Just a day after it was revealed police in Washington state shot at a Mexican migrant 17 times, hitting him as many as six times, a second autopsy shows that police shot Antonio Zambrano-Montes from behind.
A lawyer for Zambrano-Montes’ family says the second medical examination contradicts investigators’ initial report that the 35-year-old was not hit in the back. In fact, Zambrano-Montes was shot twice in the back during the Feb. 10 standoff with Pasco police, according to attorney Charles Herrmann.
The autopsy also revealed that Zambrano-Montes was shot seven times, not six, as Sgt. Ken Lattin of the Tri-Cities Special Investigation Unit claimed Wednesday.
From the Huffington Post:
The second autopsy, performed by a pathologist hired by Zambrano-Montes’ family, found that the orchard worker was shot seven times, Herrmann said. Lattin said police fired 17 shots, hitting Zambrano-Montes five or six times. “At this time we know Antonio Zambrano-Montes was not shot in the back,” the Tri-Cities Special Investigation Unit said in a statement Wednesday.
“Our report differs sharply with statements made by local law enforcement authorities as to how many times Antonio Zambrano-Montes was struck by bullets and whether any were on his backside,” Herrmann said in a statement Thursday.
One of those shots pierced Zambrano-Montes upper right arm and another hit his left buttock, Herrmann said. The report also indicated a graphic wound to Zambrano-Montes’ genitals.
“Another bullet presumably pierced his scrotum, although the damage there was such that the doctor could not positively identify the wound as a point of entry,” Herrmann said.
Lattin has declined to speak with Huffington Post about the new autopsy, but coroner Dan Blasdel suggested that the pathologist who performed the second autopsy may have been biased.
“The pathologist that did the second autopsy is basically a pathologist for hire. How much credibility he has is questionable,” said Blasdel. “It’s going to be very interesting to get him on the stand at the inquest.”
If you recall, police fatally shot Zambrano-Montes after instructing him to stop throwing rocks at passing cars. When confronted, officials say Zambrano-Montes started to throw rocks at the officers. The officers opened fire after attempting to use a Taser to stop him.
Consejo Latino, a Pasco-based civic group, has questioned whether the killing was justified. Rick Rios, one of the group’s co-founders, said the number of errant police shots indicated a problem with police training.
“They were just spraying bullets everywhere,” Rios told The Huffington Post. “That shows no concern for the public. … These are highly trained officers, as we’ve been told over and over again. They were probably no more than 15 feet away from him.”
Witnesses caught the disturbing encounter on video. Police are continuing their investigation.
SOURCE: Huffington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Handout