think throwing rocks counts as “extreme violence”.

          1. That’s my point.

        3. In Seattle, Dunphy’s pal shot a mentally ill guy for the crime of whittling in public.

  2. Can we stop making the absolutely most unsympathetic victims the poster children for police violence. Pretty please with sprinkles on top?

    1. Sprinkles have been banned by the dietitian wing of the people’s republic of America.
      /slaps sprinkles out of HM’s hand.

    2. Sprinkles are for winners.

      1. This reminds me. Has anyone seen the documentary “buffalo girls”? It’s about these little girls that fight muay Thai in Thailand. It’s really good but sad.

        1. No, I haven’t seen that. However, my wife was a female semi-pro Muay Thai fighter starting at 14 for the same reasons. Her career lasted until 19 when she had her motorcycle accident.

          1. Oh, I also saw a few fights between 8 year old boys when I was over there, but never between any girls at that age.

            1. The girls are 8. But what makes it sad is they all do it because they are poor and need the money. They are legitimate fighters though. They train hard and have very good technique.

            1. Heh. No. My wife is a lot more feminine looking, and more importantly, back in the day her leg muscles were a lot more defined than that woman’s were.

          2. That’s cool.

    3. The dude in Fergusen, sure. What’s unsympathetic about this guy– aside from the fact he chipped some paint.

      1. HM wants to suck some authority cock, and he just can’t feel good about it if he feels sympathy for the victim.

        1. Are you fucking retarded?

    4. One of the three cops involved in the shooting, Ryan Flannigan, was previously the target of a federal civil rights lawsuit over excessive use of forc

      Oh wait, by “unsympathetic victim” you were referring to officer Flannigan. Carry on.

      1. Throwing rocks vs. beating the shit out of a 30 year old woman because she was the same ethnicity as a teenaged suspect.

        Which would around your sympathy the least?

        1. Why do I have to choose only one?

          1. Well, it is possible to feel sympathy for a mentally disturbed man; whereas, a sociopath is incapable of feeling sympathy for you, so why should you feel sympathy for him?

    5. Maybe those cops deserved to have rocks thrown at them. I can sympathize. I just have enough self control not to throw rocks at the police, as much as I might want to.

      1. I just have enough self control not to throw rocks at the police

        Here’s the thing, unless you’re a 14 year old punk and/or Palestinian, sane people don’t throw rocks at moving cars or armed people. Which should be clue number one that this guy had some mental problems. Of course, it seems we are just one step away from Latin America where police form death squads to kill the homeless under black of night.

    6. I hear what you are saying though. The biggest protests always seem to be about people who weren’t behaving themselves very well.

      1. I’m with Heroic Mulatto on this one. I have much more sympathy for victims of police abuse when they aren’t Darwin Award candidates.

        Rocks can be lethal weapons, though it’s unclear what size he was throwing. If it was gravel, yeah, the response was disproportionate. If they were fist-sized, maybe not.

        And I agree with someone above that he wasn’t running away at the moment he was shot, and it’s not clear to me whether he was turning to surrender or to throw another rock.

        1. I don’t understand why there hasn’t been a massive groundswell of support for Bou Bou Phonesavanh, who is a person of color and is clearly innocent as he was only 19 months old when he was brutalized by the pigs.

          1. “Color” is on a scale.

            Sort of like how Zimmerman became “white”.

            But seriously, I suspect there are subtleties in this case that only someone at NPR can understand.

            1. That is why this is not national news (kid was a science major):

              Police: 3 shot Clark Atlanta student, then took his Nikes


          2. Ted S.: I’d say it’s because the leftists narrative is that the reason all those black male teens get in trouble with the law is cuz racism. An infant injured by police misconduct doesn’t allow them to whine about the “injustices” done to the Michael Browns and Trayvon Martins of the world. Everyone knows to not be afraid of infants, of any color. But the “problem” is that people are wary of black male teens.

        2. If it was gravel, yeah, the response was disproportionate. If they were fist-sized, maybe not.

          In either case, I think it should be part of the job of the police to accept more personal risk than a regular person on the street would. And one guy throwing rocks could seriously injure someone, sure. But it is certainly something that several police officers should be able to deal with without firing guns on a city street where bystanders might get hurt. It’s not as if they were under assault from an angry, rock-throwing mob.

  3. Obey or die.


  4. What, no hat tip?

    Talk about injustice.

    1. rts linked to the story on yesterdays PM links.

  5. Murder. No doubt about it.

    He turned around to give up palms up. Bang. Bang.

    Even if not, is throwing rocks reason to shoot someone? Really? These pigs need to swing.

