The Mexican government expressed “profound disappointment” due to the no-charge ruling against the police officers that killed Mexican farm worker Antonio Zambrano in Franklin, Washington, Feb. 11, saying that the court decision increases the perception of impunity in cases of police brutality against minorities in the United States.
The Ministry of Foreign Relations released a statement also criticizing the U.S. prosecutor's decision to lay charges against the police officers arguing there wasn't sufficient evidence, when in fact there is a video and testimonies that prove Zambrano was shot and killed without true motives.
The ministry added that it would continue offering legal assistance and other aid to the family of Zambrano in their quest for justice.
Earlier on Wednesday, Washington authorities said that three police officers in Washington state, Ryan Flanagan, Adam Wright and Adrian Alaniz, would not face charges over the shooting of Zambrano.
“The officers used lethal force to prevent injury to themselves and others,” Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant said in a statement. He further described the shooting as “reasonable under the standards established in our state laws” and lacking in malice.
Attorney Jose Baez said Zambrano's family was “sorely disappointed” and “sharply disagrees” with the decision.
“This forces us to seek justice for Antonio and his family in a different forum, one of the family’s choosing, not in the police home court. Shortly, we will be filing a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of the proper plaintiffs,” Baez said in a statement.
Zambrano, a 35-year-old Mexican national, was shot 17 times and killed near an intersection in Pasco, Washington State, earlier this year. The shooting was captured on video taken by bystanders, and inspired protests and criticism from the Mexican government that the use of force was excessive.
Last week, relatives of Zambrano filed a federal lawsuit alleging that his killing was unjustified.
"Antonio Zambrano was unjustifiably and wrongly shot and killed by the three Defendant City of Pasco police officers, denying him his civil rights as protected by federal law," family attorney George Trejo wrote in the complaint.