PASCO, Wash. (AP) — The family of an unarmed Mexican immigrant fatally shot by police in Pasco, Washington, has been given forensic reports and other documents from the investigation into his death.
Authorities released the files to Antonio Zambrano-Montes’ relatives on Tuesday, a day before they were to be released to the public.
The 35-year-old former orchard worker was shot Feb. 10 by three Pasco police officers. Authorities say he was throwing rocks at police and a stun gun failed to subdue him.
The Tri-City Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1T3rPSK ) that attorneys for the Zambrano-Montes family said at a news conference they have concerns about the investigation after meeting with the Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant.
The prosecutor is considering whether criminal charges are warranted, a process likely to take months.
The attorneys commended Sant for meeting with Zambrano-Montes’ parents, but said they had concerns about the time it took authorities to interview the officers who shot him.
Attorney Jose Baez declined to say anything specifically about what was in the investigative file, citing a confidentiality agreement.
“The limited portion that we’ve reviewed, which is critical, is quite disappointing,” Baez said.
The shooting of Zambrano-Montes prompted months of protests in Pasco, an agricultural center with 68,000 residents about 130 miles southwest of Spokane, after cellphone video showed the officers chasing him across a street before shooting him as he turned around.
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A sweeping gag order was issued Tuesday in a lawsuit arising from a May brawl at a roadside restaurant in Waco, Texas, in which nine bikers were killed and 177 people arrested.
The ruling in the lawsuit filed by Matthew Clendennen, a biker who says he was wrongfully arrested, prevents attorneys, witnesses and law enforcement officers involved in the case from discussing it with the media.
McLennan County District Court Judge Matt Johnson also ruled that Clendennen’s attorney, Clint Broden, can view surveillance video from the Twin Peaks franchisee in Waco, but barred it from public release.
Video footage shared earlier with The Associated Press shows that when gunfire erupted in the parking lot of the restaurant, most of the motorcycle riders who were watching the May 17 confrontation from the patio or inside immediately ran away from the shooting. A few tried to direct people to safety, while others were seen crawling for cover.
Waco police were on scene, and some fired their weapons. It remains unclear whose bullets struck the nine who died; the results of autopsies and ballistic analyses have not been made public.
Broden obtained a subpoena for the video last week, but the city filed a motion to quash it, saying it would interfere with its ongoing investigation into the shootout.
Johnson said in the gag order that he acted to prevent pretrial publicity from influencing potential jurors. Johnson declined the AP’s request for comment.
Las Vegas attorney Stephen Stubbs, who was retained by the Bandidos, one of the motorcycle clubs involved in the melee, called the gag order unconstitutional.
“Tying the hands of these people who have been accused of crimes and not allowing them to defend themselves in the media is just wrong,” Stubbs told the AP.
The shooting began after an apparent confrontation between the Bandidos, the predominant motorcycle club in Texas, and the Cossacks, according to investigators. Hundreds of weapons — including 151 firearms — were recovered.
Witnesses have said they thought they heard automatic weapons during the shooting. But Waco Police Chief Brent Stroman said earlier this month that city officers had disabled the automatic setting on their rifles, and that most of the dozens of shell casings found at the scene were from suspects’ guns.
Those arrested were held on a $1 million bond on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity, but only six remain in jail.
MADRID (AP) — Thousands of protesters rallied Tuesday against a new Spanish public security law nicknamed the “gag law” before it went into effect at midnight, slamming it as legalized muzzling of free expression and the media.
Greenpeace activists started off the demonstrations with a surprise act of civil disobedience in the morning, draping a banner reading “Protesting is a Right” on a construction crane next to Spain’s lower house of Parliament.
The banner was positioned to look like it was looming over Parliament — where protesters will face fines if they demonstrate near it.
Later Tuesday, thousands of protesters swarmed the streets of Madrid and other Spanish cities to protest the law that goes into effect Wednesday.
The wide-ranging law allows for the summary expulsion of migrants caught illegally entering the Spain’s two North African enclaves, sets hefty fines for protests outside Parliament or strategic installations and allows authorities to fine journalists or media organizations who distribute unauthorized images of police.
The bill sets fines of up to 30,000 euros ($33,000) for protests near Parliament and regional lawmaking buildings when there is a “serious disturbance of public safety.”
A fine of up to 600,000 euros ($638,000) is included for unauthorized protests near key infrastructure, including transportation hubs or nuclear power plants.
It was pushed through by the conservative Popular Party in the wake of largely peaceful protests that hit Spain after the financial crisis began in 2008. The demonstrations hit an apex in 2012 as the nation teetered on the verge of economic meltdown only to be saved by a bailout of its troubled banks.
Critics include the leading opposition Socialist Party that has said it will rescind the law if elected in general elections later this year, a panel of five United Nation human rights expert and the Human Rights Watch advocacy group.
Media advocates are also concerned that the law could stifle journalists because it allows for fines for “unauthorized use of images” of police, including live and recorded video.
The Popular Party government says images of police cracking down on protests could prevent them from doing their jobs or put them at risk.
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Hidden cameras, invisibility cloaks and mini-drones were among the gadgets on display Tuesday at an exhibition of Israeli surveillance technology, offering a rare peek into the secretive world of Israeli espionage.