    1. As someone who’s been following this story since yesterday *throat clearing* I’m not sure about that. I believe he had a rock in his hand and may have been preparing to toss it at the cops.

      Having said that, this shooting appears way, WAY unjustified.

      The shooting is problematic on a lot of levels.

      One, the dude was homeless and probably had a history of mental issues.

      Two, he was throwing rocks.

      Three, there were three cops, against a rockthrower, why not use a taser?

      Four, as one witness pointed out, there were people around, cars driving… do we really believe those cops were 100% certain of their background?

      1. Three, there were three cops, against a rockthrower, why not use a taser?

        Because contrary to Tasers being sold to the public as a less-lethal alternative to guns, they are actually only used for “compliance”.

        1. A .40 cal can be deployed for compliance as well. Case in point…

          1. Well, yeah, but Taser “compliance” is usually deployed against running teenagers or suspects in handcuffs who get mouthy.

            1. Tell that to the kid in Fruitvale station.

      2. They don’t give a shit about what’s behind the target. It’s the target’s fault that they are shooting, so any innocents that the cops hit are the target’s fault. So they will blithely shoot at anyone who fails to obey them, and sleep well that night even if they kill a dozen innocent people. It wasn’t their fault.

        1. Even if they do miss and hit some bystander it is all good. Because then they can charge the person they were chasing with attempted murder or murder (depending on whether the bystander bought it) too.

          After all if the asshole didn’t make them shoot at him, then the bystander wouldn’t have been shot.

      3. Four, as one witness pointed out, there were people around, cars driving… do we really believe those cops were 100% certain of their background?

        That may be the most important question. Even if they were justified in firing in self defense, which I very much doubt, they need to be damn sure they aren’t endangering someone else unnecessarily. A cop getting hit by a rock is a much more acceptable risk than a bystander getting hit with a bullet.

        1. Not true. The life of a cop is far moar valuable than the life of a commoner.

        2. they need to be damn sure they aren’t endangering someone else unnecessarily.

          You don’t understand. They aren’t endangering anyone. The person they are trying to kill is. They were forced to shoot. They are not responsible. The guy who threatened their lives by failing to obey is responsible.

          That’s how they rationalize what they do and sleep well at night.

        3. The newscast said 13 shots were fired. If the guy didn’t have 13 bullets in him, some of those rounds missed.

      4. Tasers are dangerous and should be a last option.

  6. “At the end of the day, we want to be safe,” he told them. “We all want to make sure we got home safely to our families.

    Well, that is the most important thing. It must be accomplished at all costs, no matter the danger to ‘civilians’.

    1. “At the end of the day, we want to be safe,” he told them. “We all want to make sure we got home safely to our families.

      Against a rockthrower.

      Let’s play a game, Mr. Officer.

      You stand on the street with a rock in your hand. Me and three of my best friends will be armed with guns, mace and tasers. If we can get you subdued and into custody without killing you, we win, and I get your pension.

      1. But if you scrape a knee or elbow in the process, you didn’t get home completely safe and unharmed, so you lose.

        1. Good point, those officers’ hands did get injured by Kelly Thomas’s face. I’m surprised they showed so much restraint.

      2. They didn’t shoot him because he was throwing rocks. They shot him because he wasn’t obeying their commands. You should know that by now.

        1. Yes, failure to obey the King’s Men is punishable by death.

        2. Yes, but righteous indignation is much more fun than detached cynicism.

  7. The perils of legal marijuana.

  8. This incident is a perfect example of the “new professionalism”, which is: submit or die (or obey or die as sarcasmic put it). If you run, you die. if you drive away, you die. If you walk away, you die. Sumbit too slow? You die. Make the wrong move while being shouted contradictory orders? Die.

    We now basically have to worry that in any encounter with a cop, if we make the wrong move, or misinterpret a command, or they confuse us for someone else…we might die. For no reason. And no one will be held accountable.

    1. Welcome to the Land of the Free, where Liberty and Justice reign.

    2. The land of cops getting home safely from pebbles outweighs your state-given so-called rights.

    3. It would seem that the only thing left to make this event complete is for the cops to send Zambrano’s family a bill for the bullets.

  9. Murder – pure and simple.

    They just wanted him to turn around to say it was justified.

    They didn’t want to shot him in the back.

    I see nothing in the dead man’s hands.

  10. Kevin Bosma smashed me in the head with a rock when I was six. I had a huge gash, lots of blood, and needed to get a bunch of stitches in my scalp. I should have shot him to death.

    1. The playgrounds would be war zones if kids were given the weapons and rights to react like cops to be sure.

      1. The playgrounds neighborhoods would be war zones if kids cops were given the weapons and rights to react like cops children to be sure.

