Sean Monterrosa, 22, was shot and killed by a Vallejo police officer despite the fact that he been down on his knees with his hands up after being confronted by officers. The Guardian says that officers were responding to a call of alleged looting back at the beginning of June when they made contact with the 22-year-old who had been outside of a Walgreens store. The source says officer Jarrett Tonn, who was in an unmarked vehicle at the time, fired five bullets through his windshield at Monterrosa as he thought the man had a gun.
Instead, Monterrosa had a hammer in his pocket.
Apparently, this wasn’t the only use of force with a deadly weapon that Tonn had on his record. According to the source, this was the fourth time in five years that Tonn had fired his weapon at a person while on duty. In 2017, Tonn was involved in two shootings within a six-week period. The previous shootings mentioned were not fatal. Although officer Tonn and his attorney could not be reached for comment regarding the most recent shooting, the police union didn’t hesitate to defend Tonn’s action by saying “he had no other reasonable option”. The union added that he was “protecting himself and fellow officers.”
California Department of Justice (DOJ) Launches Investigation into Vallejo Police Department
According to The Guardian, this incident wouldn’t be the first time the Vallejo Police Department has been scrutinized for officer behavior. In fact, the department has been recognized for years for allowing officers to “kill and brutalize black and Latino residents with impunity” and is described as being an “out-of-control” police department. In light of the recent incident involving Monterrosa coupled with the fatal shootings that have occurred over the past few years, the DOJ decided to launch an investigation into the department as well as formulate a reform agreement.
State Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced this “review and reform agreement” involving the “troubled agency” three days after Monterrosa was fatally shot. The agreement is expected to last three years and will involve the DOJ and the Vallejo Police Department working together on “training, policy, and transparency”, and will also focus on “use-of-force procedures, anti-bias, and community policing and accountability.” The source says that when Becerra was asked why it took so long for the state to review the agency, he attributes the lack of intervention to limited DOJ resources.
If you were victimized by a police officer in Vallejo, California and are looking to obtain justice for the pain and suffering the officer’s actions have caused you, USAttorneys.com can connect you with a California police brutality lawyer who is prepared to help.