SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The parents of a man shot dead after throwing rocks at police officers in Washington state have filed a claim seeking nearly $4.8 million from the city of Pasco.
Attorney Charles Herrmann filed the claim Thursday on behalf of Agapita Montes Rivera and Jesus Zambrano Fernandez, the parents of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, along with Zambrano-Montes’ two daughters. The girls, ages 13 and 15, live in California with their mother.
Zambrano-Montes was a 35-year-old orchard worker from Mexico who was in the U.S. illegally. He was shot seven times by three officers during a Feb. 10 confrontation.
Officers fired 17 times at Zambrano-Montes, who investigators say was high on methamphetamine and hurling rocks at motorists and police. He was unarmed.
The shooting was captured on video and sparked weeks of protests in Pasco, an agricultural hub about 130 miles southwest of Spokane.
The claim referred to the shooting as an execution and contended Zambrano-Montes suffered “pre-death fright, terror and pain” when the officers chased and shot him.
“In the final moments of this execution, Antonio did not represent a threat of grievous bodily harm to anyone,” Herrmann wrote. “His execution was totally unjustified.”
He also took issue with the delay in interviewing the three officers, who were not questioned by investigators until April and May.
“After 7-8 weeks of review and preparation, (officers) finally gave intensely coached, contrived, and coordinated statements,” Herrmann wrote.
Jon Funfar, a spokesman for the city of Pasco, on Friday declined to comment on the claim.
The officer statements were among hundreds of pages of documents and audio and video recordings released this month by the Franklin County prosecutor’s office.
The claim seeks damages for pain and suffering, as well as funeral expenses and attorney fees.
The city has 60 days to respond. Otherwise, Herrmann said he will file a lawsuit in federal court. In Washington, a claim must be submitted before a lawsuit can be filed.
The parents of Zambrano-Montes, who live in a tiny village in the state of Michoacan, Mexico, also are represented by Florida attorneys Benjamin Crump and Jose Baez.
Baez is best known for representing Casey Anthony, who was acquitted in 2011 of killing her 2-year-old daughter. Crump represents the family of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teen who was shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, and the family of Trayvon Martin, who was killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Florida.
Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant is reviewing the lengthy report from the Pasco shooting investigation and will decide whether to charge the officers.
Police and eyewitnesses have described Zambrano-Montes repeatedly yelling at officers to shoot him.
A stun gun failed to subdue him before he was killed.
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