Gov. Jay Inslee has denied a second request to appoint a special prosecutor in the case of a Mexican man shot and killed by three Pasco police officers.
Inslee General Counsel Nicholas Brown told Yakima attorney George P. Trejo Jr. in a Wednesday letter that nothing had changed since the governor told Consejo Latino chairman Felix Vargas last month that he wouldn’t appoint a prosecutor in the February shooting of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, 35.
Inslee could reconsider the decision at any time, Brown said.
“As such, we will continue to monitor the handling of the case closely and wait to see how the investigation unfolds,” Brown said. “We look forward to reviewing all the facts of the incident before any further decisions are made.”
In an email, Trejo said it is unfortunate that Inslee lacks the “intestinal fortitude” to take necessary action, comparing the situation to Saturday’s shooting of Walter Scott in South Carolina, where the officer accused of killing him was fired and charged with murder days later.
“It is even more disgusting when one compares the cold-blooded killing of Mr. Zambrano with that of the defenseless man in South Carolina,” Trejo said. “There, prosecutors did not hesitate to charge the officer. Here in the State of Washington everyone wants to look the other way.”
Trejo said the Hispanic community is disappointed in Inslee, himself a former Yakima lawyer.
“If you recall, you made hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, representing injured and wrongfully killed Hispanic plaintiffs to your financial gain,” Trejo wrote Inslee in response to his decision. “Now, when the Hispanic community turns to you for help, you look the other way. Shame on you.”