        1. Nice.

          1. Seriously. Who immediately resorts to violence to solve disputes other than children and cops?

            1. Sir Lancelot of Monty Python fame – it’s his idiom.

  11. So, I guess those five shots heard at the beginning of the video – they all missed. With heavy traffic around.

    1. Look, if a few random motorists or pedestrians have to die so that our Heroes in Black can make it home safely at night, then so be it.

      1. They protect the public by shooting wildly with no concern for what’s behind the target. Remember that the public means everyone else. So if they kill a dozen innocent people, they were still protecting the public because the public is everyone except the innocent people they kill.

        1. If they were so innocent then what were they doing being shot by the police?

          1. “If they were so innocent then what were they doing being shot by the police?”

            Good point, Hugh. Additionally, these individuals should be more responsible and not place themselves in the paths of bullets which happen to discharge from firearms. This is yet another example of why ordinary civilians have no business around firearms. Clearly only well trained people like the military and law enforcement should have access to firearms.

    2. You noticed that too. Firing across an intersection, five pops, none appeared to land home.

  12. At the end of the day, we want to be safe

    Except for Zambrano, ’cause fuck that guy

    1. And anyone in the line of fire or behind the target. Fuck them too.

      1. Pretty much fuck anyone who isn’t a cop. There, that’s more like it.

        1. To protect and serve… themselves.

    2. Plus I just love how they’re prostrating themselves now to the ‘civilians’ because they know they completely fucked up and if they dare show up w/ “I’m Darren Wilson” bracelets and bow up to the community, they’ll be Ferguson-West.

  13. Well I for one hope this leads to common sense rock regulation. With a special eye on assault rocks and any rock over 4 ounces.

    1. First we need to register all of the rocks so we know who has them.

      And I’ve been hearing about this thing called a quarry…

  14. You don’t shoot people just because you “feel threatened”.

    ESPECIALLY if you are a cop. A civilian wouldn’t be able to plead self-defense if they shot someone merely for throwing rocks in their general direction.

    If anything cops should have less excuse to shoot people for feeling threatened, because a cop is supposed to be trained to respond ot threats in a sane manner, and not just shoot anything that moves.

    1. Police are explicitly trained to start firing the moment they feel threatened, without any second guessing. That’s what they refer to as “a split second decision.” They are also explicitly trained to not fear any consequences for their actions, because the entire “justice” system is set up to protect them, especially if they are totally and completely in the wrong.

      1. This whole idea that the paramount thing is to keep police officer alive, at the expense of potentially killing a few innocents is fucking ass-backwards.

        Cops exist to potentially die so that innocent civilians don’t, not the other way around.

        1. Once, maybe, certainly not anymore. I even vaguely remember the days where not ever having to fire their weapon was a point of pride for police officers. My how things have changed.

          1. I wonder where and when the trend started.

            I remember a lot of cop movies in the 80s and 90s where the police officers were always getting shot by evil drug dealers.

            I also remember how attitudes toward military casualties changed, probably going back ot Vietnam. It became of overwhelming importances to keep US casualties to a minimum.

            It almost seems like these attitudes converged in police forces and the police began to beleive that keeping every officer alive overrode their primary duty to protect civilians.

            1. Force-protection definitely comes with a seriously fucked-up twist of wicked.

              If getting home to ‘family’ means cops have the right to kill on any fearful whim then force-protection is no longer productive in the societal sense.

              1. If getting home to ‘family’ means cops have the right to kill on any fearful whim then force-protection is no longer productive in the societal sense.

                Precisely. Police exist to fulfill a specific duty. We pay them to do it. At what point does force protection not only result in them failing that duty, but actively harming it?

                1. The people are the police and the police are the people; those who wear the uniform are simply doing a job we cannot do for ourselves 24 hours a day.

                  At least, that was the intention of Robert Peel when he set up the Metropolitan Police in London. Obviously, we’ve fallen extremely far from those lofty principles.

                2. “Police exist to fulfill a specific duty. We pay them to do it.”

                  Nonsense. We don’t pay them. Folks are extorted through taxation to fund the totalitarian arm of the state, aka police.

                  Their “specific duty” could be handled through the private production of security, where individuals are held accountable for their actions. They wouldn’t benefit from qualified immunity, and could not enforce nonsensical made up law which violates natural law.

            2. They’ve always looked out for each other before anyone else, they just weren’t so overt about it. Public safety used to be job number one, now it’s officer safety. Public safety isn’t even a concern. Sure, they’ll say it is, and then they’ll fire a dozen rounds at someone on the street without a care as to who else they may injure or kill. And then all the brass will line up to defend the officers’ actions. It’s pretty disgusting. They aren’t peace officers anymore. They’re an occupying force.

