Vallejo police on Wednesday released body-worn camera videos from officers involved in the fatal shooting of a 22-year-old San Francisco man last month.
Sean Monterrosa was kneeling when a detective fired at him early on the morning of June 2 outside of a Walgreens pharmacy in the 1000 block of Redwood Street where officers had responded to reports of looting, police said.
The case has received national attention and came amid widespread demonstrations and looting around the Bay Area following the death of unarmed Black man George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis on Memorial Day. The bodycam videos released online Wednesday do not show Monterrosa’s actions before the detective opened fire through the windshield from the backseat of an unmarked truck.
Police have said the detective, an 18-year veteran of the department, opened fire because he believed Monterrosa was reaching for the butt of a handgun near his waistband. After the shooting, officers discovered he had a 15-inch hammer in the front pocket of his sweatshirt but no firearm.
The name of the detective has not been released by the city of Vallejo. The Vallejo Police Officers’ Association filed for a temporary restraining order to block the release of his name following the shooting,
and a judge approved it against the city’s opposition, police said.
Days after the shooting of Monterrosa, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced an agreement with the city of Vallejo to reform its Police Department, a plan that was already being developed before the shooting.
The Vallejo City Council has requested that the attorney general’s office also investigate the shooting but is awaiting a response. The shooting is currently being investigated by Police Department internal affairs and the Solano County District Attorney’s Office.
Civil rights attorney John Burris is representing Monterrosa’s family and has said he believes Monterrosa was in the process of surrendering when the detective shot him.
“There was a reckless disregard for this kid’s life because there was tension in the air,” Burris said. “The officer was not out of the car; Sean was not chasing him, not threatening him. Looting is not a justification for the use of deadly force.”
The video and frequently asked questions about the shooting have been posted on the city’s website.