- Free Consultations / No Fees Until We Win
- (213) 927-3700
Personal Injury Firm
California Attorney General Rob Bonta reportedly announced that the justice department will be conducting an independent review of the shooting death of Sean Monterrosa to determine if criminal charges are warranted. The announcement comes after the Solano County District Attorney declined to conduct a review of the Vallejo Police Department’s investigation of the incident.
“Without accountability, there is no justice,” Bonta reportedly said. “It’s past time Sean Monterrosa’s family, the community, and the people of Vallejo get some answers. They deserve to know where the case stands. Instead, they’ve been met with silence. It’s time for that to change; it’s time for action. Seeing the failure of the District Attorney to fulfill this important responsibility, my office will review the case to ensure a fair, thorough, and transparent process is completed. This is the right thing to do and I will go where the facts lead. Rebuilding trust in our institutions starts with the actions of each and every one of us. If there has been wrongdoing, we will bring it to light.”
In June 2020, police responded reports of possible looting at a Walgreens at half past midnight. When they arrived, two cars took off, with one of the vehicles striking a police cruiser. Video later released showed officer Jarett Tonn had fired five shots through the windshield of an unmarked vehicle, striking Monterrosa and killing him.
Vallejo police chief Shawny Williams said Tonn shot Monterrosa after mistaking a hammer in his pocket for a gun. Monterrosa was reportedly on his knees with his hands raised when he was killed.
The civil rights attorney who is representing the Monterrosa family in a wrongful death suit stated: “I am thankful Attorney General Rob Bonta is taking over the review into the Vallejo police shooting of Sean Monterrosa. The Vallejo police command staff knew or should have known that this was Tonn’s fourth shooting in five years and by failing to discipline officers for misconduct, Vallejo’s police command staff essentially ratified the bad conduct.”
The Monterrosa family and their attorney said the 22-year-old’s civil rights were violated by unjustified use of deadly force when he was shot and killed by the officer. The family’s attorney said this is Officer Tonn’s fourth shooting in five years and continued saying by failing to discipline officers for misconduct, the command staff essentially ratifies bad conduct.
California Sen. Bill Dodd, who represents the 3rd Senate District, which includes the city of Vallejo, said he had been calling for an independent investigation of the case since the beginning and was glad the Attorney General was conducting it. “It’s crucial that we have a thorough and impartial review of the facts and get accountability for any wrongdoing,” he said.
The wrongful death by police incident raised even more controversy after the City of Vallejo announced it was seeking a criminal investigation into its police department for destruction of evidence in the case. The windshield of the Vallejo police car involved in the shooting death of Monterrosa was reportedly destroyed, and the vehicle was then placed back into service without prior consultation with the Police Chief or City Attorney’s Office.
The case has now gained national attention, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joining Vallejo city officials in calling for an FBI investigation into the police killing. She called the shooting a “horrible act of brutality that continues to shake our Bay Area community.”