The expo was part of a conference promoting business partnerships between military and civilian industries. About two dozen Israeli companies — some of them founded by ex-intelligence officers — exhibited products used by militaries, police units and intelligence agencies in Israel and around the world.
It was the first such display of Israeli-made surveillance products in a non-covert setting in Israel, said Ron Kitrey, a retired Israeli military intelligence official who chaired the conference.
“It’s the tip of the iceberg, what we show here,” Kitrey said. “We would be irresponsible and stupid to show people the roots of the iceberg.”
The event had the feel of an ordinary industrial expo, with booths lined up one next to the other and company representatives offering candy and brochures to entice visitors.
A representative of Ametrine Technologies was showing off his company’s product — multi-spectral camouflage fatigues that make soldiers invisible to heat-sensing cameras — when his cellphone rang to the James Bond theme song.
Bond would feel at home at the booth of Israeli company Pro4Tech. It designs mini-cameras that shoot video, take photos and record audio that are hidden inside ordinary-looking objects, like a fake sprinkler, a fake soda can, a real pen, a necktie, and a coffee cup that contains a compartment for hot coffee.
Dolev Amit, a company representative, said it sells these gadgets to government agencies only, including Israel’s Mossad and Shin Bet intelligence agencies, and “all the three-letter agencies” in the US, like the CIA and the FBI.
The Israeli company YTS displayed a white Toyota Corolla it transformed into a covert special ops surveillance car, with hidden video cameras in the seat cushions and trunk that provide 360-degree footage.
It also displayed an unmarked white van made to serve as a covert mobile command and control center. The van collects the water produced by the air conditioning unit so it does not drip onto the pavement and reveal that the vehicle is on.
The company said it has retrofitted cars made to look like delivery vans and even militants’ vehicles for Israeli military units and intelligence agencies.
“You don’t want everyone to see you’re watching with a camera, like in the movies,” said Alon Tal of YTS.
Israeli military and intelligence officials, along with their counterparts in other countries, addressed the conference in a separate room.
Participants at the conference included Israeli military, police and intelligence representatives, as well as military attaches and ambassadors of various countries. Representatives of the Jordanian army were also present.
Kitrey, the conference head, said he assumed “spooks and spies” of various countries interested in learning about Israeli technologies could also be present at the conference.
YOKOHAMA, Japan (AP) — A new robot that raises its tail like a scorpion is scheduled to look at melted nuclear fuel inside one of the three wrecked Fukushima reactors in Japan.
Toshiba Corp., co-developer of the “scorpion” crawler that was demonstrated Tuesday, said the robot will venture into the Unit 2 reactor’s primary containment vessel in August after a month of training for its handlers.
Officials hope the robot can see the fuel in the pressure vessel in the middle of the reactor. The fuel hasn’t been located exactly and studied because of the high radiation levels.
The difficult work of decommissioning the Fukushima plant damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami will take decades.
The scorpion robot is the second to enter a primary containment vessel, after “snake” robots were sent in April inside the worst-hit Unit 1. One of the two robots used in that reactor became stuck and had to be left behind, and neither was able to spot the melted fuel debris.
This time, the scorpion crawler, which is 54 centimeters (21 inches) long when it is extended, will enter through a duct designed as a passageway for fuel rods. Toshiba has no back up machine.
During the demonstration at a Toshiba lab near Tokyo, the robot slid down a railing as it stretched out like a bar, with a head-mounted LED showing its way. After crawling over a slight gap and landing on a metal platform, the robot lifted its tail, as if looking up at the bottom of the control rod drive, a structure above the platform where some melted nuclear fuel might be left.
Toshiba officials said they hope the robot can capture images of deeper areas of the vessel, though the primary focus is the platform area, so they can design suitable robots that can go deeper into the vessel.
The scorpion also demonstrated it can roll back upright if it hits an obstacle and rolls over. The ability comes from a tail joint in the middle that bends.
One operator controls the robot with a joystick, and another monitors a video feed from the robot and other data. At the Fukushima plant, the robot will be operated remotely from a command center in a separate building.
The work is planned for a full day. The robot is designed with radiation tolerance allowing it to stay more than 10 hours inside the Unit 2 reactor. Protecting plant workers and engineers from radiation exposure is crucial in the decades-long cleanup.
The robot’s entry is just the beginning of the reactor investigation required before the most challenging task of removing the melted fuel.
BREMEN, Maine (AP) — Followers of a popular live bird camera are reeling from a rare glimpse of nature in the raw after witnessing an eagle pluck two osprey chicks from a nest.
Bird fans watch the ospreys on a live Explore.org camera set up on Maine’s Hog Island. The camera offers real-time looks at ospreys named Steve and Rachel. The National Audubon Society says an eagle swooped in and stole chicks named Big and Little while the cameras were running on Friday.
Audubon vice president for bird conservation Stephen Kress says the snatching of the chicks “shocked” viewers of the osprey camera. He’s including footage of the capture in a blog post on Explore.org. The post says every bird is “just trying to stay alive and rear its young.”
Video of the eagle snatching the osprey chicks: http://blog.explore.org/audubons-steve-kress-provides-insight-on-osprey-chicks/