Three police officers in Washington state who fatally shot a rock-throwing illegal immigrant in February will not face criminal charges, a prosecutor announced Wednesday, saying there was no evidence the officers acted with malice.
The death of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, 35, 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 repeatedly told officers to kill him before they opened fire.
At a news conference repeatedly interrupted by protesters Wednesday, Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant said the evidence showed that the officers used legal force as they tried to arrest a man who had assaulted them and was threatening to attack them further. Sant said he could not meet the high bar for criminal prosecution under Washington state law, which requires a showing that the officers acted with malice and without good faith that their actions were justified, the Associated Press reports.
"The officers used legal force to prevent injuries to themselves and others," the prosecutor said. "Certainly there is no evidence of malice."