Wapato officer suing mayor for controversial comments regarding - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wapato officer suing mayor for controversial comments regarding justified shooting

Wapato officer suing mayor for controversial comments regarding justified shooting

Posted: Updated:

02/02/17 UPDATE: 

WAPATO, WA - The controversial deadly shooting last July by a Wapato police officer could be going back to court. The officer who pulled the trigger is suing the city's mayor.

The use of social media could cost Wapato Mayor Tony Guzman more than $1 million.

Last summer, Officer Michael Campos shot and killed a man during a domestic violence call. After the shooting, Mayor Tony Guzman went on Facebook and called Officer Campos a murderer, saying things like "he deserves to die in prison", "it's people like you that give Latinos a bad name", "you are a disgrace to the Wapato PD", and "if you had any ounce of dignity, never show your face in Wapato, and take the Chief with you".

Officer Campos is suing Mayor Guzman for $1.5 million, saying the post is defamation and that it has created a hostile work environment for him.

The Yakima County Prosecutor's Office says the shooting was justified.

The City of Wapato has until Tuesday to respond to the lawsuit. If they ignore the claim, Campos plans to sue the city.

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11/07/16 PREVIOUS:

WAPATO, WA - An online petition is calling for the Wapato mayor to resign from office over a comment he made months ago on social media.

The comment was in response to an officer-involved shooting that left one man dead.

197 out of 200 signatures...that's the current standing of an online petition that's asking for the resignation of Wapato mayor Tony Guzman.

The driving force behind the petition: the comment Guzman made towards an officer involved in the deadly shooting.

The comment reads: "Campos had no idea that his good friend Rogelio was Mario's brother, until Rogelio confronted him! What a.... Piece of...!! I hope they prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law!! He deserves to die in prison!!! To MURDER someone in such a callus manor deserves to be in prison!!! If not executed for murdering him in front of his family!!! SHAME ON YOU!!! It's people like you!!! That give Latinos a bad name. You are a disgrace to the Wapato PD. If you have an ounce of dignity, never show your face in Wapato, and take the Chief with you!!!

Guzman said this about the comment, "Emotions were high, the family was on me, do I regret posting it, no." "Should I have worded it differently, yes."

Guzman said the comment was made two days after Officer Campos and Sergeant Ehrhardt were involved in the fatal shooting of Mario Torres in his Wapato home.

Torres was shot after he resisted arrest and took one of the officers' tasers.

Months later, the shooting was deemed justified.

"At the time I hadn't been briefed about anything," said Guzman. "The only people that were contacting me were the immediate family members, and they were giving me their side, the police chief never briefed me on anything."

Guzman's comment recently surfaced last week along with the creation of the petition while he was on vacation. 

"It was deliberately done, and I don't know who the person or persons were that did it, all I know is that it's out there," said Guzman.

Despite almost reaching its signature goal, Guzman says that he is not worried about the petition.

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10/21/16 PREVIOUS:

WAPATO, WA - The Yakima County Prosecutor says a deadly Wapato officer involved shooting is justified.

Deputies say on July 31st, Sergeant Ehrhardt and Officer Campos tried taking Mario Torres into custody, after he had allegedly assaulted his girlfriend.

Torres locked himself in a bathroom. When officers finally got in, he wouldn't listen to them, which led to a struggle. At one point, Torres took an officer's taser, and used it on Sergeant Ehrhardt.

Officer Campos took out his gun and Torres also tried taking that. Campos ended up shooting Torres multiple times, killing him.

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08/01/16 PREVIOUS:

WAPATO, WA - The Wapato Police Department says two officers are on paid administrative leave after one officer shot and killed a man.

The department says on Sunday around 8:15 p.m. the officers were called to the 400 block of West 2nd for a domestic violence case. While at the scene, one officer shot a man. The man died at the scene. 

Police say one officer was injured. He was treated at Memorial Hospital.

Both officers are on paid administrative leave while an investigation is underway. The Yakima Police Department and the Yakima County Sheriff's Office is leading the investigation.

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