Hispanic Commission Demands Feds Investigate Wapato Fatal Shooting
In an attempt to associate a July 31st fatal Wapato shooting with the Pasco Zambrano incident, the Washington State Commission for Hispanic Affairs is asking for a federal investigation.
July 31st, officers responded to a home in Wapato, where 38-year-old Mario Torres locked himself in a bathroom when police arrived. They had been called to investigate a report that he had assaulted his girlfriend.
Repeated attempts to get him to come out and talk with police failed, and officers had to force open the door. Upon entry, Torres resisted arrest, and began to assault one of the officers. He took one of the two officer's taser units, and the officer who fatally shot Torres had been knocked backwards into the bathtub.
According to the Yakima Herald- Republic, he drew his gun and fired multiple rounds as Torres tried to assault him again with the taser. Torres died of multiple gunshot wounds. At the request of the Wapato Police Department, Yakima officials are investigating the incident. The investigation is expected to last at least another week or two.
Now the Hispanic Commission is trying to say the shooting mirrors the Zambrano incident, and said this about the shooting:
“The death of Mr. Martinez Torres is indicative of the community’s perception that a culture of violence towards men of color by law enforcement in the Yakima Valley and Tri-Cities area persists."
Their letter does not make any mention of the struggle between the two officers, or that Torres resisted arrest on the domestic violence charge, or that he seized the officer's taser and assaulted both policemen.
The Commission is seeking a federal investigation, earlier this year the U.S. District Attorney's office for Eastern Washington declined to press any charges against the 3 officers involved, or investigate the Zambrano shooting any further.
Officials with the U.S. District Attorney's office did not offer any comment on the request at this time.