5 facts that help explain the simmering tensions in Pasco, Washington


Surrounded by rolling wheat fields, and a four-hour drive from the metropolises of Seattle and Olympia, Pasco, Washington, may seem an obvious candidate for the national spotlight.

With a population of 68,000, Pasco—located at the confluence of the Yakima, Snake and Columbia rivers—is a small and relatively sleepy city.

But it’s also where Antonio Zombrano-Montes, a 35-year-old Mexican man, was shot and killed by police while video appeared to show him backing away with his hands raised. (He had been throwing rocks, and some accounts claim he had a rock in his hand as he was gunned down. Pasco has put the officers on administrative leave pending a review.)

The shooting has drawn harsh criticism from activists around the U.S., and even the local coroner suggested a comparison to the August death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. It’s also drawn scrutiny in the Mexican press—and in Pasco, inflamed long-simmering racial…

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