Home Covid-19 Covid-19 News Vallejo police kill unarmed 22-year-old, who was on his knees with his hands up

Vallejo police kill unarmed 22-year-old, who was on his knees with his hands up

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Police in northern California fatally shot an unarmed 22-year-old who was on his knees with his hands up exterior a Walgreens retailer whereas responding to a name of alleged looting, officers mentioned.

An officer within the metropolis of Vallejo was inside his automotive when he shot Sean Monterrosa on Monday evening amid native and nationwide protests towards police brutality. Police mentioned an officer mistakenly believed Monterrosa had a gun, however later decided he had a hammer in his pocket.

The killing of Monterrosa, who was a San Francisco resident, has sparked intense outrage within the Bay Area, significantly within the metropolis of Vallejo, a metropolis with a long history of police violence and high-profile killings and extreme power complaints. 

Related: Black people in California are stopped far more often by police, major study proves

“When confronted by the police, he dropped to his knees and surrendered, and they fired at him,” mentioned Melissa Nold, a Vallejo civil rights legal professional representing Monterrosa’s household. “He wasn’t doing anything to warrant it. They shot him from inside their car. What opportunity did they give him to survive that situation? … It’s egregiously bad.” 

The precise circumstances that led to the killing are unclear, and police haven’t but launched footage. In a information convention on Wednesday, two days after the killing, police chief Shawny Williams mentioned officers had been responding to a name of doable looting on the pharmacy shortly after midnight when an officer in a cruiser drove up and noticed a dozen folks within the parking zone getting right into a automotive. 

A second officer in an unmarked automotive drove up and located Monterrosa, who was nonetheless on the scene, who then kneeled down and started to lift his hands. At this level, the police chief said, this officer “perceived a threat” and fired 5 photographs via his window at Monterosso. 

The chief declined to establish the officer who killed Monterrosa, saying solely that the officer was an 18-year veteran of the power. The chief additionally dodged questions about whether or not he thought-about the taking pictures to be extreme power and ignored questions from offended group members who confirmed up to a press convention. When asked in regards to the deserves of taking pictures via a window, the chief mentioned some officers are educated to shoot via their windshields and mentioned this was allowed beneath coverage. 

Monterrosa died on the hospital, the chief mentioned. 

<span class="element-image__caption">A memorial in front of Vallejo’s city hall bears a sign reading ‘Blacks and Brown lives matter’.</span> <span class="element-image__credit">Photograph: Ben Margot/AP</span>
A memorial in entrance of Vallejo’s metropolis corridor bears an indication studying ‘Blacks and Brown lives matter’. Photograph: Ben Margot/AP

The final person killed by Vallejo police was Willie McCoy, a 20-year-old who had been sleeping in his car in February 2019 when six officers fired 55 bullets in 3.5 seconds. One of the six officers who killed McCoy, a rising rapper within the Bay Area, had beforehand killed an unarmed man who was fleeing on his bike. Another Vallejo officer killed three men in a five-month period and was subsequently promoted. 

Vallejo, a metropolis 30 miles north-east of San Francisco with 121,000 residents, has over time had a considerably increased price of killings by police than the national average and other Bay Area cities

Despite guarantees of reform within the wake of widespread scrutiny, the killing of Monterrosa and police leaders’ actions within the aftermath recommend that nothing has modified, mentioned Nold, who has lengthy advocated for coverage shifts. 

A day after the taking pictures, police and different Vallejo leaders held a information convention in regards to the ongoing protests and the loss of life of George Floyd in Minneapolis, however refused to offer any particulars about Monterrosa’s killing, saying solely that there had been an “officer-involved shooting” and declining to specify whether or not it was deadly.

“It’s just unfathomable,” mentioned Nold, including that the information was devastating to many households of individuals killed by Vallejo police, who had been attempting to be optimistic about change within the metropolis, since police had not killed anybody for greater than a 12 months. 

Even although the chief probably knew the circumstances of the killing by the point he held his first information convention, he refused to debate it, whereas residents had been persevering with to march for Floyd, Nold famous. “We’re protesting for a guy who lived thousands of miles away. And the day we’re marching, our own police are gunning down an unarmed man on his knees.” 

While Nold has not but seen body-camera footage, which police are ultimately required to launch, and has not but considered Monterrosa’s body, she famous that “even their own version of the story is horrific”. The division, she mentioned, has a observe report of initially misrepresenting the circumstances of killings, which the general public later learns when video is launched. Even if police believed Monterrosa was concerned in looting, the officers had no proof of that once they arrived and instantly shot him, she added. 

Nold mentioned she was anxious to study the id of the officer, on condition that the power is comparatively small and she or he is aware of of greater than a dozen officers lately who have killed a couple of citizen. 

Monterrosa grew up in San Francisco, the place he attended an arts highschool and had beforehand labored on the native Boys and Girls Club, a not-for-profit.

“He was a true native son of San Francisco and Bernal Heights,” mentioned Jake Grumbach, a household good friend, who posted a video of Monterrosa talking at a youth program within the metropolis, the place family members and native residents gathered on Thursday for a vigil. “He was loved and respected by so many … There is just so much community support and solidarity.”

Vallejo police representatives didn’t reply to questions. 

Adante Pointer, one other civil rights lawyer who has lengthy represented Vallejo households, mentioned it was particularly alarming that officers would kill a resident at this second: “The eyes of the world are on policing and yet your officers still feel comfortable enough to shoot someone under what are the most questionable circumstances? If they could do this during the light of the George Floyd protests and world scrutiny, you can only imagine what they do in the dark of the night when no one is looking.” 



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