              1. People keep referring to Public Safety being THE priority in the past of lawmen. I’m wanting to be pointed to reference material that illustrates this ireffutably. Because I’m skeptical this past ever existed. I think we are able to detect and show bad actors easier than in the past. I would imagine many cops back then ran their beat as their own fiefdom, maybe not with all the shiny new toys cops get nowadays, but more immune to criticism even than today.

                1. In the past they at least said that public safety was their priority. Now they don’t even pretend to care.

      2. Police are explicitly trained to start firing the moment they feel threatened, without any second guessing.

        I wonder what would happen if some politician suggested not taking privileges away from the cops, but extending the same privileges to non-cops, such that simply “feeling threatened” would be a valid defense.

        The resulting shit-fit from the cops would be interesting.

    2. That all sounds great, Hazel, and it makes perfect sense. Yet somehow, the exact opposite is the reality. Because the worst possible people are drawn to positions of power, and once they get there, they set about giving themselves as much more power as they can and eliminating their accountability as much as they can. It’s why government will always fail and become tyrannical. Because it’s merely a perceived-as-legitimate way for disgusting power hungry scum to get their power on.

  15. “At the end of the day, we want to be safe,” he told them. “We all want to make sure we got home safely to our families.

    Then why the fuck are you a cop?
    It’s your JOB to put yourself in the line of danger. Not to protect yourself at the expense of innocent people’s lives.

    1. That USED to be their job. Now their job is to endanger the public to ensure their own safety.

      1. “That USED to be their job. Now their job is to endanger the public to ensure their own safety.”

        Sometime in the middle or late 70s a father and his son and daughter were at a store and the daughter started misbehaving (she was around 5 years old if I recall correctly). There was a police officer nearby and the father told her to behave because the police man could see she how bad she was behaving.
        The police officer said something similar to “Sir, we prefer children not fear us but trust us so they’ll come to us if they are in trouble.”

    2. You have it backwards, dear.

      Jim Norton the turd-gargling comic explains it like this… BECAUSE cops have CHOSEN to place their lives directly INTO the line of danger they deserve quadruple respect and its best buddy, immunity.

  16. How can we be sure that the perp wasn’t going to run away, break into the local nuclear plant, steal enriched plutonium and then sell it to Al Qaeda in Yakima?

  17. http://legalinsurrection.com/2…..-officers/

    some relevant analysis

    1. From that link:

      Police were called after reports that Zambrano-Montes was at an urban intersection hurling rocks at vehicles. When officers responded, they too began to be pelted with stones as large as softballs, with officers being struck multiple times.

      1. I doubt that. What did he have a wheelbarrow full of rocks? Also, tossing a stone as large as a softball is not easy.

        In any event, he was running away when shot. He turned with both hands in the air. It is possible he had a rock in one of his hands, but he was not in the act of throwing.

    2. Even if he was throwing rocks at officers, it’s obviously possible to subdue him without the use of deadly force. All it would take would be one shot to the leg. Not three cops firing multiple times.
      After one shot the guy would be in no condition to hurl any stones.

    3. Cops should have duty to use the least harmful means possible to subdue a suspect. The current rules allow them to use whatever means minimizes the threat to themselves. That is wrong.
      They should only be pulling a gun if it is absolutely necessary to pull a gun. Not just because they think there’s a remote possibility one of them might get a concussion.

  18. Some common sense rock control would have prevented this whole thing. Those heroes wouldnt have been forced into the position of protecting their lives from this dangerous menace with those high capacity full auto assault rocks he was just flingin all around willy nilly.

    1. If the damn apple tree had been producing, surely he would have been throwing those. So whatever law is made should also discuss apple control.

  19. I think everything control might be the most logical step for good governance here.

  20. Has anyone noticed that the Mainstream media has been reporting police abuse regularly lately? Visit my website to read a short article on why I believe that to be the case.

  21. The very fact that the popo can’t stop shooting and brutalizing people even as the general public is becoming aware of their actions is an indication of the training and environment they are part of. It’s similar to the supposed “gamers being desensitized to violence” meme. The cops are as bad as any basement dwelling dweeb as far as being totally into the shoot ’em up super hero fantasy world. Combine that with their being trained to be scared shitless in any situation beyond traffic duty. Add the sure knowledge that there will never be any significant consequences, and you have the modern day law enforcement world.

  22. Caden. I just agree… Patrick`s st0rry is astonishing, last tuesday I got a top of the range Land Rover Defender sincee geting a check for $6814 this last 4 weeks and in excess of 10k last month. it’s certainly the coolest job Ive had. I actually started……………

    ????? http://www.netpay20.com

  23. That my friend is why we roll with the punches.


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