This tragedy is yet another link in a long chain of police abuse of force
The National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC), is appalled by the execution of Antonio Zambrano Montes, a Mexican immigrant at the hands of the Police Department of Pasco, Washington. As the amateur video that has been widely circulated on social media demonstrates, Mr. Zambrano Montes carried no firearms and his hands were held up in the sign of surrender at the moment that the police shot him multiple times, resulting in his death.
The fatal incident in Washington fits in a pattern of aggressive police actions across the country that have resulted in the deaths of racial and ethnic minorities, especially African Americans. The cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri and Eric Garner in New York join many other less well-known but no less heartbreaking examples. According to local news reports, Zambrano Montes’ death is the fourth incident of its kind in the past six months. Unfortunately, the death in Washington at the hands of the police also fits a larger pattern of police abuse against people of Mexican and Latin American origin which has been less visible until now.
The death of Zambrano Montes reminds us yet again how urgent it is to change procedures for police behaviour toward the public and increase accountability for the use of lethal force, particularly when it comes to the relationship of police to minority communities and people of color. The use of lethal force should always be the last resort as a way of subduing a suspect. For African American and Latino communities, every violent incident undermines confidence in the police and ultimately undermines the mission of public security forces in serving and protecting the populace.
NALACC calls on all the relevant authorities to carry out a thorough investigation of this incident, and to ensure that justice is served. If there is any implication that the authorities condone police abuse or excessive use of force, this will further deteriorate community trust in police officials and public security. We also call on the relevant Mexican authorities to use all available channels to assure that the case is properly investigated and the responsible parties are brought to justice.
Finally, NALACC would like to express our sorrow and condolences to the family members and friends of Antonio Zambrano Montes for the irreparable loss of their loved one.