Investigation Shows Fatal Yakima Shooting Justified
It's becoming a recurring theme in the Columbia Basin, but also other parts of the country as well. Police being accused of over reaction when dealing with an armed, confrontational and dangerous suspect.
As police continue to take criticism from special interest groups when a suspect or perpetrator is fatally shot, a Yakima County prosecutor's independent study into a fatal shooting shows officers were justified in their actions.
The investigation was launched after Juan Brisento-Ortega was shot June 10th. Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Busic said the officers actions were warranted when Ortega ignored their commands, and clearly reached for his waistline where police later found a partially concealed .22 caliber pistol.
Ortega and his brother were outside a home at 2125 South 68th., when police responded to a 911 call that the two men were fighting violently in the yard. Ortega ignored police commands to raise his hands, and instead reached for his beltline.
Dashboard camera footage, said Brusic, corroborated the officer's testimony.
The Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs asked the U.S. District Attorney for Eastern Washington to investigate this case, and they have also asked the same for a fatal Wapato shooting recently. In that case, a man was fatally shot when officers responded to a domestic violence call. The man locked himself in a bathroom and when officers forced their way in he assaulted them. He grabbed one of their Tasers and attacked the two policemen. He was fatally shot by an officer who'd been knocked backwards into a bathtub. The Commission also was unhappy the U.S. District Attorney did not press charges against the officers involved in the Zamrano Pasco shooting last year.
The Commission is trying to claim police have an antagonistic attitude towards Hispanics and have not done enough to de-escalate potentially dangerous situations. Critics say the Commission is attempting to turn these cases into racial issues, and not considering several non-Hispanics have also been fatally shot in police confrontations over the last couple of years.